Faith as Trustworthiness
God Himself is both the beginning and the end of faith. His trustworthiness is the only basis for our trust; our trust in Him reproduces His trustworthiness in us. Probably no attribute of God is more persistently emphasized throughout the Scriptures than His trustworthiness. In the Old Testament there is one special Hebrew word reserved for the attribute: chesed. In the English versions of the Bible, this word is variously translated “goodness,” “kindness,” “lovingkindness,” “mercy,” and so on. However, none of these translations fully expresses its meaning.
There are two distinctive features of God’s chesed, or trustworthiness. First, it is the expression of God’s free, unmerited grace. It goes beyond anything that man can ever deserve or demand as a right. Second, it is always based on a covenant that God voluntarily enters into. We may combine these two features by saying that chesed is God’s trustworthiness in fulfilling His covenant commitments, which go beyond anything that we can deserve or demand. There are two things God will never do: break His covenant or go back on what He has said.
God’s trustworthiness, imparted by the Holy Spirit, will reproduce the same characteristics in us. It will make us people of unfailing integrity and honesty. A Christian who does not honor his word and keep his commitments has not yet developed the fruit of trustworthiness.
You must face the fact: the final age of this world is to be a time of troubles. Men will love nothing but money and self; they will be arrogant, boastful, and abusive; with no respect for parents, no gratitude, no piety, no natural affection; they will be implacable in their hatreds, scandal-mongers, intemperate and fierce, strangers to all goodness, traitors, adventurers, swollen with self-importance. They will be men who put pleasure in the place of God, men who preserve the outward form of religion, but are a standing denial of its reality Keep clear of men like these. (2 Timothy 3:1–5 NEB)
As the world thus plunges deeper into darkness, God’s people must, by contrast, be more determined than ever to walk in the light of fellowship. Let us therefore cultivate the fruit of trustworthiness to full maturity.
‘Heavenly Father, I praise You for your trustworthiness. I will never be put to shame when I put my trust in You. May my trust in You reproduce Your trustworthiness in me, so the world will see You in me.’
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