How dependent are you upon God? Stop and really think about it for a moment. As Christians, we like to think that we rely fully on Him, and on Sunday mornings we might even—with all sincerity—sing hymns and songs that express our dependence on Him. However, the evidence is found not in what we say or sing but in our thoughts, actions, and attitudes.
What is your first reaction when a problem arises? Do your worry and fret, find your own solution, or go from friend to friend seeking advice? Are you fearful about the future or quick to complain about your circumstances? While fear is a natural response and there’s nothing wrong with seeking wise counsel, when we do these things to the exclusion of pursuing God first (Matt. 6:33), it’s usually an indicator that we’re struggling to trust the Lord. Thankfully, we can grow in dependence on Him, but the path that leads there may be surprising. We arrive where God wants us to be, not by trying harder but by learning to know the Lord more fully through His Word.
What you think about God is vitally important because it affects every aspect of your life. If you don’t have an accurate Scripture-based understanding of who He is, your view of Him will constantly change with your circumstances. When life is turning out the way you want, you’ll exult in His goodness and faithfulness, but if difficulties and suffering come, your faith might begin to waver. Instead of trusting in what the Bible says about the Lord, you’ll wonder, Where is God? Why isn’t He answering my prayers? Doesn’t He care?
We need to know that the Lord will never leave or forsake us, even in seasons of doubt and failure. And that is exactly what 2 Timothy 2:13 promises us: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” All of us who have truly believed and received Jesus Christ as Savior have been united with Him (John 17:21). Even if we stumble and prove unfaithful, this indivisible union can never be broken.
The foundation for God’s faithfulness is His attribute of immutability, which simply means He never changes but is always the same. We can trust Him in every situation and at all times because our God is not an impulsive deity who could alter His favor toward us at any moment or for any reason.
Even if we stumble and prove unfaithful, our indivisible union with Jesus Christ can never be broken.
Not only is the Lord unchanging, but He is also omnipotent. This means He has the power necessary to bring about whatever He has promised. Furthermore, our loving heavenly Father has omniscience—that is, complete knowledge and insight—and always cares for us according to His perfect wisdom. His commitment to us as His children never changes—even if our circumstances tempt us to doubt Him.
Scripture is proof of God’s faithfulness. Whenever we start to look around and question whether God really is trustworthy, we need to reinforce our trust with scriptures that assure us of His dependability. For example, Lamentations 3:22-23, one of my favorite passages, says, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Think of the letter Peter wrote to Christians who were experiencing persecution and hardship. It may have seemed to them as if the Lord had abandoned them, but Peter assured them this was not the case and told those who were suffering to “entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19).
One of the means God uses to teach us dependence is the experience of difficulty and suffering. We can be quite self-sufficient until a trial hits. Then we turn to the only one who can help—almighty God. Although we may not understand what He is doing, when we look back, we’ll be able to see how He guided us through and strengthened us to endure. Over a lifetime, the evidence of His sovereign care piles up until we can only say, “God is truly faithful all the time!”
The Lord has the power necessary to bring about whatever He has promised.
There’s no one more trustworthy than the Lord. Nothing in this created world is absolutely reliable. People will let us down, financial security evaporates, and philosophies prove to be false. But God and His Word stand forever. If you doubt this, consider how His faithfulness has been displayed in your life already.
He saved you. This isn’t something you deserved or earned. It was a gift of God’s grace through faith. He not only fulfilled every Old Testament prophecy predicting the coming of the Savior but also, in the New Testament, explained exactly how to be saved. Then He made sure that you heard the gospel and gave you this promise: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). You trusted that this was true and received Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Now you are secure as a child of God, and He will never leave you.
The Lord assures you of His continuing forgiveness and cleansing. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This promise regarding restoration of fellowship with God is for every believer. It is based not on a feeling but on the faithfulness of God.
God keeps you. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). You weren’t saved by good works, and you can’t maintain your salvation by them, either. The one who keeps you is the Lord God, and He promises you will one day stand before Him in heaven, blameless and fully conformed to the image of His Son (1 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Although we may not understand what God is doing, when we look back, we’ll be able to see how He strengthened us to endure.
God’s faithfulness is our foundation. Every believer has staked his or her eternal future on the trustworthiness of almighty God. If He isn’t faithful, the entire Christian life is impoverished, and we are without hope. But God is faithful. He holds our lives in His hands and gives us the strength to endure difficult circumstances with hope, joy, and gratitude.
If you are a believer who’s floundering in your spiritual life, perhaps it’s because your concept of God is too small. You need to see Him as the omnipotent, unchanging God who reigns over you and circumstances. He’s always concerned about your difficulties and pain, and you are never outside of His protection.
The bigger your view of God, the greater your peace in both good times and bad. He is forever faithful, and this is a truth you can depend on in every situation for the rest of your life. By trusting Him, you have nothing to lose but your anxiety and fear.
Sometimes looking at a truth’s opposite helps us see the value of it. For instance, what would your life be like if God were unfaithful and could change? How would this affect the reliability of His Word? Could you count on His promises? Asking questions like these helps us see how foundational the Lord’s faithfulness is. Without it, we are all doomed.
We need a God who is immovable and in whom we can have full confidence and find rest. Thankfully, that is exactly who He is. However, we need to move beyond merely knowing this truth to letting it influence the way we live each day. God’s faithfulness should shape how we think, pray, worship, read the Word, and respond to hardships in life.
For example, in the following scenarios, how would relying on your dependable heavenly Father change the way you typically respond?
You have an important decision to make, and you don’t know what to do.
You’re struggling with a temptation and feel too weak to resist.
You are facing a financial challenge, and there seems to be no way out.
Heavenly Father, I confess that I am often quick to forget Your faithfulness and depend on myself. Yet my faithlessness never cancels Your trustworthiness. Thank You that You are an unfailing shield of protection for me, and under Your wings I can find shelter in the storms of life. Amen.
• Deuteronomy 32:3-4
• Psalm 119:75-76
• 1 Corinthians 10:13
• 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
• 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Grumbling, worry, fear, and anxiety are signs a person is not trusting God. Whenever circumstances tempt you to yield to these emotions and behaviors, make a choice not to rely on your own grasp of the situation. Instead, anchor yourself to verses that give you a better understanding of God and His faithfulness. When your focus shifts from your circumstances to the Lord, everything else dwindles in comparison to His great faithfulness.
Photo-illustration by Joe Cavazos