I know the answer to these questions, but I’ll ask them anyway. Has someone ever disappointed you or let you down? Has anyone ever turned on you and hurt you deeply? To one degree or another, we have all experienced similar hurts. Sadly, though, the deepest wounds often come from those who are the closest to us.
King David knew what that was like. One of David’s closest friends abandoned him, and even began plotting with David’s enemies to have him killed. Listen to the ache it caused in David’s heart: “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend; we who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng” (Psalm 55:12-14).
If we can’t even count on our closest friends to always have our back, then who can we trust? Thankfully, there is a good answer to that question.
Our Creator is completely and perfectly dependable. Everything He promises to do, He does. We don’t often think about it this way, but God can actually be our closest friend. Here is the big question: Can we know for sure that He will always be dependable?
Having confidence in God’s dependability is only possible when we understand and accept that God is nothing like you and me. We tend to think that God is a lot like us, but just a little better. God tells us, though, “I am God, and there is no one like Me” (Isaiah 46:9). “O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord?” (Psalm 89:8). As hard as it is to understand, God is so great that we can’t compare Him to anything or anyone else we know.
God is completely unique.
In what ways is God so very different from us? One of the most obvious ways is that God does not share is our tendency to be constantly changing. Since our emotions often change from happy to angry, and back again, many people assume that God is something like that, too. One day we feel good; the next day we don’t. Sometimes we are cheerful and patient; other times we are grumpy and impatient. God, on the other hand, is always the same. He never loses His temper. He never runs out of patience. He is perfectly holy and eternally the same.
God is also not like us because He is eternal. There was never a time that He did not exist. God was never created – He has always been. That is hard for us to accept, because everything else in our world has a beginning, but God had no beginning. He will never end. We can trust Him because He has always been here and He will never go away.
God’s faithfulness has no limits. “Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies” (Psalm 36:5). “Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations” (Psalm 119:90).
The Bible also reminds us that everything God sets out to do, He accomplishes. God boldly declares, “Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it” (Isaiah 46:11). “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation” (Psalm 33:11).
Those truths greatly impacted a songwriter named Thomas Chisholm (1866-1960). Like Abraham Lincoln, he was born in a log cabin in Kentucky. When he was a young man, he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. His health was never very good, but he was able to hold down a few jobs, ranging from journalism to insurance to preaching. Even though his life was often difficult, he discovered that God was a faithful friend. One of his favorite Bible passages was Lamentations 3:21-25, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.”
Thirty years after he started following Christ, those words inspired Thomas Chisholm to write the famous song “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” It was relatively unknown until George Beverly Shea began singing it in many of the Billy Graham Crusades years ago.
What about you? Have you discovered God’s faithfulness? We all could use a reliable friend, and I’m so glad I found one in Jesus Christ. “You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15). I don’t know what I would do without Him! “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).