Sometimes, in the midst of trials, it can be easy to lose confidence in God. One wonders if Paul ever came close to doing so, when he and his companions “were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.” (8)
And yet through that time of hardship, they learned to put their confidence and trust in God (9).
Why were they able to do that? And how can we be able to live that way?
But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” (18)
The first thing that strikes me is that God is faithful. And if through the midst of our troubles, we look back on our lives, we will see that. We’ll see that not only in our lives, but in the lives of people throughout history. More, we will see it in all the promises he fulfilled when he sent Christ to die for our sins.
Paul says “Our message is not ‘yes’ and ‘no.'” In other words, the gospel is something that you can rely on. It’s not a message that ever changes. God doesn’t tell people, “You need to believe in Jesus to be saved,” only to tell them at heaven’s gate, “Sorry, I changed my mind.” His word is constant and his promises are true, although everyone else’s may not be.
As Paul said,
Let God be true, and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (19-20)
Put another way, Jesus is the one constant in a world that is always changing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
And all God’s promises are confirmed in Christ. Jesus fulfilled all the prophesies that said he would come preaching the good news, healing the sick, and dying for our sins. And the day will come when Jesus will fulfill the rest of the prophesies, bringing his everlasting kingdom into the world.
If that’s true, then how much more can we believe all his other promises. His promises to be with us through trial. His promises that these trials we are going through are just for a little while. His promises to bring us victory and to bring us out as gold through these trials. And so through Jesus we can say, “Amen. You have promised these things. So be it. I will believe you.”
And just in case that wasn’t enough, he’s given us more. Paul writes,
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (21-22)
God has anointed us with his Spirit, setting us apart for himself and his purposes. He has placed his seal of ownership on us, a seal that says, “This person is mine. I have bought him/her at a price: the blood of my own Son.”
And the Spirit he has given us is his deposit guaranteeing all that he has promised will come to pass.
So whatever we’re going through, let us put our faith and confidence in God. God is true though everyone else may fail us.
How about you? Will you choose to trust him today?