From Handbook to God’s Promises
THE PROMISE: GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY
Doing the Right Thing
True faith is a funny thing. On the surface, it can appear no different from fatalism. Both the faithful and the fatalist believe that “everything will work out in the end.” But the difference between the faithful and the fatalist is twofold: One, the faithful believes that the end result can be influenced; two, the faithful believes that Someone is directing the process, making all things “work together for good” (Rom. 8:28).
Take the story of Abraham in Genesis 18. God was about to bring judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their terrible sins. Abraham was concerned for the lives of his nephew Lot and his family who lived in Sodom—perhaps ten people in all. In one of the most amazing “negotiations” between humanity and deity found in Scripture, Abraham asked God whether He planned to sweep away the righteous (Lot and his family) along with the wicked. Would God spare fifty righteous people? “Yes” was the answer. Forty-five? Yes. Forty? Thirty? Twenty? Ten? Each time Abraham tightened the circle, God stayed in it with him, agreeing to spare as few as ten righteous people in the city. And what was Abraham’s point in arguing with God? That the Judge (or Ruler) of all the earth must do right. God apparently agreed with Abraham’s assessment.
We don’t know what would have happened to the city and to Lot’s family if Abraham had been fatalistic instead of faithful. But because he believed that God would allow him to speak, and that God’s answers would be governed by His own righteous character, Abraham brought his request to God. Because of his faith, Abraham knew that the answer, whether “yes” or “no,” would be the right answer.
Which are you—faithful or fatalistic? Faithfulness means that you will let your requests be made known to God and then rest in His peace (Phil. 4:6–7).
Whatever His answer, it is right.