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An American couple on their way to Africa were surprised to find themselves traveling in an entirely wrong direction. They had intended to fly from Los Angeles to Istanbul in Turkey and from there to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, a country in West Africa. After arriving in Istanbul, they boarded a flight that they believed would take them to Dakar. But they were shocked when the aircraft’s in-flight map informed them that they were flying over the Middle East, which is the wrong direction if your destination is West Africa!

Due to a mix-up with airport codes, the couple had mistakenly taken a flight to Dhaka, which is in Bangladesh, instead of to Dakar in Senegal. During preflight announcements, the flight attendant had said the plane was bound for “Dhaka,” which they mistook fo “Dakar.” On takeoff, they sat back to enjoy what they thought was the final leg of their journey, only to discover that they still had a long way to go!

What reason do you have for thinking that you can get to where you want to go in life? Christians trust in a God who will guide them, but how can they be sure that they won’t end up somewhere they hadn’t planned on?

God gave His Word

Interestingly, God has given us evidence after evidence that demonstrates we can have total faith and trust in Him. And He has done it in a way that allows us to put Him to the test.

God inspired the writing of the Bible thousands of years ago. Beginning with Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Bible and the book of Job, and ending with John, who composed Revelation, “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).*

God did not dictate the Bible to human beings, expecting them to write down word for word exactly what He had said. Rather, He moved upon their minds by the power of the Holy Spirit, inspiring them to write—in their own words—the thoughts and ideas that He impressed upon them.

But in some portions of the Bible, God did speak directly. At times, people did hear His voice, and the biblical authors recorded what He said for posterity. Some of the early patriarchs, such as Abraham, heard God speak to them (Genesis 12:1–3; 18:1–33). God Himself wrote the Ten Commandments (Exodus 31:18), and the New Testament contains words spoken by Jesus.

In the Bible, God puts Himself on the line in ways that no other religious figure has ever done. He repeatedly made predictions, claims about Himself, and promises to His people that are verifiable and, frankly, either true or false.

making promises

History demonstrates that God’s predictions about the future have come to pass, and His ability to predict future events can provide a significant degree of comfort for us. But what does it matter if God can predict the future if He isn’t interested in our present? To put it in more practical terms, what does a person need during a crisis? A fortune teller? A predictor of events? The God of the Bible has revealed Himself to be far more than a prophet informing us about the future.

This isn’t to say that God’s predictions about the future have no value. In demonstrating that He knows the future of the world, God displays not only His divinity but also His trustworthiness. If we can have confidence in what He tells us about the future, we can rely on the rest of what He says in the Bible. So, His fulfilled promises in the past are designed especially to give us confidence today in the midst of a crisis.

God knew the world would increasingly spin out of control as the twenty-first century progressed. He foresaw the heartache people would experience. Massive financial problems don’t take Him by surprise. God knew that Ponzi schemes would rise long before anyone had ever heard of Charles Ponzi, and He knew of cryptocurrency fraud before there was such a thing as cryptocurrency. He saw people rebuilding their lives after tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires; He knew that disease, crime, and war would keep breaking out; and, having demonstrated that He can reveal the future, God can also speak with authority to people who are dealing with shattered lives and broken dreams.

God makes straightforward promises, and He has demonstrated consistently and repeatedly that what He forecasts invariably comes to pass. Therefore, we can believe the promises He made to us in the Bible. Unlike the promises we humans make, God’s promises never fail. They cannot. The Bible says, “God is not a man, that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19). And, in fact, “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). What God pledges will happen. And if we understand this, we’ll never face another crisis without complete confidence in His ability and willingness to guide us through it.

keeping His Word

Hebrews 13:5 tells us that Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” When your world looks as though it’s coming apart, that’s precisely the time to remember this promise. God has said that He will never leave you. He’s with you. You are not alone. The One who wrapped the rings around Saturn has told you that He cares for you, which means there’s no reason for you to wonder, worry, or doubt. God has said it, you can believe it, and that settles it.

Job loss, money worries, no food in the pantry, a car in need of repair, healing from an illness, a new suit for church or work—life is full of needs. And needs are different from wants. You want a Bentley, but you need a way to get to work. While you may want a million dollars, you need a way to pay the rent. God understands that we have needs, and He acknowledges that in one of the most comprehensive promises found in the Bible.

Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” That’s a promise. You can take it to God just as you would a check to the bank, and you can expect Him to provide what He has promised.

Will He really do that? Yes, He will. So, if you need a car, will He see that you get one? Here’s where a word of caution is in order. God knows your needs, and He will meet them. You might think you need a car, but God may provide you with a ride to work courtesy of a kind neighbor. Or you might think you’ve got to have money to pay the rent when God knows that letting you get evicted will get you out of a bad neighborhood. God knows best. And when you can accept that, you won’t see His promises in the same way that children look at the list of Christmas wishes they hand Santa Claus in a department store. You can present God’s promises to Him, believe that He hears, know what He’s promised, and trust Him to do what’s best for you in your specific situation.

When God promises something, you can count on it coming to pass. When He declares that He forgives your sins, you can believe it. When He tells you He’ll be with you in the dark times of your life, you can trust that He will do just as He promised. And when He says that He will provide for you, you can know it is certain.

Can you trust God to lead you? At times, it may seem as though you’re in Dhaka instead of Dakar, but leave your concerns in God’s hands and let Him demonstrate to you His unfailing faithfulness.

John Bradshaw is the speaker and director of It Is Written, an international Christian radio program headquartered in Collegedale, Tennessee.

* All Scripture quotations in this article are from the New King James Version.

Why You Can Trust the Bible

by John Bradshaw
From the April 2024 Signs