In the book of Titus, Paul describes God as someone who is, “ever truthful and without deceit.” Paul reminds us of something central to our Christian faith – our God is not like us. We are like him, and made in his image, but He is not the same as we are. God doesn’t have moments of dishonesty, and He never fibs for convenience sake. He is truth in every sense of the word.
God is the perfect promiser, and the promise he is making here is significant. God is promising us that there is more to this life than just the here and now. God is promising a life after this one. Since we know that God is ever truthful, then we can guarantee that this promise isn’t to pacify us until he gives us the real truth when we are older. God’s promise of eternal life is without deceit.
Some translations render the phrase, “ever truthful” as, “cannot lie.” God isn’t just an honest person, his nature is truth. It’s important to understand that God doesn’t simply choose honesty, he is truth. If he was dishonest or went back on his word, He wouldn’t be God. Psalm 138 says that, “God’s promises are backed by the honor of His name.” God will never be anything but perfect and complete truth.
Paul says that God made this promise, “before the ages of time began.” This isn’t a new promise that God has made. If it was, that would mean that something had changed that required adjustment on God’s part. The fact that this promise came from the beginning shows us that God has been perfectly consistent in his promise to us. Nothing has changed. Nothing ever will (see Malachi 3.6; James 1.17).
There is a progression that takes places as this truth about the ever truthful plays out in our lives. First, this truth about God produces hope. When we first hear about a God that his without deceit, we hope that it could be true. Like a young person wondering if their romantic interest is possibly, “the one”, we begin to hope that God is everything he claims to be.
As God continues to prove himself faithful, our hope turns to trust. Trust is simply fulfilled hope over time. Maybe right now you don’t trust God fully, but you have hope that he will deliver on his promises. Don’t panic, you’re right where you are supposed to be. Hope is the step that leads to trust. Remember, God will deliver on his promises. We just have to make sure that we don’t give up.
As God’s promises become true in your life, you will see your trust turn into action. If hope leads to trust, then trust leads to action. In our relationships with each other, you can identify the people you trust by your actions with them. Imagine if I told my wife, “I love you honey, but I’m not going to give you a debit card to our bank account just yet.” Trust always shows itself in action.
The final step in the progression is from action to anticipation. The more that we put our trust into action in our everyday lives, the more we will see God’s truthful promises. The more we live in the reality of God’s truthful promises, the more we will anticipate his goodness in every situation. Our response to God’s faithfulness begins with hope, becomes trust, results in action, and ends with hopeful anticipation.
Imagine what would happen if we lived this way? Imagine how we could respond when the storms of life hit us? I saw this in my dad’s life when my mom passed away. He was hurt, but hopeful. He responded to the tragedy with trust in the ever truthful promises of God. The result was evident in his actions. He didn’t give up. He never stopped anticipating the moment when God would deliver on his promises.
When we build our lives around the ever truthful God, then we become the people that can share this hope with the world. We become, “hope dispensers” who can demonstrate the faithfulness of God to others in good times as well as bad ones. We don’t give hope to people by hiding our junk or our pain with a smile. We offer hope by showing the world that God’s promise of eternal life means something right in the middle of the challenges of this life.
This is how we offer hope in the world. We point people towards a God without deceit. We have a human tendency to try and solve people’s problems with human hope. This never works in the long-term. The best hope we can offer is the hope that we’ve been given. The world needs hope, we just have to remember that the hope they need comes from the promises of the ever truthful God.
Paul says in the book of Romans that, “those who put their trust in God will never be disappointed” (Romans 10.11). Paul is reminding us that trusting in God’s promise of life beyond this one will never leave us high and dry. So may we live our lives in hopeful anticipation of God’s promises. May our hope become trust that is demonstrated in our daily lives. May that active trust be the thing that shows others that God is everything that he claims to be.