Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me…” John 14:5, 6
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” If Jesus called Himself the Truth, then we know that there is truth and that the truth matters. There have been times when I wished so badly to have the right words to say, to speak truth and wisdom into the pain and confusion being expressed by fellow believers. Speaking the truth just to set someone right can be fruitless and cold if we aren’t motivated by love and concern for their well-being. Our hearts can hurt for those passing through times of doubt, confusion, and pain. Most of us have been in that place where we have been desperate for solid ground. We know that pain and seemingly unanswered prayer can sometimes cause one to doubt the truth of God’s word. One thing I have learned is that sometimes you just have to listen with compassion and to pray for those who are hurting; for them to hear God’s voice above the deception that is contrary to the truth. If those that are looking for answers are followers of Jesus, they will likely come back to the Word of God and surrender the situation to Him. However, if someone is headed in the wrong direction and is being deceived, there will come a time when we need to confront with the truth for the sake of love.
Christians believe in the Bible as the infallible Word of God. Every belief about God, right and wrong, good and evil, and every doctrine of salvation comes from the Word of God. The truths in the Bible are foundational and unchangeable. There are gray areas in this life that aren’t specifically addressed in the Bible, but if we know the principles God teaches and the heart of God and allow His Spirit to lead us we will have conviction where we need it. I may have strong conviction in an area where I have a particular bent that could be destructive in my life. That doesn’t mean that it is a hard fast rule for everyone. However, the facts, edicts, instruction, definitions, and principles that are specific in God’s word can never be changed for the sake of perceived mercy, love, inclusion, or convenience.
God has set boundaries for us because He loves us. If we stop and really think about it, why would any of us want to bend right and wrong to fit our current desires or to seek resolution for another. That would not be resolution at all. It would be a dangerous step in rebellion toward God, and His ways are always best for us. What if we justified certain sins and it really sounded right and it meshed up quite well with society’s wisdom, making it temporarily easier for us or the ones we love who are struggling to make that sin fit their lives? How would that ever make things better? We would be resisting Jesus by resisting the truth. If Jesus is the truth, and He is, when we hold tight to the truth during troubled times, we are then holding tight to Jesus. Isn’t that where our hope is? If I am out to sea and there is a terrible storm that turns everything upside down with zero visibility and Jesus is there, I am most certainly going to cling to Him with all of my might. He is my only hope of salvation. He is our loved ones’ only hope of salvation. To steer ourselves or our loved ones in any direction that is contrary to the truth is to point them away from Jesus.
Jesus and the Word of God are inseparable. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.
Jesus never changes, so the truth will never change. It is impossible to justify changing the truths of the Bible – even if is seems that it will reach more people. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. If we are not leading them to the truths of God’s word, then we are not leading them to Jesus – the HOPE of this life.
Truth is not relative. It is the basis for all right and wrong. How could there ever be true love or justice without a solid definition of right and wrong? Where would the basis for the definition of love come from if truth was left up to us to define? Considering our fallen and sinful nature, that’s a frightening thought. How would we long for justice if right and wrong were left up to each individual’s interpretation? And where would we come up with these ideas of right and wrong without a singular, immoveable source that is from the beginning of time to the very end? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1.
God’s truth is a provision of love for us. He loves us with His truth! It is how He surrounds us with protection and keeps us in the cleft of the Rock, in the shadow of His wing. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105. “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25:10.
Anything that seems good or right but is contrary to the Word of God is ultimately deception and should be turned away from. The path before us may appear promising or profitable, but if it goes against God’s ways it will lead us away from Him. As human beings we want to always have an answer or an explanation as to why things are the way they are. This is often why we are lead into deception. We feel that we should be able to understand or explain all of the confusing things that come our way, that it is almost a right. So we are tempted to erect an idol of explanation to satisfy our desperation to justify or soothe the pain in seeking wisdom from a source that is not biblical. In doing so we risk giving that other source authority in our lives. Only God can be trusted with our souls, and His authority on anything we may question is the ultimate. Let’s face it, we aren’t always going to understand God and His ways. We have to choose to trust Him. “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:1, 2.
We can have all the knowledge our brains can contain, but if we are not seeking the truth that leads to salvation, we will be forever lost. We think the answers will satisfy, but they only will satisfy to the degree that we rely on them for peace and security. Let us never replace relationship and faith in God with our appetite for knowledge and resolution. We aren’t God. It is not our right to know all things. It is not a bad thing to rely on God for navigating the mysteries of the universe He created.
Lord, may the pain and fear we experience in the storms of life cause us to cling for dear life to You. Oh, God, let us never be tempted to look past Your truth to another source that may provide us with temporary and convenient answers. When we veer from the truth we turn away from Jesus. You will come through; You are always faithful. You deserve our devotion even in the pain and confusion. You sent Your Son to die in our place. That is the ultimate expression of love. You set the standard. You have the say. Jesus is the only way to eternal life and to the heart of the One True God. There is no other way to be saved than the way You freely provided for all of mankind. We are so prideful in our need to understand. It doesn’t feel like pride to us, it feels like survival, but You are our source of salvation. May we never be ashamed of the truth of Your word. Teach us how to speak the truth in love for the souls you died to save. Watered down truth is not truth. Let us hold tightly to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
“Whom have I in heaven but You: And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25, 26
“Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” Psalm 86:11-13