In J.I. Packer's book, Knowing God, he relates a story of a friend who had been effectively kicked out of his ministry over some disagreement. In discussing the matter, his friend is cited as saying, "It doesn't matter, for I have known God, and they have not." I cannot recommend this book highly enough, but this particular story strikes me as it seems to have struck Packer on first experiencing it. This man, faced with total rejection from the people who should have been ministering into his life, took it all in stride and looked onward to the work God was doing. He had no doubt in God's faithfulness, because he knew God well.
God is absolute in His ways. There is no variance with Him. What He has set out to do, He will do, and there is no force that can stand against Him. God can state with certainty that His word will be carried out, His will shall be established, and His plan will come to fruition.
When God grew angry with the people of Israel for worshiping a golden calf and laid down a justified condemnation of them, Moses went straight to the promises of God to plead on their behalf.
"Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'"
Exodus 32:13 (NASB)
Moses understood that God would do as He had promised. No amount of sin practiced in the camp of Israel could make God cut off the line of Abraham that He had promised to multiply and through whom the whole world would be blessed. Israel still faced judgement; three thousand men died that very day, for starters. But the promise of God would be carried out. On this, Moses knew he could rely, and David would echo this understanding repeatedly across his psalms.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:1-5 (NASB)
Those who have known God best have known His faithfulness. Abraham and Moses, who talked to God as a friend; David, called a man after God's own heart; the apostles, after walking with Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit; all of them understood keenly that God would do what God set out to do. There was no room for doubt.
Did they recognize God's faithfulness because they knew Him so well, or were they able to know Him so well because they trusted Him and saw His works displayed? Well. We can seek to know Him, and we can seek to trust Him, and it is only a matter of time before one begins to inform the other.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation