The Faithfulness of God

We see the theme of God’s faithfulness over and over in the Bible from the Genesis 3:15 promise of an Offspring, on to Noah, Abraham and Israel, as well as Moses, Joshua and David. We then see God’s faithfulness in the New Testament through the coming Messiah and promised Offspring, in the life of Paul and the disciples of Christ, not to forget all those referenced in the Hall of Fame of Faith in Hebrews 11. But what about the church today and regular folks like us who aren’t in the Bible? Is God still faithful?

We have to remember that Bible characters were people just like us, not super-characters in fable-like stories. They were real people who had real problems and had to deal with the consequences of their actions. They didn’t know how their stories would end when they were going through hard times. These are people who experienced the highs and lows of life and their flaws are exposed in black and white letters for all to read. They had to learn of God’s faithfulness through difficult life circumstances just like we do. 

These stories are placed in the Bible for a reason and that is for us to see our need for Christ, for us to know God and learn who He is and what He is like, and to help us process how He deals with sinners like us. We see His mercy and grace and compassion, while learning how He remains holy, just, righteous and good. These stories help us to trust Him more because we see His faithfulness, attributes, and promises at work through a consistent pattern of grace while still dealing with the consistent pattern of sin in His chosen, unfaithful people.

The first grade curriculum my church uses, The ABCs of God, from Truth:78 (formerly Children Desiring God) defines God’s faithfulness as “God always does what He says He will do.” It’s something our children can grasp at an early age, but we all struggle to remember it at times. 

He always does what he says He will do. But it may not be done like we think it should be or in our desired timing. Nevertheless, He is faithful. For instance, in Mark Chapter 4:35-40, Jesus told his disciples to get in a boat and that they we’re going to the other side. He then proceeded to fall asleep and a great storm arose. Fearing for their lives they woke Him frantically, and Jesus calmed the storm. Astonished, they made it safely to the other side. He’s faithful to do what he says He will do – even though from our limited perspective it’s a dangerous journey through a terrible storm. 

3 Examples of God’s Faithfulness: 

  1. God is faithful in our waiting. Have you ever waited on God to work through a difficult time in your life? Perhaps you’re going through a season right now where all you can do is actively abide in Him, trust, and wait. Like so many others be encouraged and find comfort in Isaiah 40:

    He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:29-31 ESV).
  2. God is faithful over salvation. Are you longing and praying for a friend, co-worker, or family member to come to know the Lord? Be encouraged that He is sovereign over salvation and Jesus tells us in John 6 that: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day (John 6:37-39 ESV).”  Likewise in John 10 He is the Good Shepherd and His sheep hear His voice and will follow Him.
  3. God is faithful in that nothing can separate His people from His love. Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you doubted God’s love? No matter what we’re going through, or what we’ve done, His love for us does not change. Read Paul’s encouraging words from Romans 8:

    “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39 ESV). 

We are now waiting for His promised return, but He is faithful and He will do it. The greek word for faithful is pistos, phonetically (pis-tos’), which means faithful, reliable, trustworthy, sure and true. The Hebrew word is emunah, phonetically (em-oo-naw’), which means firmness, steadfastness, fidelity.

How has He been faithful to you recently? Can you sing along with the hymnist?

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me! 

Other verses to consider: 

O Lord , you are my God;  I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things,  plans formed of old, faithful and sure (Isaiah 25:1 ESV).

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV).

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him (in Christ). That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory (2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV).

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23‭-‬24 ESV).

The Attributes of God

book-1210030_1280A Scripture Meditation by W. F. Bell (1948-2018)

“He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet” (Psalm 18:9). “Clouds and darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the habitation of his throne” (Psalm 97:2).
 

The greatest study one can ever make is to study the character of Almighty God as revealed in Scripture. We know that YHWH is the great four-letter “name” of the living God (with vowels supplied it is written Yahweh). God’s “attributes” and perfections are so glorious, no one can ever fathom them.

I began studying God’s attributes and compound names in 1972, and immediately began teaching them in various church meetings, not only here in Georgia, but in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, and North Carolina. These were some of the most blessed, enriching times I have ever experienced in the gospel ministry. None of us can ever study “who God is” too much. No wonder A. W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Absolutely!

“Concerning the character of God,” Bro. Henry Mahan once said, “what gross mistakes men make. I believe it is a mistake about the person of God himself that is the root and foundation of all mistakes in theology.” How solemnly true! Yahweh is transcendent, infinite, eternal, immortal, invisible, wise, sovereign, holy, just, righteous, yet is longsuffering, kind, gracious, loving, and merciful.

David said Yahweh “bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.” Darkness? Yes, but we also read, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). No darkness! “The darkness and the light are both alike to thee” (Psalm 139:12). Both alike? What mystery! How can we understand this unless we believe wholeheartedly in God’s absolute self-sufficiency? God’s ways and works are indeed “past finding out,” aren’t they? They can never be fully explained by any creature. This alone is pure sovereignty.

“Clouds and darkness are round about him.” Then we are told, “A fire goes before him, and burns up his enemies round about” (Psalm 97:3). “Darkness,” yet “fire.” The purpose for fire is “to consume and burn up,” and it is the exception when it does not, as in the case of Moses when he saw the burning bush “not consumed” (Exodus 3:2). Along with mystery, we note what glorious majesty and honor belong to the Lord our God! “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). Do we really believe this? His holiness burns in splendor, his righteousness is like the great mountains, and his vengeance shall be known to all his enemies.

The Lord Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh,” the God-Man wondrously concealing his attributes as needed. Yet, he was fully God and fully man. Christ is our Mediator, and no sinner could ever “approach” the living God apart from this one Advocate (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 John 2:1). Otherwise, the all-consuming holiness of Jehovah would burn up all sinners immediately! Sinners do not flippantly do business with a holy God. Is this what you believe?

Yet, in condescending mercy, our Lord Jesus Christ says to sinners, “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Yes, by faith “go to Jesus,” for what rich grace, love, and mercy flows to poor sinners through the cross of Calvary. This is why we exclaim with Paul, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33). “O the depth,” so let us all bow in holy wonder and holy worship of our thrice-holy God.

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