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).

Waiting

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Do not rebuke me in anger
For who can stand when You’re jealous?
Do not discipline in vengeance
While I waive my guilty banner

I groan because I have been proud
My longing rises before You
I cannot hide my sighs from You
And my face is bowed to the ground

On You, LORD, I wait night and day
When will you provide an answer?
While my enemies have their laughter
My heart fails and I am afraid

I confess all my iniquity
Draw close to me in this distress
Do not forget your promises
Will you not come and rescue me?  

Do not forsake me now, O LORD
I hear my foe’s celebration
You alone are my salvation
My only hope is in Your Word

Behind the lines

Psalm 38

There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

My wounds stink and fester
because of my foolishness,
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all the day I go about mourning.
For my sides are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
(Psalm 38:3-10)

But for you, O LORD, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
(Psalm 38:15)

 

In Silence

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Lord, will you never answer
Has my sin kept you away
What have I done, or not done
How long do I have to wait

All I hear is silence, not the peaceful kind
It’s screaming at me, your will, not mine
But I want answers now, I need your help
Where is your presence, in silence
In silence

Lord, I’m pleading for mercy
Is there not another road
Is this my fate, is it too late
To change the path I must go

He opened not his mouth
As they led him out
Like a sheep before slaughter
In silence

Behind the lines

For the times when there seems to be no answer and we have to trust Him and wait.

Psalm 28

To you, O LORD, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.

Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.

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