This is part of a series of God’s Faithfulness. To read the previous post, click here.
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
~Lamentations 3:19 – 26
My last several posts focused on prayer and thanksgiving. While this series of posts isn’t specifically about prayer, it intertwines with it. When we pray to God, we need to have confidence in God. We need to trust that He is not capricious, but constant and true. He isn’t like the contrived deities of the Greeks and Romans–whimsical, selfish and deceitful. God–the one true God–says what He means and means what He says. He isn’t going to listen to our prayer one day and sleep through it the next. He is ever-present. He draws near to those who draw near to Him.
Last week, I tasked you with making a list of things to be thankful for from the song, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” I made my own list and I will be covering each part of it in the coming weeks. For the present, let’s focus on the most obvious: God is faithful.
When I look at the above definition, I see God. God doesn’t just act faithful. It is who and what He is. He is the embodiment of faithfulness. The scriptures overflow with examples of God’s faithfulness. The more you read the Word, the more this truth will become evident to you.
We have all experienced some form of betrayal in life. If you’ve ever been cheated on in a relationship; if you’ve ever had a good friend walk away from you or stab you in the back; if you’ve been lied to, attacked, abused or simply watched as someone morphed from good to bad before your eyes; you know that people are not constant. It is heartbreaking.
I have some good news, however:
God does not change. Ever.
Not yesterday. Not today. Not tomorrow.
The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament.
We ought to count His unchanging nature as a priceless treasure. (Give praise to Him for being faithful in your prayers this week).
In the above definition, the second part says that one who is faithful is true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc. The Word overflows with testimony of God making and keeping His promises.
Two immediate examples that come to mind are promises God made in the time of Noah and Abraham.
After the worldwide flood in Genesis chapters 6-9, God made a covenant with Noah, his descendants (that includes us), and every living thing on the earth. Here is the specific text of the promise:
“Thus I establish my covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth… This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.”
Genesis 9:11-13 (NKJV)
The word “covenant” is legal-speak for a formal agreement between two parties to do or not to do a particular thing. God often made covenants with people. It’s His way of making sure that the terms of the agreement are understood and showing us that it is important to Him.
While there have been floods since the time of Noah, they are not breeches of contract; God specifically said that all flesh would never again be cut off by the flood, nor would the earth be destroyed by flood. No flood since the time of Noah has been so severe as to destroy all life. God has kept this promise for over 4,000 years. Whenever you see a rainbow in the sky, remember God’s faithfulness to His word.
Rainbow = 4,000 year-old promise
Note: In the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” there is a stanza that says, “Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above; join with all nature in manifold witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. The rainbow is part of nature and is one more witness to the faithfulness of our God.
Abraham is often the first person thought of when it comes to covenants and promises, because the promises made to Abraham are repeated throughout the Bible. In Genesis 12 and Genesis 15, God made told Abraham that he would have a son, that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan and that through him all people of the earth would be blessed.
Twenty-five years after God made this promise to Abraham, he fulfilled the first portion of it with the birth of Isaac. Abraham was 75 when the promise was made and 100 years old when Isaac was born (Gen. 21.5).
The Israelites (Abraham’s descendants) inherited the land in spite of their rebellion and complaining (read Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy for a full account of their misdeeds). God made sure that the guilty were dealt with. The ones that refused to obey died in the wilderness and their children went on to inherit the land. God fulfilled His promise to Abraham even when the people who were supposed to enter the land turned their back in fear. Nothing gets in the way of God’s promises.
The most precious promise God gave to Abraham was that through him (that is, Abraham), all peoples of the earth would be blessed. Jesus was born to Mary, who was descended from the line of Abraham. Through Jesus, we have access to eternal life if we choose to obey Him. Jesus came thousands of years after Abraham. Jesus has blessed thousands of generations and continues to do so. No matter how much time elapses, God will keep His promises.
We are surrounded with evidence of God’s faithfulness. What I’ve written here barely scratches the surface. From the constancy of the seasons to the examples in the Word, we see God’s character. He is true, faithful and just.
People grow old. Memories fade. Hearts grow bitter. Children lose innocence. Human love waxes and wanes. Green forests burn to black. Lakes dry up. Cities crumble. Governments grow corrupt. Life is full of change. Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I disagree. God is far more certain than either. While it is true we will all die, we don’t know how or when. Taxes depend on what rule your under and many men have figured out how to evade them. God is truly the most constant factor in our lives.
Give thanks to God that He is a faithful friend. He will never fail you. If you think He has failed you, start digging in the Word with a backhoe instead of a garden spade. God never fails. He always has a plan, even if it is not obvious to you at the present moment. Do not lose heart. Pray with confidence, knowing that you are talking to a faithful Father and He will fulfill His good purpose for you.
I leave you with this quote from Hebrews:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
~ Hebrew’s 4.14-16