In the gospel narratives, it is clear that faithfulness is very important to the Lord. This is no surprise because it is another one of these essential characteristics of God Himself. Throughout the bible from beginning to end God declares Himself to be ‘the Faithful One’ and that is who His people prove Him to be in His dealings with them.
God says to the Israelites, ‘Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.’ Deuteronomy 7:9. Then in Revelation 19:11 John writes about Jesus ‘I saw in heaven…. A white horse, whose rider was called Faithful and True’. His faithfulness is the foundation for His covenant on which we base our faith. If God was fickle or changeable there would be no security for us in His love and in our salvation.
Once again we can see that the Holy Spirit, in producing in us ‘the fruit of faithfulness’, is making us more like the Father and the Son. We learn so many of our values and hence behaviours from our parents, and primary care givers, so it is no wonder that if I am a child of God, I will learn from Him and do what He does. As I thank Him for His faithfulness to me, not taking it for granted, then I will grow in understanding of what it looks and feels like to be loved by such a faithful Saviour. Then when the Holy Spirit prompts me towards ‘faithfulness’ in a situation, I will find that I recognize what He is asking of me, and respond.
The preciousness of God’s faithfulness is most clearly shown in our areas of failure. So for example; we are failing in some area and we give into temptation and then, as we battle condemnation, we hear the Spirit remind us again that ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins purify us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9.
Or perhaps we find ourselves struggling with our faith, not to the point of denying Him may be, but definitely not doing well and then we read, ‘If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.’ 2 Timothy 2:13, and so we can breathe deeply again and relax back into His arms of ‘faithfulness’ finding that those ‘everlasting arms’ beneath me are not about to give way. Deuteronomy 33:27.
I used to wonder as a young Christian whether I would be able to ‘keep it up’ as it were. I rather feared the whole thing about ‘falling away’ (which was talked more about in those days), and then I hear the words from 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 ‘May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it’. 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24.
Again, it’s a phew moment, as I realise my faith can rest on His faithfulness and not my efforts to ‘do well’. God is faithful whether it’s about our sin, our weaknesses and even our faithlessness. We have in Jesus ‘a merciful and faithful high priest’. Hebrews 2:17, and one who, as we have written before ‘’always lives to intercede for us’. Hebrews 7:25.
Our God is solid, and He wants that reflected in us too. I do believe as we acknowledge and are grateful for this wonderful quality that our God has, and as we realise at a deeper and deeper level that it is not ‘three strikes and you’re out’ with our God, we will value faithfulness and it will grow as a deep and underlying value in our lives.
Jesus commended faithfulness, and He looks for it. He loves faithfulness, even in the small things, when perhaps no one is looking or knows. He said ‘He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much’. Luke 16:10 NASB. The writer to the Hebrews also wrote this, ‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds’. Hebrews 10:23,24.
As we intentionally remind ourselves and are grateful for God’s faithfulness to us, let us also ask the Holy Spirit to grow His faithful nature in us, so that we can be faithful, firstly to the Lord and then also to each other in the ways that each one needs.