One of the most wonderful ways in which God demonstrates His love to us is through His faithfulness. Even the notion of ‘Faithfulness’ is something that only a God created sentient being can understand. This is because faithfulness is not about instinct, or feelings, but about choice. Faithfulness is embedded in God’s character, and if you talk to an atheist, they have no explanation for ‘faithfulness’. Similarly, should someone actually believe that everything came out of nothing; that gases and particles randomly coalesced to form our universe, and living beings like you and me evolved from those chemicals, they can have no possible explanation for there being anything like ‘love’.
Love and faithfulness are however embedded in the character of our wonderful creator God and so as beings, created in His image, we get it! We know if someone is being faithful or not; we know what it means to be faithful ourselves. And interestingly still today, even in our amoral world, no matter what people say, the experience of someone being unfaithful to them is one of the most devastating that a person can have. This is because faithfulness is a beautiful and wonderful quality upon which all good relationships are built. It is enshrined in the marriage vows, and underpins all covenant relationships.
I love the dramatic scene described in Revelation 19:11, ‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called ‘Faithful and True’……… He is dressed in a white robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God’. Our Jesus – our Saviour – has taken on, for all eternity, the name ‘Faithful and True’, and remember, He is faithful even when we aren’t. ‘If we are faithless He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself’. 2 Timothy 2:13.
David also links together ‘love’ and ‘faithfulness’. In Psalm 36:5. He writes ‘Your love O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies’. This is just a wonderfully poetic way of saying that God’s love and faithfulness tower over everything else, and for us, even in this day of tall buildings and sky scrapers, there is still nothing to touch the enormity of God’s love and faithfulness. They literally tower over everything else we can imagine. Not surprisingly then it is often God’s faithfulness that the enemy attacks. Perhaps it is because he knows that our reliance on God’s faithfulness makes us dangerous to his plans for destroying God’s Kingdom on the earth.
If we look at how the Israelites, seeing their Promised Land before them, and viewing all the battles that certainly lay ahead, heard Moses, as he handed over leadership to Joshua. They were encouraged with these words, “the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” This is recorded for us in Deuteronomy 31:6, and it is these words that the writer to the Hebrews quotes as he encourages those Hebrew Christians to press on with God in times of difficulty. In the Amplified version we get the full force of those words, with the emphasis of a triple negative.
‘…..be satisfied with your present circumstances for He (God) Himself has said. I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not, (I will not), (I will not) in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake, nor let you down (relax my hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] Hebrews 13:5. AMP. And our response to that is ‘So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ Hebrews 13:6, NIV.
When I am faced with those challenges to my faith in the Lord’s commitment to me, thankfulness drives away all my doubts concerning His faithfulness. Thanking God for the truth of that scripture; those words first said by Moses over 3,000 years ago, and then by the writer to the Hebrews some 2,000 years ago, and then reminding myself and thanking God that, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ Hebrews 13:8, I can rest my faith on who He is, and not on who I am or what I am trying to do.
Thanksgiving for this truth connects me with this core attribute of God. It builds my faith in His faithfulness, and becomes another part of ‘building myself up in my most holy faith……’ and of ‘……. keeping myself in God’s love’ Jude verse 20.