God’s Enduring Faithfulness
Another characteristic of God I’ve been focusing on the past couple of weeks is faithfulness.
The promises in the Bible are mind blowing. Yet, for many those promises can seem distant. One reason is because we are too focused on our faithfulness, or better yet faithlessness, instead of God’s faithfulness. As I focused on this characteristic of God, it refreshed my soul more than I would have thought. I realized I really don’t focus on it enough.
God is faithful. He does what He says. He is true to His word. He is reliable and dependable. He will finish what He started. We can count on Him. God gave us His promises and He (not us) is the One to manifest them in our lives in the perfect way and perfect timing for each one of us. He will fulfill His words to us, because He is faithful and can’t deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
Seeking, Knowing, Trusting
God is faithful. So, what does He ask of us? The Word is replete with calls for us to seek, know and trust Him and His responses if we do.
Psalm 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
These three acts are all connected; one leading to the next. Seeking leads to knowing which produces trust. Seeking is about learning who God is and moving into a real relationship with Him based on His truth. It’s deepening our personal knowledge or “knowing” of God. It isn’t learning about Him through a third party, but one-on-one, intimate, personal. It’s walking through life’s experiences with Him, and deeply learning He is faithful, we can trust Him.
I’ve found that always going through a third party or middle man (pastor, writer, leader, teacher) dramatically slows down and inhibits the intimacy building process with God. We gain some understanding, true, but it’s drops in the bucket compared to going to Him one-on-one just us, Him and His Word. Jesus removed the middle man by becoming the middle man. We have to be very careful of depending or relying on a third part and their works (leading, teaching, words) because it feels comfortable. There is a place for others; it’s secondary to our relationship with God. Think of a marriage. We are God’s bride. In a marriage, do you always have someone there telling you who your spouse is? What kind of intimacy or lack of would that produce? Or do you go and experience and learn about your spouse yourself?
In an intimate relationship, deep knowledge grows and trust is the fruit. Without this type of a relationship it’s difficult to truly trust because we don’t really know God. We trust what we know. If you find your trust is lacking, focus on cultivating a real relationship with God for that is where true trust blossoms.
Trust in God’s Mercy
One of the key aspects of God’s instruction is that He asks us to trust in is His mercy. It’s one of the most important qualities we trust in. Especially because we often don’t trust Him in other areas like we should! The truth and mercy go hand in hand. Psalm 61:7 There is truth about who God is to us, who we are to Him, what He desires of us, and most of us struggle with completely trusting in these areas and others as we are inundated with lies and fears. Learning to let go and trust God is a lifetime journey. So above all we need to trust in His mercy, not that we live or trust perfectly. Confusing? Hope not.
Psalm 6:4 Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake.
God is faithful. Faithful to have His grace and mercy abound toward us always, thus to fulfill His promises toward us. Especially in the midst of a trial, where our trust is being tested and being strengthened (real trust grows from our experiences not our pontificating), it’s important to keep our focus on what is right and true, like God’s faithfulness. During trials more than any other time our internal lies attack and weaken our trust in God and what He has taught us. We aren’t to give these lies a minute of our attention. When we focus our minds on who God is and not the lies, our current frustration, or the future outcome of what we think our circumstances will manifest, then we’re able to stand firm through the difficulties.
God’s faithfulness abounds toward us. Deeply knowing this truth brings peace among the storms in life, (as the rainbow breaks through the storm clouds). It isn’t a wishful thinking, but a very real reality. God wants to show Himself to us in powerful and real ways. In the midst of trials when we have reached our end is where His work becomes most apparent because we know what is done is not of us or anything else.