Summary: 14th message in a series on the wonder of God as our loving Father. This message continues the discussion of God's faithfulness to His children.
“The Faithfulness Factor” Pt 2
(The Fatherhood of God Pt 14)
IX. The Faithfulness Factor
We entrust our souls to Dad’s insistent faithfulness.
We live in a world of unfaithfulness; people fail, falter, forget, forsake their commitments on a regular basis. We learned that only God is absolutely faithful to Himself, His word, His creatures.
A. What is faithfulness?
The core concept has to do with dependability and trust to carry out what is promised.
Words like dependable, reliable, trustworthy, steadfast, true, loyal, committed, consistent, unfailing, unwavering. It could apply to people or things or animals. We all know by observation and experience that no one or no things is or ever has been absolutely faithful.
For any number of reasons people and things fail because people and things are fallible.
B. What causes unfaithfulness?
Lack of interest or commitment
Lack of knowledge or insight
Lack of ability or skill
Lack of authority or influence
Lack of energy
Lack of time
Lack of memory
Lack of discipline or self-control
Sin and selfishness
None of the factors that cause unfaithfulness in people and things applies to God.
Only God is infallible.
C. What makes God faithful?
Since His love is perfect, He is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere at all times, eternal unchanging, truth, holy, just, kind, merciful -- He is by nature faithful. He never falters, forgets, forsakes, forfeits His word. He NEVER fails. He must be faithful; He can be nothing else.
He is faithful in all things at all times. Psa 33:1-5 He says what He means and does what He says. Deut 7:7-11 His faithfulness is forever. Psa 100:4-5 His faithfulness is immeasurable. Psalm 36:5-9 His faithfulness is GREAT! Lam 3:19 He is clothed in faithfulness. Psalm 89:1-8
D. How do we know God is faithful?
1. Creation declares God’s faithfulness
2. The Bible records continual historical accounts of God’s faithfulness
3. People tell stories of God’s faithfulness
4. We have personally experienced God’s faithfulness
5. Scripture declares God’s faithfulness in spite of circumstances
Last week we reviewed Jeremiah’s powerful declaration of God’s faithfulness even though nothing about his circumstances had changed.
The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." Lamentations 3:22-24
Just moments before that powerful declaration, Jeremiah had written a heart-wrenching expression of his utter hopelessness and the depletion of his strength to go on. Jeremiah had trudged through 18 months of horrifying devastation brought on by the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Jerusalem had fallen. All of the able bodied and healthy had been deported and carried off to Babylon. Jeremiah sat in the ashes of Jerusalem surrounded by the weak and confirmed an aged. One could hardly blame him for his loss of hope. Hadn’t God promised to deliver his people? What about all the glorious promises of a beautiful Jerusalem and a blooming desert? Jeremiah saw none of it. The key to Jeremiah is miraculous transformation of perspective can be found in verse 21.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Lamentations 3:19-21
What did Jeremiah recall to mind? He remembered the eternal declaration of divine Scriptures in spite of the present dilemma of desperate situations. He understood that God’s mercies are new every morning whether we perceive them or not. Jeremiah’s transformation came about not by a dramatic change in his circumstances, but by a radical change in his perspective. He gained the eternal perspective necessary to cope with the temporal problems. The key to Jeremiah’s turnabout is the same key that has enabled millions to deal with life in a fallen and tragedy filled world. It is the same key that has enabled parents to cope with the loss of their children. It is the same key that has enabled persecuted Christians to maintain their faith through horrible atrocities. It is the same key that inspires hope in spite of broken dreams, ill health, impending doom, broken families, traumatic childhoods, economic disasters, unexpected and oft times undeserved personal tragedies. Hebrews 11 lists a group of people who faced impossible situations with unfaltering faith. Abel’s service pleased God and he was murdered by his brother Cain. Noah endured years of persecution and ridicule. Abraham left the security of his homeland. Moses chose to endure ill-treatment in order to serve God rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of Egypt’s riches. Gideon faced an army of thousands with only 300 men.
Daniel chose to face the ravages of hungry lions rather than deny is God. Some of those faithful experienced miraculous deliverance from monumental difficulties. Others died clinging to an unshakable faith in a faithful God. Hebrews 11:13-16 Hebrews 11:33-38
What was the key to their endurance? What is the key to our endurance?