Summary: Last in an eight part series on the attributes of God.
Review the first 6 attributes.
God’s faithfulness is hard to define, but it is helpful to think of it as the ribbon that ties together all of God’s attributes.
A. W. Tozer:
All of God’s acts are consistent with all of His attributes. No attribute contradicts any other, but all harmonize and blend into each other in the infinite abyss of the Godhead…God, being who he is, cannot cease to be what He is, and being what He is, He cannot act out of character with Himself. He is at once faithful and immutable, so all His words and acts must be and must remain faithful.
God is faithful to his Word, to his promises, to his people, and to his character because he cannot be otherwise. You can depend on him 100 percent of the time. He will never let you down. He may not do what you want him to do exactly when you want him to or even how you want him to. He may not orchestrate it in a way you can understand it now, or perhaps ever. But he will never let you down.
How does God reveal His faithfulness?
• Through His creation
Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
Psalm 119:90 (NIV)
We see consistency in nature because the God of the universe is consistent and faithful. His creation reflects His character.
• Through His people
o Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)
o David (Psalm 132:11)
o Peter (Matthew 16:18)
• Through His character
We can have complete faith in God’s integrity.
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Numbers 23:19 (NIV)
O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.
Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)
• Through His Word
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT)
God reveals His faithfulness through the truth of His covenants, His promises, and His prophecies. He never breaks a promise or covenant and every one of His prophecies has either already come taken place or will one day take place exactly as His Word proclaims.
• Through His Son
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.
Revelation 19:11 (NIV)
Of all the titles that Jesus could have chosen at the end of time, He chose to be revealed as the one who is faithful and true.
• Through His relationship with us
Perhaps more subjective that the objective evidence above, but it is also the most personal. God reveals his faithfulness by shaping our lives:
1. When we are weak
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NIV)
Illustration: Harold Grimm
2. When we are tempted
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
We can overcome temptation 100% of the time, not because we are strong, but because God is faithful.
3. When we sin
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
Many of us have a hard time forgiving ourselves. We think that what we have done is beyond God’s ability to forgive. But the Bible is clear that when we confess our sins – any sins – God will remove them as far as the east is from the west, not because we deserve it, but because God is faithful.
4. When we fail
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us;