Today’s post is much more personal than some of the previous ones, because God’s faithfulness is very personal to me. The word faithful is not often used as a name in the Bible. In Revelation 1:5, John refers to Jesus as the faithful witness,and in Revelation 19:11 where Jesus’ second coming is foretold, He is called Faithful and True. The word faithful appears many other times in the Bible, but it serves as a description of God’s character rather than a name or title.
In today’s society, being faithful often means that a person doesn’t cheat on his or her spouse or significant other. I think it’s safe to assume that the meaning of God’s faithfulness is much more profound than that. While trying to decide where to start this post, I clicked on the Thesaurus in my word processing program, and here are some of the synonyms for faithful: true or truthful, authentic, believable, loyal, devoted, trustworthy, dependable, reliable, and committed. For anyone who has trust or abandonment issues like I have, these characteristics can be of utmost importance. Here are a few aspects of God’s faithfulness that mean the most to me.
For I the Lord do not change. Malachi 3:6a
I don’t like change. Not knowing what’s going to happen makes me feel out of control and insecure. Regardless of how I feel, though, change happens. Relationships, finances, careers, health, everything changes–except God. My understanding of Him changes as I mature spiritually, but His character, His truth, His purposes, and His love never change.
For He has said, “I will never leave your nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b
If I didn’t make it clear earlier, I have abandonment issues. Along with my aversion to change, I also take it very personally when people leave. My older brother went away to college; my neighbors moved away; my co-worker found a better job. Those changes weren’t about me, but the empty spaces that were left felt very personal. With age comes perspective, and I deal with good-byes more gracefully now. One reason I have been able to accept the reality of changing relationships is that I have a God who will always be with me.
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Number 23:19
I was never a good liar. If I tried to get away with something, it didn’t work, or if it did, I felt so guilty that it wasn’t worth it in the long run, so I usually told the truth. Maybe that’s why I was naïve enough to expect others to feel the same way and to tell the truth. It didn’t always work out that way, though, and when it didn’t, I built defenses. I’m still amazed that, when David and I met, he had the patience to love me until I let those defenses down. When he gave me my engagement ring, I cried, and he was surprised. “Why are you crying, Honey. You knew I was going to give you a ring.” I knew he said he was going to, but deep down I wasn’t sure.
David’s not perfect, but over the last fourteen years he’s shown me the human version of God’s faithfulness. When we were dating, if he said he was going to call, he did. If he said he’d see me Friday night, he was there. When he makes a promise, he keeps it.
God’s like that–you can depend on what He has said. We may not always get what we expect, because we’re trying to understand a perfect, infinite God with an imperfect, finite mind, but He always keeps His promises.
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Following are three more names of God that begin with “F”:
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. Psalms 68:5