Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; (NKJV)
(Previous devotionals can be found at www.seriousfaith.com)
It is my opinion, that God’s faithfulness is the single most important fact of Christianity. Why? If God were not faithful, then we have nothing to place our hope in. If God is not faithful, then we cannot trust what the Bible says about any subject, any person or any promise. We can’t trust in Jesus; we can’t hope for salvation; we can’t have peace; we can’t expect the promises to come true. If God is not faithful, we would have to live in constant fear of losing our salvation and being attacked by Satan. If God is not faithful, we would have to constantly worry about what will happen the moment we die. If God is not faithful, then there truly is absolutely nothing to live for, nothing to hope in.
There is no middle ground. God is 100% faithful, or not at all. God can’t be “mostly” faithful. He cannot even be 99.9% faithful. If there is any unfaithfulness whatsoever in God, then He is a fraud by His own definition. God’s faithfulness is the foundation upon which everything about Christianity is built.
So far we have learned:
- Truth 1 – God is Faithful; the Bible declares it plainly; history proves it. We have found out that the meaning of “faithfulness” as applied to God can be summed up by saying: “God is a Person who we can absolutely depend on, find security in, and lean upon.” (Deut 7.9; 1Cor 1.9; 1Cor 10.13; 1Thess 5.24; 2Thess 3.3; 1John 1.9; Prov 14.5; Matt 24.45-46; 1Tim 1.15)
- Truth 2 – God’s faithfulness is not average; it is great and limitless; God’s faithfulness has no exceptions; whatever He promises or declares will happen. The universe would come and go a million times before one letter or breath from God was not fulfilled. You can count on God. He is faithful always, 100% of the time. (Deut 7.9; Lam 3.22-24)
- Truth 3 – God’s faithfulness reaches to the heavens and skies; God’s faithfulness reaches farther and higher than any circumstance or trial we will ever face. If God’s faithfulness reaches to the heavens, it is certainly capable of reaching every area of our life. (Deut 7.9; Psa 36.5; Psa 89.2)
- Truth 4 – Everything God does is done in faithfulness; God operates from faithfulness. There is no question about it, it is an assumed fact. Every word, every thought, every decision, every wish, every command, every declaration… all done in complete faithfulness. Whatever God purposes, WILL come to pass. (Deut 7.9; Psa 33.4)
- Truth 5 – God’s faithfulness is manifested when He stands by His people and saves them even when they are unfaithful to Him. God’s faithfulness is undeterred by man’s actions; when God promises to complete something, or make something happen, it is not dependent on anything but His will. We can have hope because our security is in God’s faithfulness, not our own abilities. (2Tim 2.13; Heb 10.23; Deut 7.9; 1Kings 8.56; Psa 89.3; Psa 119.89-90; 1Sam 12.20-22)
- Truth 6 – God’s faithfulness is manifested in His not allowing His children to be tempted beyond what they are able to endure; God has promised to keep us from temptation that we cannot endure, and to always provide a way of escape (1Cor 10.12-13). We will never face a choice to sin that is so strong we are truly unable to say no. God also protects us from Satan who prowls about seeking whom he may devour (2Thess 3.3; 2 Cor. 2:11; 11:3; Matt. 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:26; Luke 22:31; 1 Tim. 3:6; Rev. 12:12; 1 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:9, 24). Every day that we live that we are not suffering like Job, is a day to thank God for His protection from Satan’s persecution.
- Truth 7 – The faithfulness of God is shown by the fact that He calls us – then protects, preserves, and sanctifies us; God is faithful to finish everything He starts. He will see us through all the way to the end. God calls us, and He does not fail in anything He does. We can be confident that whatever God has started in us (salvation, sanctification), He will make sure it is completed (1Cor 1.8-9; 1Thess 5.23-24; Phil 1.6).
Truth 8: God’s faithfulness is manifested in His chastening of His children when they go astray.
Good parents discipline, correct and redirect their children as they make mistakes, make bad choices and when they succumb to their childish impulses. We also chastise them when they simply choose sin over Godliness. We let them feel the consequences of their choice while teaching them the rewards of choosing righteousness. As adults, we are no different. We are just more sophisticated, more subtle and more determined to justify our sinful desires.
God loves us with a greater love than we are even capable of comprehending; so of course He is going to discipline us when we choose to destroy our lives and dishonor Him with our sin. Unlike human parents though, God’s discipline is perfect, loving, just and effective – always, 100% of the time. So we don’t have to fear or hope to avoid God’s chastisement; on the contrary, we should take comfort in knowing that we have the Perfect Father watching over us who will always have our best interests at heart, and while uncomfortable (even painful), His discipline will always result in healing and restoration.
- John 10:28-29 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. (NKJV)
We belong to God. No one can take us from Him. God is greater than all. I start with this verse to establish God’s love for us which provides the foundation for this next verse:
- Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” (NKJV)
If God loves you, He disciplines you. This should not be hard to understand. As a parent, you will correct and chasten your child because you love him. You’re not being mean or selfish or abusive. You discipline your kids for their own good, because you love them. If we, being created in God’s image, understand this, how much more does it make sense that our Perfect Heavenly Father needs to chastise us for our own good?
- Psalm 119:75 I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. (NKJV)
God chastens us because He has declared that we are to be holy, and that He will present us blameless and spotless as the Bride to Christ; therefore, in His faithfulness, He chastises and disciplines us so that His promise will be true. God’s declarations must come true, and sometimes He must correct and discipline us to get us lined up with His will.
Truth 9: God’s faithfulness is manifested in His forgiving His children when they confess their sins.
Our confidence that God will forgive our sins when confessed rests upon two known facts about God: God is righteous and God is faithful. To doubt that your sin is forgiven when you have confessed it is to question His righteousness and His faithfulness as well as His integrity. It is not humility, but presumption to doubt that you are forgiven.
- 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)
This is one of the greatest hopes and comforts for Christians. We struggle and fight and wrestle with sin; but we don’t have to despair or become hopeless because God is ALWAYS faithful to forgive us when we turn in repentance to Him and ask for mercy. When God forgives, it’s not the conditional or fragile human type of forgiveness (Psa 103.12). When God forgives, He eternally forgets and to Him it’s as if that sin never happened (with regards to God holding it against us; we may still have some consequences to deal with).
Truth 10: God’s faithfulness is manifested in His answering the prayers of His children.
The righteousness, mercy, and faithfulness of God all work in harmony to see that our earnest prayers are answered because God has pledged the deliverance, defense, and complete and eternal salvation of His people.
- Psalm 143:1-2 Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness. Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous. (NKJV)
- Psalm 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: (KJV)
God takes pleasure in answering the faithful prayers of His obedient and holy children. Again, think of human parents. What parent does not take joy in granting the requests of a child who is obedient and loving? If we as human parents know how to respond to our children in love, and give good gifts to them, how much more does our Loving God know how to do the same (Matt 7.11)?
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Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will wrap up the series with a summary and some closing thoughts.
Lord, Help us to know that when You discipline us, it is because You love us. Help us to embrace the joy and freedom that comes with having our sins forgiven each and every time we sincerely confess them. Thank You for loving us and answering our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Contemplation: An immature or spoiled child gets angry when their parents discipline them? How do you react when God has to chastise you? Do you even recognize it when it occurs? Do you embrace, enjoy and appreciate God’s willingness to forgive? Or do you abuse the privilege? If we abuse God’s forgiveness, do you think we are really getting God’s forgiveness? When life is hard, do you think God has quit answering prayer? Does comfort, ease and good times equal answered prayers? How do you know if God is answering your prayers? Are their any conditions on it?
Application: God disciplines and corrects us because He loves us, period. He’s not trying to take away our fun, nor does He get some sadistic pleasure over seeing us suffer. Unlike human parents, there is never a hint of revenge, frustration or pay back in God’s chastisement. God’s chastisement is leading us towards the confessing of our sin which God is always faithful to grant forgiven. If you want what’s best for your own kids, how much more do you think God wants what is best for us?
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?