Hello Church Family,
I hope you’re having a good week. I wanted to use this week’s update to share some things the Lord has been showing me about the relationship between our faith and God’s faithfulness. I don’t plan on preaching on this anytime soon so I wanted to share it here. It may take me a few weeks to get through it.
The idea of faithfulness is an important concept in the Scripture. Especially in the OT. The concepts behind the word used for faith/faithfulness in the OT is hard to translate into English. The word closest to the word faithfulness – that you’re probably familiar with – is the word Amen. The Hebrew is “aman.”
There this idea of “strengthening” behind it. The faithfulness of a person is measured by their capacity to support you or hold you up.” If you wanted a physical picture of faithfulness you might think of the pillars that provide support for a building.
A person’s faithfulness is measured by the degree to which they are able to give you a bedrock for faith. Have you ever trusted anybody with a secret? The reason you trusted them with your secret is because they gave you a reason to be found worthy of your trust. They gave you a solid bedrock for your faith.
In that way, they were found “faithful.” They’ve demonstrated faithfulness in the past. That past faithfulness gave you a bedrock for your faith.
To keep with our word picture, you might imagine that friend you trusted with your secret holding metaphorical pillars. When you gave them your secret you said “these pillars look like a safe place to put my secret…” You made yourself vulnerable because they made you feel secure. Their faithfulness gave you a trustworthy bedrock for exercising faith.
Do you see the connection? The words faith and faithfulness are related. They intersect all the time. A person’s past faithfulness is what positions you to exercise faith.
When we apply that to the Lord the parallel is obvious. God’s faithfulness makes him a worthy object of our faith. His trustworthiness makes him worthy of our trust. His reliability makes him someone you can rely upon.
All of those ideas are contained in the word faithful. A person’s faithfulness is their “firmness, constancy, or trustworthiness.” If you’re unfaithful then you’re not steady, or constant or true. You’re unpredictable.
Let me share one more analogy before I close. Have you heard about “high fidelity” recordings? You have a high-fidelity recording when the digital reproduction of the sound closely matches the original.
The word fidelity comes from the Latin fide which is where we get our English word faith. The origin of the Latin fide comes from the Greek word pistes which means belief/trust. Before that you have the Hebrew word “aman” which means faithful.
The reason I mention the high-fidelity sound recordings is because it so perfectly captures the idea behind God’s faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is his commitment to never deviate from what’s best or what’s true.
The confidence you have when listening to a high-fidelity recording is the same kind of confidence you can have when exercising faith in God.
Why should we put faith in God. In his Word? In His purposes? Because we know those things most closely match what is real. In his Word we find what is true. His purposes are always best.
That’s why Scripture says time and time again that God is faithful. God’s faithfulness provides us with a reliable bedrock for unwavering faith. But if we’re honest, we don’t always feel that way. Right?
When are you most likely to doubt God’s faithfulness? It’s when you suffer, right? Suffering causes us to wonder whether God is faithful. If God was a worthy object of my faith then why is he causing me so much pain?
Have you ever asked that question? I have. It’s a difficult question but it’s not a new one. The authors of Scripture raise & answer that question several times. One such time is Lamentations 3.
Lamentations is a book of “Laments.” I’m going to provide a passage from Lamentations below and next week I’ll spend some time explaining it.
If you’re comfortable, I’d love to hear from you about a time when you struggled to trust in the faithfulness of God. Perhaps you are presently struggling to believe that God is faithful. If so, reply and let me know. I think I have some things to share that will help. I’m looking forward to sharing more next week.
Below you’ll find a passage from Lamentations 3:16-18; 21-23. Have a great week!
“He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord…But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:16-18; 21-23)