What images do the words ‘faithful’ and ‘faithfulness’ bring to our minds? We might think of an ancient butler, ‘the faithful retainer’, the good and faithful servant. Or we might think of ‘a faithful friend’ who sticks with us through thick and thin. As examples of faithfulness other people might think first about a pet dog, or a ‘faithful wife/husband’. Sermons on faithfulness usually focus on a call for us to be faithful to God. Tonight I want us to think not about us being faithful, but about God being faithful. I want us to reflect on the faithfulness of God.
What do the words ‘faithful’ and ‘faithfulness’ actually mean? If somebody is faithful, it means we can trust them. We can rely on them. They will keep their promises to us. And God is truly faithful, more trustworthy, more reliable than any human being we may know. God will keep His promises to us.
God’s faithfulness is an expression of His eternal nature and His unchanging character. God revealed Himself as the faithful God to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Exodus 34: 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”
Deuteronomy 7 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. 10 But
those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.
11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
Psalm 145 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
So the people of God respond to His faithfulness in prayer and worship.
Psalm 71:22 I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
Psalm 89:5-8 5 The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD?
Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?
7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
he is more awesome than all who surround him.
8 O LORD God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
Psalm 98: 1 Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Psa 100: 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psa 117 1 Praise the LORD, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
2 For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD
God is always faithful. So we need never fear that God will let us down. God’s love will never run out!
We experience God’s faithfulness in a variety of ways.
1 Cor 1 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
1 Corinthians 10 13 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 Thessalonians 33 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
Psalm 143 1 O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
Psa 146 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
6 the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the alien
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
We experience God’s faithfulness from day to day!
Great Is Thy Faithfulness O God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions,
they fail not: As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon, and stars in their
course above, Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great
faithfulness, mercy, and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer
and to guide, Strength for today and bright hope foe tomorrow- Blessings all
mine, with ten thousand beside!
We may not be as aware of God’s faithfulness as Christians who serve him in more difficult and challenging circumstances. Overseas missionaries depend on God’s faithfulness.
Missionary statesman Hudson Taylor had complete trust in God’s faithfulness. In his journal he wrote: “Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning … He sustained 3 million Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. We do not expect He will send 3 million missionaries to China; but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all … Depend on it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”
• “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does not wrong, upright and just is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,to the one who seeks him;
So now spend some time responding to God, the Faithful God, in reflection, praise and prayer!