Grace For The Journey
Fear has been a constant, albeit unbidden, companion of humanity since the fall. Concerns can range between the jitters from seeing many-legged creatures to the debilitation of a doctor’s diagnosis. We could take up several blogs considering the prevalent fear, even among Christians, of our own faithlessness. And yet, this fear of faithlessness is not the one that keeps us awake staring at the ceiling in the dark night of the soul, or when hopes are dashed or finances dry up, or relationships crumble, or persecution bites.
If we allow ourselves a moment of honesty, in times of trials and suffering, there tends to be a voice that does not strive against our faithlessness but calls into question the faithfulness of God. Will He come through? Will He do what He has promised? Will He provide? Will He heal? Will He save? Will He strengthen? He will hold me fast. Will He?
The soul-crippling fear of the Lord’s faithlessness is worthy of a heated battle. Indeed, we must strive against the fear of the Lord’s faithlessness. How shall we fight against it? The key overcoming this fear begins with an understanding of this biblical principle:
My obedience to God is
An obedience that occurs second:
God keeps His word.
He always remains faithful.
Our obedience is certainly required in Scripture. We are to “be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). In a real sense, a person’s assurance, comfort, and hope hangs in the balance regarding his glad-hearted obedience or soul-deluding disobedience. As crucial as hearing God’s word is, the testimony of Scripture is that the end of proper hearing is action.
What James wrote propositionally,
Jesus painted pictorially through
The image of a constructed house.
Jesus states in Luke 6:46-49, “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
When we are hearers only of God’s Word, we become deceived and in as much danger as a beautiful home without a solid foundation. By grace, resolve to be like the owner who built his unshakable house on the firm foundation by being a doer of the Word.
But . . .
There is a more significant and
Fundamentally firmer foundation.
All of reality rests on this foundation.
Creation, redemption, sanctification,
And glorification rests on this foundation.
Our God is a keeper of His word.
Our God is faithful to keep what He has promised because He is righteous in His character. It is the testimony of Scripture from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 that our God will do what He said He would do. The Bible proclaims in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? Did he say it? Won’t he do it?
Woven into the very fabric
Of the nature of God
Is His faithfulness.
In the proclamation of His name to Moses, loyalty is no minor trait. He abounds in faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). The song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:4 captures Who the Lord is through the picture of a reliable rock. “He is the Rock, His way is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of truth and without iniquity, just and upright is He.”
Would there be any greater dismay in the entire universe than an unfaithful God who failed to keep his word?
As Joshua’s final charge to Israel included the reminder that not one word had failed of all the good things that the Lord promised – all had come to pass (Joshua 23:14). The Psalmist gives us good soul food for our hearts to feast upon every time we step outside and look up at the vastness of the sky in Psalm 36:5, “Your mercy, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds.”
A beam of hopeful light pierces through the dark exilic clouds of Lamentations 3:21-23, “This I recall to mind, 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.” Gladly we sing, “There is no shadow of turning with Thee.” We discover Him to be, “The Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to turning” (James 1:17). Mightily we can stand against the fear of a faithless God.
Romans 3:3-4 tells us that human unbelief has no bearing on the Lord’s faithfulness. “What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every man were a liar, as it is written, ‘That You may be justified in Your words and prevail when You are judged.’” The Bible tells in 2 Timothy 2:13 there is a good reason why this is so, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.”
The supremely tremendous
And continual declaration
From the Word of God is
That above all things
Our Triune God is
Faithful to Himself.
There is profound encouragement in knowing that our God is faithful to His own.
Spiritual fortitude in the face of fear
Finds its source in God’s
Deeper commitment to Himself.
His faithfulness to us
Is the fruit of
His allegiance to Himself.
Here is where hope in the most challenging circumstances finds fertile soil to grow and flourish. Here is the battleground where the fear of the Lord’s faithlessness is fought. The Bible declares in Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His Word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear …”
The ground of our hope is
Our Lord’s faithfulness
To His Word.
He has promised us great things. Won’t He do them? Do you think He wouldn’t follow His own rules? If we are to be doers of His word and not hearers only, it rests fundamentally on the fact that God is a doer of His word. The fear of God’s faithlessness is an irrational fear. By grace, like Job, make a covenant with the eyes of your faith to keep them locked on the facts of God’s faithfulness.
We can then, “Hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”