Like many of you, I have attended at least one or two marriage ceremonies. As we listen to the couple recite their wedding vows, they pledge their faithfulness to each other until death separates them. In other words, they pledge their constancy for a lifetime with each other, even if new circumstances show up during their marriage. They establish a covenant with each other.
But like the weather, circumstances can cause changes in the atmosphere. The grass seems greener with another person or money, infidelity, personality and/or career changes, family circumstances and a host of other unforeseen happenings become the toxins for faithlessness and a broken marriage covenant.
Symbolic of a faithless marriage, our current environment is flooded with distrust, guided by untruth and ruled by negative words. Our surroundings are so offensive and caustic that we find ourselves questioning the faithfulness of God.
You can be assured there is no reason to question God’s faithfulness. Faithfulness, like His eternal love for mankind, is a characteristic of God as our “faithful creator.” God’s fidelity to His covenant promises can never be made void by the unfaithfulness of His human creations. His faithfulness is the foundation of comfort during suffering and tribulation.
Joseph’s ordeals were one of the most colossal displays of God’s faithfulness. He was tormented by his brothers, thrown into a pit and left for dead, sold into slavery, accused of adultery and placed in prison, but was elevated by the warden to commander. God’s faithfulness is dramatically revealed by Joseph’s miraculous triumph over all his dreadful circumstances. Pharoah placed Joseph in charge of the entire Egyptian kingdom and Joseph saved his family and the entire world from famine. (Genesis 37-41)
In case you were wondering, God is not an Old Testament God fulfilling only the promises of Israel. He is a God who applies His attributes to all of His creations. The twelve disciples of Jesus were living Epistles of the faithfulness of God. Through His gracious promises, He is the secure object of trust and forgiveness through the death and resurrection of His Son. He is Omnipotent (all powerful/no rival or equal). He is Omnipresent (He is always there; He never slumbers or sleeps). He is unchangeable—even when man is unfaithful.
To seal His faithfulness, God has given us promises to cover every area of our life so that we may trust ourselves to Him even when we are suffering. His promises are always “yes” and “amen.”
To list only a few:
Here is the best part to take away from all of this: Never give up hope! The fulfillment of God’s promises depends not upon humankind, but on the fidelity of God. There is nothing hidden from God.
God’s faithfulness is absolute, even if everyone else is a liar.
Many of you may recall the classic secular film The Wizard of Oz. (It’s older than all of us). One of its themes focuses on a tin man, a scarecrow, and a cowardly lion who seek character traits that, in their minds, they do not possess but which would add success to their life journey. They sought the advice and help of the “Great Oz.”
Many of us identify different pursuits and then try to find ways to achieve victory. Sometimes we make decisions based on our personal, mindful instincts. Other times we may consult more worldly advice, books, other successful persons, family, friends and team members, horoscopes, fortune tellers, or other tangible sources that we may be convinced can offer help in making decisions.
Far too often we make life-changing decisions without seeking any Godly direction—marriage, relationships, children, politics, career, business, finances.
Although we all want to make the right decisions (choices), sometimes in panic and fear we seek advice from the wrong source(s).
Solomon, son of David and King of Israel, realized that governing the people of Israel at his youthful age was a daunting task. He asked God for wisdom and knowledge to govern the people. (2 Chronicles 1:10) Not only did the Lord God grant him wisdom as no other king ever had, but he granted him insight, understanding, and unimaginable wealth.
God’s human creations are generally self-conscious and self-centered. Our decisions sometimes resemble a runaway train that is gone off the track with us desperately trying to reverse the throttle to get it to go in the right direction. Whoever simply trusts in his or her own thoughts and instincts, is bound to go wrong. Wisdom to make the right decisions in all things about true life and godliness, needs God’s explicit grace to cultivate and season us in our decisions.
“A man’s steps are decided by the Lord.” (Proverbs 20:24)
Making decisions can be exceedingly difficult, even given a spiritual attitude. Continual attention must be given to listening for and seeking wisdom from the Spirit of God concerning every aspect of life.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
When it comes to making life decisions, don’t depend upon your own intellect or the advice of someone else to accurately hit the bullseye. Surrender your thoughts to the Spirit of the Lord. Let God’s wisdom be in charge!
I have become increasingly aware that just because one has a great education does not make him or her flawless in the use of a word. We often are clueless concerning how many shades of meaning can be applied. Me too!
The word good is among the unique words in the English language that is applied in a variety of senses. It can be used as an adjective (descriptive) adverb (where, when, how) or noun (person, place, or thing). It more commonly portrays a positive feeling about something or someone, although, it is used occasionally when speaking against a negative outcome, e.g., not good.
Quite often when you speak to someone about their spiritual commitment to God they respond, “I am a ‘good’ person.” My question is “Why do you call yourself good?” Maybe you are involved in several charitable causes; you are a community volunteer; you are a social and community advocate; or you are a kind and generous person. In other words, you achieve many good things.
Although these are all examples of good acts, there is one noisy hiccup in believing you are good because of what you accomplish or what you do. The written Word tells us “There is none good but God.” (Mark 10:18; Luke: 18:19)
This may seem like a contradiction since God in the beginning “saw that everything He created ‘was good’.” Man and woman were created in the “image of God.”
If we fast forward in the story beyond God’s six days of creation, we see that His human creations disobeyed a direct command that resulted in a spiritual change between God and man. Immediately, there was also a spiritual change in the soul of mankind.
Previously innocent, mankind inherited the sentence of death. This sentence came as a package deal and included pouches of character defects that alienate him and her from a good and perfect God. These became embedded in the soul of human creations and interfere with God’s life purpose for each of us. Examples of some of these secret defects are:
To restore a perfect relationship with God will require that mankind find acceptance and rest in Him as their standard of good. God offers us the blessing of restoration through His Son. He brings light that overcomes those secret things that lurk in our soul. God’s restoration brings benefits: eternal love, blessings, forgiveness, and grace (favor).
Here is one of God’s blessings and thoughts toward all who read this:
“May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
God is good all the time, and apart from true devotion to God, there is no true good. Cling to The Good!