Devotion 5: “The Faithfulness of God”

April  2nd – 6th,  2018

Dr. Allen Roberts, Pastor
Euclid Avenue Baptist Church
Bristol, Virginia

Our God and Savior is ever faithful.

Read that above statement again— intentionally, deliberately, meditatively.

Now, the question:  Do you believe this?

As I have prepared to write this particular devotion, the Holy Spirit has brought out into the light for me a subtle temptation so many of us are prone to embrace when facing a daunting task or obstacle.  The temptation is for us to look primarily at one another with respect to our capabilities, our knowledge and experience, our positions of influence, and the financial resources we might possess rather than the faithfulness of Almighty God.  Church, we must rely upon the faithfulness of Almighty God first and foremost in all things.  He alone deserves the rightful place of preeminence in our lives.  He alone is worthy of all our trust, our obedience, the devotion of our hearts, our praise and adoration.

The vision which I believe the Lord is putting before us as a church family is greater than ourselves.  This vision certainly qualifies as a “daunting task.”  We are in need of preparing to build a new structure that would house a new worship center, new educational space, even a new kitchen and fellowship hall area.  A second part of this vision will involve turning our current sanctuary into a Christian Life Center as a tool to reach out to the families here in our community.  We are talking about a vision that will demand an incredible amount diligence and determination with regard to the planning, the preparation, the financial resources that will be needed, and the actual construction work that will be done.

If you and I choose to pursue this vision as a church family only from a limited, human perspective, then we probably have every reason to be overwhelmed with the discouragement that is birthed by our doubt and unbelief.  But let us remember that, as followers of Jesus, we are a people called out “to walk by faith, not by sight” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:7).

Church, I want to encourage you with a thought which the Holy Spirit instilled within my heart and mind many years ago.  He has used this statement to remind me of His great faithfulness through the seasons of my life.  The statement is this:  “When the vision is initiated by God, I don’t have to be afraid of its magnitude.”

Allow me to mention two specific reasons as to why we can embrace the above statement:

  • One, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • Then, two, our God and Savior is ever faithful.

Again, the question begs to be asked:  Do you believe this?

As a means of encouraging and enabling us to recognize the faithfulness of God in renewed faith, I want to mention three factors which are intricately related to demonstrating God’s faithfulness to His people.  I urge you to take your time to meditate upon each of these respective factors in relation to each accompanying passage of Scripture.

First, let us consider the character of God’s person.  Every good and perfect gift that we experience in this life comes from the hand and heart of our God, who does not change (cf. Malachi 3:6 & James 1:17).  He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  We even have this assurance from God’s Word, that… “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Because of the character of His person, our God and Savior is ever faithful.  Do you and I believe this?

Second, let us look back to the consistency of God’s provision.  There are three biblical examples I feel led to mention here, beginning with Moses.  God provided for every need that Moses and the people of Israel faced together, from their last days of bondage in Egypt to the very moment in which the exodus from that nation took place (cf. Exodus 3:1 – 12:51).  Even as the Israelites began their wilderness journey, God proved the faithfulness of His character by meeting every need they encountered:  for direction (cf. Exodus 13:17 – 22); for deliverance and protection (cf. Exodus 14:1 – 22); for drinking water (cf. Exodus 15:22 – 27 & 17:1 – 7); for food (cf. Exodus 16:1 – 36); for victory in battle (cf. Exodus 17:8 – 16).

Those passages mentioned above are the ones with which most of us have some degree of familiarity.  But I want to draw our attention to Exodus 35:1 – 40:38.  The closing chapters of Exodus focus upon the construction of the Tabernacle.  God gave specific instructions through Moses with regard to how the Tabernacle was to be constructed, the materials that were to be used, even when they would work on the Tabernacle and then rest from the work.

Let us take note of Exodus 36:2 – 7, in particular.  The materials which were used to construct the Tabernacle were given by the people.  As a matter of fact, the Bible says that the people brought before Moses “freewill offerings every morning” (v.3).  They did so until the craftsmen, the skilled workers, told Moses one day that the people had already brought more than enough to complete the task of building the Tabernacle of God.  Moses had to actually restrain the people from giving anymore to the building of God’s sanctuary, because “the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done— indeed too much” (v.7).

So, how was this generation of Israelites— who had only known a life of slavery and bondage in Egypt— able to give so generously and frequently to the building of God’s sanctuary?  God provided them with much of the wealth of the Egyptians the night of the exodus (cf. Exodus 12:31 – 36).

With regard to the consistency of God’s provision for His people, let’s now turn our attention to Nehemiah.  You know his story.  Upon hearing of the ruin of Jerusalem, Nehemiah’s soul was burdened to go to the beloved city of his ancestors and rebuild its walls and gates.  This part of Israel’s history is not only about the obedience of men like Nehemiah and Ezra, and the people who willingly followed God’s leadership through them.  The emphasis is also upon the faithfulness of God Himself.

You see, God moved upon the heart of King Artaxerxes to give permission for Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and rebuild its walls and gates, to make available all of the necessary provisions that would be needed for both travel and construction, and to grant even the military protection Nehemiah and his caravan would need (cf. Nehemiah 2:1 – 10).  Once in Jerusalem, Nehemiah took a few days to survey the situation, and then poured out the vision God had put within his heart to rebuild Jerusalem to the people.  And God moved upon the hearts of His people to “set their hands to do this good work” (cf. Nehemiah 2:11 – 18).

In other words, the people united together in both vision and purpose, and brought before the Lord all that they had to contribute to this great task.  Those people put their shoulders to the task, and in only 52 days, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt!  All of this was done in the face of impossible odds (from a human perspective), against unrelenting opposition and pressures from adversaries, and in spite of the voices of doubt and discouragement among some of the people (cf. Nehemiah 3:1 – 32 & 6:15 – 17).  Again, God met the needs of His people, and worked through them to accomplish His purposes.

Finally, I want to call to our minds Jesus’ miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 (cf. Matthew 14:13 – 21).  At the conclusion of a long day of ministry, the disciples urged Jesus to send all of those people away so that they could find food for themselves.  But Jesus responded to them by saying, “They do not need to go away.  You give them something to eat” (v.16).

The disciples then pointed out to Jesus that the only food available was a boy’s meager lunch of five loaves and two fish.  There was no way that it was humanly possible for them to feed all of those families— 5,000 men, besides the women and children (v.21)— with such a paltry amount of food.  They were in dire need of a miracle, and they were prime candidates to see Jesus do just that!

Once those disciples acknowledged their own inadequacy to meet the needs of the people, Jesus asked but one thing of them.  He said to them, “Bring them here to Me” (v.18).  Jesus then blessed those five small, pancake-type loaves of bread, along with those two fish, and then fed all of those families with what the disciples had brought to Him.  And they even had twelve baskets of leftovers remaining after everyone had eaten and were filled!

What is the point for us?  Especially as we acknowledge our own inadequacies and insufficiencies to meet the needs before us and around us, the Lord only asks that we bring to Him what we have.  We must trust Him to bless and multiply whatever we may bring to Him and entrust to His hand and will.

Because of the consistency of His provision in meeting the needs of His people, our God and Savior is ever faithful.  Do you and I believe this?

The third factor we need to ponder is the comfort of God’s promises.  The following promises of God certainly do not comprise an exhaustive list, but I am convinced that they are ones which resonate within our hearts and minds.  I believe that there is no substitute for the comfort of God’s promised presence in our lives.  What greater comfort is there than hearing, or reading, these words:  “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5), or those of, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen” (Matthew 28:20b)?

Let us consider as well the comfort of God’s promised peace for our lives.  The peace and power of God’s sustaining grace are spoken of in passages such as Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7.  And fresh measures of His sustaining grace are available to us with each new day!

Lastly, meditate upon the comfort of God’s promised provision for our lives.  The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, encouraging them in the grace of giving with these words:  “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Through the comfort of His written promises to us, may our faith be greatly increased as we remember that our God and Savior is ever faithful.  And again, I must ask:  Do you and I believe this?

Scripture passages for reading and meditation:

  • Malachi 3:6  \  James 1:17  \  Hebrews 13:8  \  2 Timothy 2:13  \  Revelation 19:11 – 16
  • Exodus 36:2 – 7  \  Nehemiah 2:17 – 18  &  3:1 – 32  &  6:15 – 17  \  Matthew 14:13 – 21
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 – 7  \  Joshua 1:5  \  Hebrews 13:5  \  Matthew 28:20b
  • Psalm 55:22  \  1 Peter 5:7
  • Philippians 4:19

“Never Once”

by Matt Redman

Standing on this mountaintop

Looking just how far we’ve come

Knowing that for every step

You were with us

Kneeling on this battleground

Seeing just how much You’ve done

Knowing every victory

Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way

But with joy our hearts can say

Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone

Never once did You ever leave us on our own

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Carried by Your constant grace

Held within Your perfect peace

Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone

Never once did You ever leave us on our own

Every step we are breathing in Your grace

Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

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