The word “always” is frequently misused in our everyday conversations, simply because the definition and its application often do not match. The definition of “always” is “at all times.” If you think about it, no one is “always” late or “always” on time, but when we speak of the faithfulness of God, always is the correct word. God is always faithful to His promises, and understanding this attribute is the key to the life of faith that we long to experience.
If you desire a stronger faith, then isolate a difficulty and find a promise in the Bible that speaks to that problem. In Deuteronomy 7:9 the Lord is called “the faithful God.” Psalm 36:5 says that His faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 37:3 tells us to “feed on His faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “…His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” As we trust the Lord to be faithful to His promises, we experience an inner peace that crowds worry to the corners of our minds, and then out the door.
When we realize that God is faithful to every promise He has made in the Bible—it instantly revamps our perspective. We can become Abraham-like, following in the footsteps of the man who “did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:20-21). He is always faithful to His promises.
Likewise God is always faithful to His plan. The books of Daniel and Revelation (among other passages in the Bible) lay out God’s plan for the ages. One of the joys of my ministry has been studying biblical prophecy and teaching the doctrine of the end times. Prophecy and providence go hand in hand. Prophecy is the prediction of what God is going to do; and providence is His engineering of events to accomplish it. Providence is God guiding the course of global history as well as the affairs of the individual lives of His children.
He knows the plans He has for us; our steps are ordered by the Lord; and He leads us in an appointed way. When tragedies befall us, we can’t minimize or ignore them; but with the passing of time we increasingly understand that “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”
George Truett was thirty when he was named pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. His life took a tragic turn when he accidentally fired his gun and killed the Dallas Chief of Police during a hunting trip. Truett was inconsolable in his grief. He felt certain that he would never return to the pulpit. But Psalm 31 came forcibly to mind: “But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD… My times are in Your hand…” (14-15). Finally, it was announced that Truett would return to the pulpit, and churches across Dallas cancelled their services to join him as a sign of support. He made it through the service and remained pastor of the church for the rest of his life. During his tenure, church membership increased from 700 to 7000. The tragedy at the beginning of his ministry led to a helplessness of heart that enabled God to take over.
Our heartaches cannot be downplayed. They often cannot be understood. But God is bigger than our burdens, and He is always faithful to His providential plans for our days.
God is always faithful to His people. How important it is to remember that truth! Even during a season of thanksgiving, we’re prone to worry. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by world events or with personal circumstances. But the One who has promised is faithful.
This is the time of year when our minds whipsaw from elections to thanksgiving; but come what may don’t grow frenzied, troubled, or panicked. You’re under God’s providential care. Our God is faithful to His promises, His plans, and His people.
He is faithful to you. He always has been; He always will be.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
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Some days we feel like winners. Other days we feel like losers. But for the child of God, there’s never really a losing season. It’s important to know what the score is. I’d like to point you to the great scoreboard of the Word of God and show you some winning numbers.
If you know Christ as your Savior, the score is always 13-5, as in Hebrews 13:5: For He himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Those words were penned to a group of Hebrew Christians who were growing discouraged by opposition and threats of persecution. In writing to them, the author of Hebrews reminded them of a thrice-given promise made to Joshua.
In the Book of Hebrews, we learn that this wasn’t just Joshua’s promise. It’s a universal promise for all God’s children. The writer of Hebrews told his readers they could claim it for themselves, and so can you.
Know the One Who Knows!
Sometimes in life, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Of course, what you know is vitally important. But think of it this way: The less you know, the more important who you know becomes.
Think about some examples from biblical history:
•A New World: God wanted Noah and his family to be the ones to populate the new world after the Flood. It meant building an ark, loading the animals, collecting food, floating for 150 days, then establishing a new human order. It wasn’t what Noah knew that was important; it was only important that he “walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).
•A New Nation: When it came time for God to create a people through whom to bring a Savior into the world, He chose Abraham. God told Abraham and his family to leave their home and travel to a land called Canaan where God promised to do something great through him. So Abraham left “not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). It wasn’t what Abraham knew that was important; it was only important that he was “the friend of God” (James 2:23).
•A New Calling: Jesus told Andrew and Peter, James and John, and others to follow Him, that He would make them fishers of men. They didn’t know where Jesus was going, which meant they didn’t know where they were going. But they laid down their vocations and took up His. It wasn’t what the first disciples knew that was important; it was only important that they had “found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote” (John 1:45).
•A New Faith: Paul was confronted by Jesus and commissioned to carry the Name of Christ “before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Paul had been called to a new faith and had more questions than answers. It wasn’t important what Paul didn’t know; it was only important that he had come to “know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10).
In each of these instances, people were given a new vision to consider—and very few details. But more important than what they knew was Who they knew. And the same is true when God gives us a vision for a new venture.An Abundant Harvest
In 1914 Thomas Edison’s laboratory caught on fire. When he realized how big the blaze was, Edison sent word to his family and friends, “Get down here quick. You may never again see anything like this!”
Edison lost 2 million dollars in equipment and the record of a life’s work. Walking through the rubble with his son Charles, he said, “There’s a great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”
How many would be able to respond with gratitude after such loss? Giving thanks to God, Edison started anew. Many great inventions came after his laboratory burned.
How can we reap the benefits of a thankful heart all year long?
Looking back on The Jesus You May Not Know, are you wondering what to do with all that you learned? Today, Dr. David Jeremiah shares practical tools for building a deeper intimacy with Christ than you’ve known before.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah