“If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13 ESV)
Unfaithfulness abounds in our world today. Marriages are shattered over unfaithfulness to wedding vows. Promises and contracts are broken because people are no longer true to their word. Christians say that they love God with all their heart, soul, and mind and yet they demonstrate their unfaithfulness by loving the things of this world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
In sharp contrast to the unfaithfulness of humanity stands the glorious perfection of our God’s constant faithfulness. God is faithful because He is trustworthy to act according to His word and promises. What He says He does. What He promises He fulfills. God is faithful because it is in His very nature. “He cannot deny himself.”
When we are hurt by others, our natural reaction may be, “If that is the way they are going to treat me, I’m going to give up on this relationship.” But not so with God! We can be utterly unfaithful to our Creator and He still remains faithful to us. His faithfulness surrounds Him (Psa 89:8). It will never change: “Your faithfulness endures to all generations” (Psalm 119:90 ESV).
God’s faithfulness to Christians is shown in at least four ways.
- He is faithful to you in His promises. “Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19 ESV). God has given us many exceedingly great and precious promises. But promises mean absolutely nothing unless they are actually fulfilled. Our God is a promise-keeper. He has and will fulfill every single promise He has made. God promises to save you forever. He promises to never leave you nor forsake you. He promises to glorify you some day for an eternity of joy. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV).
- He is faithful to you in temptation and trials. “In faithfulness you have afflicted me” (Psalm 119:75 ESV). God sends testing into our lives because of His faithfulness to do what is best for us according to His plan. In the midst of such affliction He is faithful to help us through (1 Cor. 10:13).
- He is faithful to you in forgiving sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 ESV). Forgiveness is guaranteed by God’s own faithfulness. He is faithful and just to forgive because His Son paid for all our sin through His all-sufficient sacrifice on the cross.
- He is faithful to you in answering prayer. “Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me” (Psalm 143:1 ESV). Think of the millions of people in the world today who are praying to false gods and man-made idols. They are praying to deaf, dumb, mute images. Their prayers are futile because they are directed toward things that do not even exist. But our God is the one true living God – He lives, He hears, He knows, and He faithfully answers the prayers of His dear children. The prophets of Baal prayed and got no response. Elijah prayed and God brought down fire (1 Kings 18).
God is faithful to you. Always. Even when we demonstrate faithlessness, He remains faithful. Fear not, doubt not, worry not, complain not. Keep trusting in Him and His faithfulness. A. W. Pink adds this encouragement:
“There are seasons in the lives of all when it is not easy, no not even for Christians, to believe that God is faithful. Our faith is sorely tried, our eyes bedimmed with tears, and we can no longer trace the outworkings of His love… Cherished plans have been thwarted, friends on whom we relied have failed us, a professed brother or sister in Christ has betrayed us. We are staggered. We sought to be faithful to God, and now a dark cloud hides Him from us. We find it difficult, yea, impossible, for carnal reason to harmonize His frowning providence with His gracious promises. Ah, faltering soul, severely tried fellow pilgrim, seek grace to heed Isaiah 50:10, ‘Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.’”