“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
The epic display of God’s faithfulness to His people is woven into history from the first words of Genesis to the last “Amen” of Revelation. The Lord our God is faithful. Even when we are faithless, He is faithful. So much so that, to be anything but faithful would deny His very being. (2 Timothy 2:13). One of the greatest demonstrations of this was God’s glorious and dramatic deliverance and redemption of the Israelites out of slavery, proving that Israel's God was unlike any other “so-called” gods. Throughout Israel's journey, the Lord their God was indisputably present with them by way of cloud or fire as they traveled and He provided for their every need. Yet, after literally walking on the dry ground of a parted sea, being led by His clear direction, seeing bread rain from Heaven, and experiencing God performing miracle after miracle, what was their reaction to this incredible deliverance? They complained. They questioned. They criticized. They doubted God’s plans and purpose. But, even in the midst of their doubt and grumbling, God continued to miraculously intervene time and time again. God was faithful to continue to uphold His promise and remains faithful to do so today.
It’s easy for us to get frustrated with the Israelites and wonder how people who had so clearly seen the hand of God could so often return to a place of mistrust and protest. But, before we criticize, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room: Is this not the very same place of doubt and discouragement that we often find ourselves?
Much like the Israelites, we will inevitably encounter our own places of wilderness and begin to question what God is doing and why. It is in these times that we will realize our total dependence upon the provision of God. And in those moments when we might not feel His presence near, or may even feel as though we’re receiving a “heaven-issued silent treatment,” I would urge us to not lose hope or throw away our confident trust in the Lord. It is impossible for God to lie or break His word. Every covenant is kept and every promise will come through. (Hebrews 6:18) So, even though we may walk through the valley, we cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by emotions. He is most certainly with us and will never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalms 23:4)
Our provision through the desert
You see it through ‘til the end
We’ve all experienced and seen God come through in incredible, powerful, and personal ways. Even in the valley and in our darkest moments, no matter what type of doubt or questions we may have, we must never forget that we have seen the hand of God in our lives and in the lives of others. In my own experience, when I have seen the faithfulness of God displayed in my life, I have learned to write it down and make it an altar in my mind. In those moments when I begin to doubt what’s ahead, I look behind and remember what God has so clearly done in my life up unto this point. I trust that if He’s carried me through to this place in my journey, He will not give up on me now. Because, if we truly believe that He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do, then let’s hold tight to the promise that, “... He who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) There is hope to be found in this! That even in the silence, in the waiting, and especially when we can’t understand, we can know that God is doing a great and glorious work in each of us.
Every faithful follow through puts His glory on display. And God is zealous for His glory - not because of pride or a hunger for praise, but because He is worthy and deserving of it. (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11) When God does the impossible, we are given no choice but to give Him all the credit and be reminded, yet again, of His unfailing and unrelenting faithfulness.
And forever we will say
You’re the Lord our God
“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant . . . My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.” (Ezekiel 37:26)
Throughout the Old Testament, a holy God bound himself to a sinful people through covenant relationships. And, not surprisingly, was faithful to uphold every one of them. By the literal grace of God, the new and final covenant with humanity was fulfilled when Jesus left his place on high, humbled Himself by becoming flesh, walked among us, and paid the highest cost on the cross. This covenant would not be written on stone, but instead on the hearts of His people (Jeremiah 31:33). In the ultimate display of faithfulness, God sacrificed His one and only son on the cross, thereby saving all of creation. There is no gift, blessing, or provision given to us by God greater than the free gift of salvation through Jesus and the everlasting hope of eternal life with Him.
So, what then is our response to a faithful and unfailing God? I would contend that we put our faith in Him and follow Him with all that we are. However, since we are currently sojourners of a fallen world, if there is any hope of living a life worthy of the calling of God, we will need to go to the source - the Holy Spirit. After His resurrection, Jesus left us with a gift that would allow us to do even greater things. (John 14:26) He told us that, “... the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
(John 14:12) Without the living and active Spirit of God in us, guiding us, helping us, and teaching us, no matter how hard we try, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) In the same way that Moses called out to God saying, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here”
(Exodus 33:15), our heart cry should be the same. I’m hard-pressed to think of something more empowering and profitable for the church than to hear its people surrendering their will and declaring with all their heart, “We won’t move without you! We won’t move without you!”
From this darkness
You will lead us
And forever we will say
You’re the Lord our God
From the beginning of time, the Lord our God has proven Himself faithful. We can be sure of this: The Lord has started a good work in us and He will be faithful to complete it. So, no matter where we are and regardless of circumstance, let us strive to be a people who will confidently “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)