Thursday, October 4, 2012

Isaiah 26: 3, Proverbs 3: 5-6

Here are notes I took a few years ago from a sermon by Chip Ingram on the topic of God’s faithfulness.

“What's the source of your hope?  We all depend on something or someone to hold us up inside.  When that something or someone is coming through for us, we experience a sense of peace, and optimism about the future.  When whatever you are trusting to hold you up inside, life is good, a thing or a person is coming through for you, life is good.  When that something or someone fails to come through for us, we experience a sense of anxiety, and ultimately despair.  The way you always know what is really holding you up, is how you respond when it's removed.  It seems to me if those basic, logical observations about life are true; it seems that then the secret to a life of unending joy and peace is to find something or someone who will come through for you a hundred percent of the time in any and every situation.  If we all are trusting in or asking something or someone to hold us up inside and when it does, life is good, and when it doesn't, it just literally pulls us apart and wrecks our life, it would seem then, if we can find something or someone who would come through for us a hundred percent of the time, regardless of our circumstances, then we would always have hope. …

I want you to know that God wants to come through for you a hundred percent of the time.  And the Biblical word for Him coming through for you regardless of where you have been, and regardless of what you have done, is the word faithfulness.  He will be faithful, that means He will not let you down, He will be your hope, He will never change, He will always understand, He will always love, He will always encourage, He will always support, He will always guide, He will never leave you or forsake you, and every promise He's made, you can know for sure He'll keep it.  The way He treats you today, you can know through all eternity, He will treat you in that way forever because His character demands it.  Definition of faithfulness: steadfast in affection or allegiance, or the idea that He's loyal.  It's firm in adherence to a promise.  Given with strong assurance, that's the idea of faithfulness.  True to the facts, to a standard.  And you can know for a fact that whatever He says to you will be binding.  Synonyms for faithfulness:  He is trustworthy, dependable, loyal, reliable, true to one's word, He'll keep His promises.  Consistent to His character.  Someone who will come through for you.
How can I know for sure that God will really be faithful?  God will be faithful a hundred percent of the time because His faithfulness is in conjunction with all the other of His attributes.  He will be faithful a hundred percent of the time because He is all knowing, He's never going to get caught off guard with your circumstance, so He can be faithful.  He's going to be faithful because He's all powerful.  He'll never encounter anything or anyone that can thwart His plans or His purposes for your life.  He's faithful because He's holy, He is pure, honest, full of integrity, unable to lie, therefore, He's always consistent with His character and His word.  Unlike any other human being, God will never tell you something, and say 'I was just kidding' and He'll never tell you something and say 'Well I tried to keep My word'.  He is holy, He is pure, if He says it, His character demands He must come through.  He's eternal; He's not affected by space or time.  He knows the beginning from the end.  And because He is omnipresent, nothing can happen outside of the sphere of His influence.  He is immutable, which literally means to not change.  He never changes, He's never different than He is now, He's never in a bad mood.  God will be faithful to you because He is all knowing, all powerful, holy, eternal, omnipresent, and immutable, and in light of those, A.W. Tozer says, "All of God's acts are consistent with all of His attributes.  No attribute contradicts any other, but all harmonize and blend into each other in the infinite abyss of the Godhead."  "God, being who He is, cannot cease to be what He is, and He is at once faithful and immutable, so all of His words and acts must be and must remain faithful."  God is one hundred percent faithful to His word, to His promises, to His people, to His character because He cannot be otherwise.  He will never let you down because He can't be otherwise than who He is.  Your "success", your hope, your future, your plans, the deepest issues in your life that need to be worked out, it's not going to be rooted in your faithfulness or your self effort, it's going to be you resting and trusting in His faithfulness, to do in you, and through you, what you can never do on your own.  That is why understanding God's faithfulness is so critical.”


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