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Always Faithful

Dear Friend,

Recently, the word “faithful” has been following me around like a tween’s body odor after gym class (but in a good way). It all began when I told a couple of friends I wasn’t sure if I would continue to do some of the things I was involved in as I felt my quality of work had declined.

During our time together, we prayed and the word “faithful” came up. It encouraged me to keep going. I thought that would be the end of my time with “faithful,” but it continued popping in and out of my life for the next couple of months. It would unexpectedly show up in songs, verses, and conversations. At one point I nearly laughed out loud when it appeared again – its persistence was commendable.


I had already decided to keep going with my responsibilities, so “faithful’s” ongoing appearance had to be in regard to something else. But what? So I asked myself a logical question, “Am I being faithful to God?”



I admit I didn’t spend days contemplating if I had been pursuing something other than God. I put the question out there and trusted God would reveal anything that was sitting on His throne. When nothing came to mind, I went on. And here came “faithful” to visit again.


When it showed up this time, I finally hit on the final and biggest reason for it following me around. (Or so I thought.) Oh, it was definitely there to encourage me not to quit, and I was glad to turn my attention and heart toward God, but the main point it came to make wasn’t even about me. It was about God.


God is faithful. That was what I was left to process – this simple yet profound truth. Although I was aware of His faithfulness, evidently my grasp of it wasn’t deep enough. And so I began to think on it.


God is our Father. Sadly, we can behave toward God as our own children sometimes behave toward us. We disrespect Him, don’t listen, and go off and do our own thing. As in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), God diligently waits with open arms for us to return. He works to turn our hearts back to Him with patience, wisdom, and love. He is faithful.


Jesus is our bridegroom (Ephesians 5:25-32). But even after we’ve committed to be His, our hearts are often drawn to others. We love things or people more than Him, chasing them with our time, money, energy, and thoughts. We wander, finding temporary pleasure in other “lovers.” We are a wayward wife, coming and going as we please. When we find ourselves once again returning to Him heartbroken after our latest disappointment, Jesus remains loyal to and passionate for us. He is faithful. Then there's the Holy Spirit.


Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit,...” (John 14:16-17a, NLT).

The Holy Spirit is our helper and counselor among other things. He’s our confidant.

When I was a first or second grader, one of my friends told me what she was going to share for Show-and-Tell later that morning. She was so excited about it. When it was her turn, she said, “Can anyone guess what my Show-and-Tell is?” (This next part is painful. If you have a weak stomach you may want to turn away.) I blurted out, “Your mom’s going to have a baby!” (Yeah, I know. Thankfully, she forgave. She ended up being one of my closest friends in high school.)


My point: the Holy Spirit isn’t like that. He isn’t about hurting us with the secrets we entrust to Him. He’s here to give us godly advice, lead us into God’s Truth, and remind us who we are in Christ. Unlike the imperfect friendships we offer Him (not taking His advice, choosing not to believe the Truth He tells us, etc…), He remains a trustworthy friend. The Holy Spirit stays true to who He is and the purpose to which He was sent. He is faithful.


I began this article a couple of weeks ago and was nearly done with it. Today I was wondering if I should submit something else instead. Right in the middle of this contemplation I received a text from a friend.


Midway through her text I read: “Thank you for being faithful in prayer.” I was gripped with horror – how much had I prayed for her? What was her definition of being faithful in prayer? Praying twice for her or daily? I was in the process of working through guilt – there were days I didn’t think about her at all – when I thought, “Now wait a minute…” Yes, it finally struck me. It was there again – that “faithful” word. I took that as a hint to submit this and thanked God for the final point. (It is the final point, right God?)


“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15, ESV).


I may forget to pray for you – I forget A LOT of things. But God won’t forget about you, not even for an instant. As I think of God, I’m awed by the faithfulness He demonstrates in areas I so often fall short in (parent, spouse, and friend). HE IS FAITHFUL.


“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT).

Encouraged by and learning from

God’s great faithfulness,

Candace





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