Devotion for Saturday, May 30, 2020
From: Wendy Beard
When as a staff we discussed the attributes of God for our devotionals this week, immediately what came to my mind is, “faithfulness.” One of the definitions that I found for faithfulness is “The faithfulness of God is his attribute that displays his trustworthiness based on his unwavering commitment to his people through his promises and covenants that find their ultimate fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ.” [Um, Stephen. TGC: The Gospel Coalition. 2020. Web. 30 May 2020. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/the-faithfulness-of-god/]
That is a lot of words, but what is this faithfulness and what does it look like in our lives? Deuteronomy 3:16 states, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” To me, that is what faithfulness means… God will not abandon you. Paul takes it one step further in his second letter to Timothy when he says, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) To not be faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful, would be to go against the very character of who He is.
We see evidence of God’s faithfulness to his people, the Israelites, in the Old Testament. One that stands out to me is how He continued to love, lead and provide for them as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land. He had led them through the Red Sea and covered the Egyptians who tried to follow them with the water, sinking their chariots in the deep. And yet, as soon as the Israelites ran into another hurdle, rather than trust that God would provide, they grumbled first against Moses and then against God. Again and again, in spite of their disbelief and murmurings of doubt, He provided a cloud to cover them from the heat of the sun in the dry desert; He showed Himself as a pillar of fire to give them light at night; and He gave them water to drink from a rock and quail and manna that fell from Heaven to eat.
But, beyond what we see in the record of His Holy Word, many of us may also be able to point to God’s faithfulness in our own lives. I can certainly testify to that. Although I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was a senior in high school, at times my walk with God has been a rocky one, in large part due to choices I made that were far removed from His Will. As I walked through one of the most difficult times of my life, without recognizing what was happening, God led me back to Him. Quietly, ever so gently and lovingly, He drew me closer and closer to Him by giving me a desire to be back in His Word, drawing me back into church and opening opportunities for me to develop friendships with fellow Christians. I could not necessarily point to what He was doing as it was happening, but looking back, without a doubt, I certainly see His Hand of faithfulness.
There are other instances I could point to… instances that make absolutely no sense otherwise. As a single mom, I saw paychecks stretch to cover expenses when there was no way they should have. When a number of years ago the company I was working for sold their client list and furloughed 90% of the employees, I was one of the few who was retained, and the only one who was able to continue working in offices in the area in which I lived. After looking at several houses and finally finding the one that fit all our criteria, although the sellers had three offers on the table, they accepted our offer. There is nothing I did or could have done to have caused these things to turn out this way; the only explanation is that these things happened through the grace and faithfulness of God.
And as we continue to walk through this time of unknowns and what the return of the congregation to the church building might look like, I look again to His faithfulness. I tend to be an over-thinker, gathering data and information and then rolling different scenarios over and over in my head, looking at all the possible “what-ifs.” In that process, I often get stymied from actually making a decision. And I am halted from moving forward. As I talked about this with a friend, I realized that in this moment, I need to rest in the fact that preparedness is good and essential in these times, but overall, I need to trust in the faithfulness of God. If there is a misstep along the way that moves us farther instead of closer to His Will, He promises to be faithful. If necessary, He will lead us back to where we need to be. I know that to be true by His Word and His work in my life.
I would love it if you would you join me in that, in putting your trust in God’s faithfulness as the church staff and leadership pray through, work through and put into place our next steps as the Body of Christ.
Thank you and have a Blessed Day!