The fruit of faithfulness
If you’ve spent any significant time in Scripture, you’ve almost certainly encountered the word “faith” (or pistis in Hebrew). As mentioned several hundred times, both our faith in Jesus and God’s faithfulness toward us are vital to our relationship and understanding of God.
What does the Bible say about faithfulness? As one of the fruits of the Spirit, the fruit of faithfulness requires firmness in conviction and the keeping of promises. As Hebrews 11:1 [ESV] explains, faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” But to understand how the Holy Spirit works faithfulness in us, we must understand how God shows Himself faithfully.
From the very beginning of His Word, we see God faithfully keeping His promises. Joshua 21:45 [NIV] states, “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Similarly, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 [ESV] says, “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
One of the ways God makes promises to us is through His covenants. The major covenants are the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants—the three that promise the coming of Jesus—and the Noahic and Mosaic Covenants.
In the Abrahamic Covenant, God promises Abraham and his descendants land, children, and blessings. God showed His faithfulness by blessing his barren, 90-year-old wife, Sarah, with a son and preserving that son and his future descendants.
He fulfilled the rest of His covenant in bringing Abraham to the Promised Land and bringing redemption through Jesus. Abraham also showed his faithfulness to God by trusting His promises—even nearly sacrificing his promised son, Isaac, on the altar.
In the Davidic Covenant, God promises to bless David’s line with the Messiah. This promise was fulfilled with the coming of Jesus, who is a direct descendant of David.
In the New Covenant, God promised to free His people from the Law by Jesus’ death and resurrection. This covenant would bring the forgiveness of sin, renewed hearts, and access to God through prayer. The fulfillment of this covenant was also the fulfillment of the Davidic and Abrahamic Covenants.
In the Mosaic Covenant, God establishes His Law with the people of Israel after He led them out from under the slavery of the Egyptian pharaohs. This covenant promised blessings if the Israelites were obedient and curses if they were disobedient. Throughout the Old Testament, you can see how God keeps this promise through the various struggles Israel encounters whenever they stray.
In the Noahic Covenant, God renews creation and promises never to destroy Earth again with a worldwide flood. This promise came in the form of a rainbow, the symbol of God’s covenant.
There’s no greater testament to God’s provision than sacrificing His own Son for our sins so we can have everlasting life. But beyond that, God is faithful in providing for us in the day-to-day. God may not always provide in the way we anticipate, but He provides nonetheless.
In Matthew, Jesus mentions several times how our heavenly Father cares for us:
- Matthew 6:26 [NIV] says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
- And Matthew 7:9-11 [ESV] says, “Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
These verses display the abundance of love God has for us. We can step forward with confidence knowing that God was, is, and always will be faithful to us in His provision.
God is perfect
We know we can trust a God who is perfect and upright. How can a God who is perfect break His promises? The simple answer—He can’t. Deuteronomy 32:4 [NLT] says, “He is the Rock; His deeds are perfect. Everything He does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright He is!”
God’s flawless nature translated to Jesus and how He lived His life. Hebrews 4:15-16 [NIV] says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
If Jesus weren’t without sin, His sacrifice would’ve been for nothing. But because Jesus, fully God and fully man, came down to Earth as a sacrifice, we have a perfect God capable of understanding our earthly struggles and who shows His faithfulness by sympathizing with our weaknesses.
“But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” – [2 Thessalonians 3:3, NLT]
God’s faithfulness is never clearer than in the forgiveness of our sins. 1 John 1:9 [ESV] states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We can be certain that Jesus offers full forgiveness of sin through repentance because “He who promised is faithful” [Hebrews 10:23, NIV]. God keeps His promises, and He promises the assurance of forgiveness.
Even in our struggles with sin, God is faithful in giving us a way out. 1 Corinthians 10:13 [NIV] says, “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
How can we show ourselves faithful
1 Samuel 12:24 [ESV] simply and beautifully explains how to be faithful to God: “Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”
In a world plagued by heartache, struggles, contention, and uncertainty, we know we can find certainty in a perfect God who keeps His promises, provides, and forgives our sins. Just think of the promises that are yet to come! 1 Corinthians 2:9 states, “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
So as we faithfully step forward in a broken world, let us stand firm in confidence and look to God’s nature and His promises. For as Romans 8:18 puts it, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
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