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Going Deeper—God is Faithful (with Study Guide #8b)

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Dear Readers,

Anyone betrayed gains a new appreciation for the meaning of faithfulness. When disloyalty and deception come to light in a relationship, deep hurt, agonizing self-doubt, and bitter disappointment floods the person wronged. Grief and remembering “the way things were” can be overwhelming. The pain highlights what was lost—the good things faithfulness provided such as love, security, belonging, openness, and trust.

The person who breached the relationship may also be suffering. They may need help facing the sin responsibly; they may need help making amends. Above all, they need hope that forgiveness and restoration is possible.

Fortunately, Jesus understands everything about betrayal for He himself was betrayed. Judas never apologized personally or made things right, and Jesus lost this relationship forever. But Peter “wept bitterly” over his actions. What would it take to forgive a best friend who deserted us in our greatest time of need and denied they ever knew us?

Jesus models healthy restoration by addressing the past (Peter’s three denials), but He doesn’t stay focused on the wrong. Instead, He moves the relationship forward to a constructive focus, “Feed my sheep.”

As the only Perfect Faithful One who ever lived, Jesus is the master healer of relationships. Whether you’ve been the betrayed or the betrayer or both, “What do you need from Jesus?”

God is Faithful

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By Ruth Wood and Kay Smith

What kind of images come to mind at the word “faithful”? Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser? Lassie, the faithful dog? Faithful football fans?

Webster’s defines faithful as, “true to one’s word, promises, or vows; reliable, trusted, or believed; steady in allegiance or affection, loyal.”

If we apply these definitions to God, we catch new nuances of His character.

True to His Word

When God speaks He can be trusted or believed. When God makes promises, they are reliable. Meditating often on God’s trustworthiness and reliability is the best medicine for an anxious heart.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness [or trustworthiness] will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:4)

Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness [or steadfastness]. (Psalm 26:2-3)

Steady in His Allegiance

God’s allegiance to us means that His fidelity remains absolute, His commitment 100 percent. He’s not fickle in His relationships but remains devoted, steadfast. In fact, His commitment stands for all eternity.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness [or allegiance] continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:5)

I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your [faithful allegiance and commitment], for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame. (Psalm 138:2)

Steady in His Affection

In the Psalms, love is frequently paired with faithfulness. It’s really not possible to have one without the other. People know that without trust, love cannot thrive. Love and faithfulness remain inseparably intertwined.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness [trustworthy allegiance, steady affection] always protect me. (Psalm 40:11)

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness [or devotion]. (Psalm 86:15)

Perhaps there is no greater way to finish a study on God’s faithfulness than to sing about it. One of the greatest hymns of the Christian faith is Great is Thy Faithfulness, the lyrics poetically describing this wonderful attribute of God:

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

[Refrain]

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

[Refrain]

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

©2013 Ruth Wood and Kay Smith. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Published by www.Comfort-Cafe.net. Contact info: ruthywood@gmail.com

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