God's Words: Faithfulness
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I just love the word “faithfulness.” If there is any quality I want to always be developing in my life, it is being faithful to God. It is very difficult to be useful to God if we are unfaithful to Him. Faithfulness is the idea of someone being able to depend on us to do something for them. We all know how disappointing it is when someone tells us that they are going to do something for us, but then they fail to do it. If someone tells you that they will pick you up at 8 a.m., but they never show up, I doubt seriously that you would even ask them to come to get you again. Why? Because they were unfaithful in doing what they promised they would do.
I had a great friend who just died of brain cancer. After he found how he had cancer, he only lived about one year more. As he got closer to the end of his life, there were many of us who would take turns going to his home, visiting him in the hospital, spending the night with him and helping his wife move him and feed him. People cut their grass, took their children different places, fixed meals for them and came and just spent time with the family. It was the faithfulness of these friends that helped the family get through a very difficult time in their life.
So, exactly how does God define “faithfulness”?
The easiest way to understand that question is to simply look at the life of Christ and see how He lived. In everything He did, He was willing to do exactly what His Father wanted Him to do. He never once swerved from doing what His Father sent Him to do – to die for our sins. Jesus fully knew what the enormous cost would be to Him personally, but He was always faithful to God’s will for His life no matter the cost. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says this about being faithful: “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”
In other words, if we are going to be someone who God can trust to do what He wants us to do, then we must “be found faithful.” No one would consider a man to be a faithful husband if every two or three years he would divorce his current wife and go find another woman to marry. That would be a good example of what it means to be unfaithful. None of us would want to hear that our marriage partner was faithful to us 98% of the time. That would be just as bad as being unfaithful all the time. To be faithful means to remain, to stay, and to continue with someone no matter how difficult life may be at times.
So, how should I demonstrate faithfulness in my life?
Well, the best way to demonstrate “faithfulness” is to simply be obedient to God’s Word. We would never consider someone to be a faithful friend who was always doing things that would hurt us in some way. Maybe they would make a promise to us that they would help us finish something that we were building, but then they would never come over to help as they had promised. For someone who is a fully devoted follower of Christ, the best way to demonstrate faithfulness to Christ is simply to be obedient to His Word. Jesus said this in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
That may be one of the simplest yet most important statements in the Bible because it defines how God measures our love for Him. If someone is always disobedient to God’s Word, then in essence they are not being faithful to Him and really do not love God. If you have children, you want respect from them, and the way they show respect is by being obedient to you. If you own a business, the way your employees show respect is by being more than willing to do what you ask them to do and to do a good job. Well, it is no different in the Christian life. God the Father calls on us to simply be faithful to Him, and we do that when we remain obedient to His Word.
Does faithfulness have a reward?
Sure it does. Jesus gave a parable about faithfulness and this is what he said in Matthew 25:23 to those who were faithful.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”
We will never be disappointed in how God rewards faithfulness, so be encouraged that you can truly be someone that He sees as a good and faithful servant.
Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, when life seems to bring me a very difficult test, my prayer is that You would help me to be faithful during the trial so that You can be glorified in my life.
If someone were to look at your life, would they consider you to be a loyal and faithful servant of Jesus Christ?