May 2007 - Vol. 8
God Loves Faithfulness

Here’s a spiritual principle we can stand on.

by Bruce Yocum

Illustration by Pablo Muttini

Seeing the fruits of faithfulness
A while ago I had dinner with thirty men and women who spoke simply but eloquently about faithfulness and the fruits of faithfulness.

These men and women belong to the committed core of a community that has served God and God’s people in Germany for thirty-seven years. Each year more than 10,000 people are deeply touched by them through retreats and teaching seminars. They have close relationships with many church leaders and pastors as well as with many lay people throughout their home country. They are widely recognized as a source of life and strength for the Christian people. Through them many small, committed groups have sprung up which continue to receive support and direction from them.

But this group of men and women is neither large nor spectacular. As this handful of people shared with me over dinner, they told me in their own words how God had worked through them to bring them to that point of fruitfulness.

Seeing the fruits of faithfulness
Over and over again they spoke to me, each from his or her own experience, about faithfulness. Simple faithfulness to God through difficult times. Faithfulness to one another in maintaining loving, brotherly relationships even when those relationships were greatly tested by disagreement. Faithfulness in believing God’s word was true when they tried to raise their children according to his word and had to deal with opposition and, at times, the rebellion of their own sons and daughters.

Now they are seeing the fruits of faithfulness. Their outreach work is effective and widespread—far beyond what they could have expected from their numbers, talents, or gifts. Their own children are becoming adults, and are choosing to follow the Lord faithfully and to hold fast to the way of life that they were taught

God loves faithfulness. Faithfulness to him in righteous behavior and obedience to his commandments. Faithfulness to him in daily prayer. Faithfulness to one another in marriage commitments and family life. Faithfulness to our brothers and sisters in Christ even through times of serious disagreement. “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands” (Exodus 34:6-7). It is God’s own nature to be faithful.

Our faithfulness will be tested
As we attempt to follow the Lord in our daily lives, our faithfulness is tested in many ways. Our faithfulness to God’s word and to his law is tested by the many temptations and trials presented to us by a world hostile to God, by a world offering us immediate and convincing pleasures and satisfactions in exchange for our disobedience to God. Our faithfulness is tested by a society that no longer values or supports faithfulness to our marriage partner, to our parents, or to our children. It is tested by the failures we sometimes see even in our own leaders in the church.

But God remains faithful. He loves and rewards faithfulness. A simple inventory can help us to see those places where we need to be faithful and where our faithfulness is tested. Take some time to consider those relationships and those situations in which you have commitments to God, to your family, to brothers and sisters in Christ. List those commitments, and consider how well you are keeping them and how they are being tested. Then ask for God’s strength to remain faithful to the commitments he has given you. He promises to bless and give grace to those who seek to be faithful to him and call upon him for help (see Psalm 31:23; 101:6).

Faithfulness is effective
Why am I so concerned with faithfulness? Mainly because God is concerned with faithfulness. But also because, in these days, faithfulness is critical for the Christian people.

Faithfulness to God and to one another makes us effective in our service for the Lord. That little group of people in Germany with whom I spoke have seen for themselves the effectiveness of faithfulness in their daily lives and commitments. They have seen the fruit it has borne.

Jesus himself, who had worked mighty miracles, worked no miracle at the crucial time when he was arrested in the garden. He simply remained faithful to God’s will for his life. He trusted himself to God, who is also faithful to us. Jesus’ faithfulness to his Father brought about our salvation and the salvation of the whole world, Faithfulness is effective.

Faithfulness in the last days
Further, faithfulness is the virtue of the Christian people in the last days. Read and meditate on Matthew, chapter 24, and Mark, chapter 13. In these chapters Jesus spoke of times of distress and described difficulties to come. He especially encouraged his followers then—and us now—to watchfulness and stressed the need for faithfulness in obedience to his call and in service to him  "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” Matthew 24:45-46

In the last days when there is spiritual warfare, when trials and temptations are far beyond what we ourselves can handle or respond to, faithfulness brings victory. And our faithfulness will be rewarded (see Revelations 2:10). In those days, in the last days, in these days, God responds with faithfulness and deliverance to the faithful obedience of his people.

[Bruce Yocum is President of Christ the King Association and a member of the International Executive Council of The Sword of the Spirit. This article was originally published in New Covenant Magazine, June 1990.] 

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