Jesus Did It!
DO YOU BELIEVE GOD IS FAITHFUL?
IF NOT, MAYBE THIS WILL HELP
By: David Morphew
Many people are facing hardships. You may be one of them. In fact, maybe life itself has been nothing but one, long grueling hardship for you for as long as you can remember. I pray that something in this writing might bring some comfort to you. There is little else in life that hurts as deeply as feeling as though God is not faithful.
Let's address the very MOST important issue regarding God's faithfulness. It says in God's Word: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
If that statement is not true, then every Christian is playing mind games with themselves, and there is NOT forgiveness for their sins, and on the Judgment Day, what that then means is that they will pay for eternity the punishment due them for their sins, just like everyone else. So - can you thank GOD He MEANS - precisely as it is stated - what is written in 1 John 1:9?! This is no small, insignificant matter, dear reader. We must be very careful to not try to determine God's faithfulness by our own personal pain, nor that of another, no matter how difficult it may have been up to this current moment for you or another person you are thinking about. Faithfulness is one of God's divine attributes, and if we believe Satan's lies he tries to brainwash us with that God's divine attributes, (which is His character - His very nature and/or essence) has no bearing on our relationship with Him, Satan is being successful to one degree or another in hindering our joy and peace with God.
(If you happen to be a new Christian, you may not have even had the opportunity to research and learn about God's attributes yet. The sooner you learn about God's divine attributes, the more excited you will be about God. Here is a trustworthy link to help you do that: http://www.preceptaustin.org/the_attributes_of_god_-_spurgeon.htm).
Let us not forget - Satan is constantly trying to shipwreck our faith in Christ any way he can, and his hammering away at our thought life to try to get us to believe that God is not faithful ... at least to you and me ... is one of Satan's most effective ways of doing that. Oh sure - Satan can't talk us out of our Salvation unless we allow him to ... and God won't allow Him to if we are truly committed to Jesus Christ ... but Satan CAN rob us of joy and peace and faith in Jesus Christ if we don't come to agreement with God that He is totally, 100% faithful to perform His Word.
Here's a for instance: Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
"For our light affliction ..." God is promising that the suffering in our lives is working for us an eternal weight of glory, but we have to be patient for it to be revealed to us in the next life, don't we? Thus God's timeframe and our timeframe are at odds with each other just about all the time in this life, if we allow Satan too much slack in this matter. The only way I know of to dethrone Satan from affecting my thought life when it comes to God's timing is to believe that God's time is always the right time, and more than likely ... my time is hardly ever the right time.
Nevertheless, when my pain tries to convince me that God is not being faithful to me, God would have me remind myself that my afflictions are working for me an eternal weight of glory. When I use this Truth as the spiritual weapon God has given me to protect my thought life, I am wisely using the armor of God He has given me to combat the enemy of my soul.
Having said the above, please allow me to share a little of my past to help set the stage for the rest of this writing. When you’ve been stripped of everything - and I mean EVERYTHING like I was - and you find yourself in a lonely prison cell … there is Someone waiting with open arms with the burning desire to reveal just how faithful He wants to be to YOU … no matter how unfaithful YOU have been to Him.
One day this incredibly amazing Person will ride onto the world scene on a white horse, and all eyes will behold Him. Will you let me tell you His name? You can find it in Revelation 19:11-13:
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (NKJV - Emphasis mine on bolding)
If you turn to the first chapter of the Book of John in the Bible, and read it through completely, you’ll find Faithful was the One who died on the cross for your sins and my sins. He is none other than God Himself who came from heaven to earth, and who then resurrected from the grave and went back to heaven from where He originally came from.
To say that Jesus Christ is “Faithful” without fully realizing it’s also His NAME … well, let’s take a closer look at this very important spiritual truth. Gaining a greater understanding of just how much Faithful wants us to believe He is Faithful will become more and more important as this troubled world shakes, rattles, and rolls with problems everywhere, and mounting … right up until Faithful returns to set things fully in order.
“Okay, David. Tell it to me plain and simple? Is God faithful or is He not? Don't beat around the bush!"
My answer: “God is faithful to His Word. That is the simplest answer ... but that is not necessarily the WISER answer. The wiser answer is: God is faithful to His Word when it is correctly interpreted and diligently and wisely applied.”
Yet stating the above does not do total justice to the topic either. Do yourself a huge favor, and after you have finished reading what I have written, take the time to read the linked writing: http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/faithful.htm)
The devil does NOT want you believing God is faithful, and he’ll do everything he can to get you to doubt, and keep doubting, that God is faithful. The most effective way he has is to get you focused on the adversity you've experienced in your past, and may be experiencing in your life right now.
Another common way Satan does that is to get you to misapply one or more of God’s promises in His Word … twisting it’s intended meaning and application. Understanding and using correct rules of Bible interpretation is an absolute MUST, especially when it comes to understanding God’s faithfulness to us, otherwise the devil can easily twist scripture in your mind, and as you place your trust in one or more promises in God’s Word that is not wisely understood and correctly applied, Satan knows chances are very good you’ll end up being confused by God’s faithfulness to you.
For instance, God made promises to the Jewish people in the Old Testament that one must be extremely careful about trying to apply to born again Christians. And – God makes certain promises in the New Testament to born again Christians that don’t apply to the Jewish people today, nor do they apply to Gentile people who are NOT spiritually born again.
I’ll say that a little different way, so the reader will catch the crucial importance of it. Unless you become spiritually born again, you will remain very frustrated in trying to appropriate ALL of the promises God makes.
Furthermore, most of God’s promises to disciples of Jesus Christ will ONLY be realized if those disciples are serious about OBEYING all of God’s New Testament commands for them. For instance, you can stand on certain promises from God’s Word until the cows come home, but chances are excellent that you will come up wanting, if you aren’t walking in obedience to another principle of God, which I’ll mention shortly:
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
One can stand on the above scripture for financial provision, but if one is not understanding, believing and obeying the following principal -- financial blessing from God may be extremely lean, much of your life.
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Cor. 9:6)
Another scripture that dovetails with this above scripture is:
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, and you vats will overflow with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10)
[If you would like to read a writing that helps explain the above scripture passage, you can click on the following link: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/p-t/tithingsecret.htm ]
Fact of the matter is - most of God’s promises to God’s people are CONDITIONAL. As long as we do our part, God can be trusted to do His part. Maybe not in our time frame, nor the way we would necessarily like Him to do it, but we must always graciously accept God’s blessing/s as He so chooses to grant them to us, otherwise we may motivate God to hinder any future blessings of God to the maximum.
Most Christians who are not diligently seeking to understand and faithfully engage themselves in Matthew 6:33 most likely will find themselves struggling sooner or later with fully believing that God can be trusted to be faithful in their times of need. God is EXTREMELY serious about Christians being engaged in “doing the work of the Kingdom”, as Matthew 6:33 addresses.
Now then, the longer I walk with God, the more I’m realizing that God is not only faithful to His Word, but He strongly desires to SHOW HIMSELF FAITHFUL to those who will trust Him to be faithful. That is also an important part of His nature. But I believe it goes further than that. He also wants His followers to be faithful as He is faithful, and that is also another important reason of my writing this.
It’s easy to say “God is faithful,” but when we find ourselves in trials – in difficult situations, and we begin having feelings of hopelessness, and feelings like God must not care … those are the times and situations where God wants us to trust His faithfulness more than what we may have ever had to – or chosen to – previously! But doing so, I realize, can be very difficult for some, especially when just about everyone they have ever trusted has let them down in some way or another.
In Webster’s II dictionary the word faithful is defined as:
1) Supportive; loyal
2) Worthy of trust or belief
3) Consistent with fact
(Synonyms: Constant; fast; firm; loyal; resolute; stanch; steadfast, steady and true).
All these are some of the attributes that we see in God, but the main point I would like to focus on from Webster’s is the description of “Worthy of trust or belief”.
Herein lies the struggle for many people in and out of the Body of Christ. We have to ask ourselves: “Do I REALLY believe and trust that God is going to be faithful in all situations in my life no matter what is going on around me?”
A lot of people would quickly answer, “Yes”, but let’s slow down and really take the time to think about it, to see if our actions are lining up with this proclamation. I would caution you to closely examine yourself; pray and ask God to show you any areas that you have struggled in.
Allow me, if you will, to take this time to share with you some things in my own life, how this whole issue of “God’s faithfulness” has become such a precious and crucial component (reality) in my relationship with God.
Most of my adult life has been in turmoil. Ups and downs, like a wind-driven sea. Failed marriages, failed jobs, feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, anger at others, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, and many other things. Even in the midst of all of my troubles, God would do things to show me that He was there waiting for me to acknowledge Him and to ask for His help, even when I wasn’t all that keenly aware of Him showing me His faithfulness at the time, regrettably.
Times when I reflect back that my craziness had put me in dangerous positions and he (God) protected me. As an example -- running out of gas and someone showing up to help me and get me on my way, and never seeing them again. Little things that if we took the time to look, we could see God’s hand at work, guiding us to His destination for our lives.
Psalms 107:23-30 speaks of these things. It reads: “Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens; they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that it’s waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so he guides them to the desired haven.”
Doesn’t it show us a picture of how many of our lives are now, and have been in the past?
PERSONAL EVIDENCE OF GOD'S FAITHFULNESS
The greatest evidence of this in my life came after 2005, at one of the bleakest times in my life. I had come to a point in my life where my mind had become so bogged down -- darkness was enveloping me. I was facing prison and felt totally lost. Then I fell to the floor and I cried out and I said, “God – here I am. I have made a total mess of my life. All I see is darkness. All I feel is a raging battle going on inside of me. Help me! Whatever it takes in my life … I want to serve you and be set free from this torment.”
Then something happened. I felt a presence that went so deep inside of me. I was given a peace I have never known in my whole life. Even though there were times past when I was trying to serve God, there was always something missing. But God knew what I needed and what it was going to take in my life. God knew I needed to be totally broken – totally stripped of everything – having NOTHING to reach out and grasp hold of to keep me from sinking in total despair but HIM.
From that time forward to the present, God has made His presence known in many ways. He gave me a peace and a joy in my heart that I have never known before. He gave me a desire to want to serve Him by helping others, especially those who are at rock bottom in their lives. I had - and continue to have - no fear of what the future holds for me. It doesn’t matter what is going on around me. By the grace and mercy of God, with His help, I continue to put God first in everything, and by doing this I can see God being more and more faithful to not only meet my basic needs, but to open doors of opportunity to minister to others that are so precious – so emotionally rewarding – which I KNOW is playing a huge part in laying up rewards in heaven, as God’s Word addresses in Matthew 6:19-21.
By God’s help, I do whatever God puts in front of me each day. Some days it may be too smile and say “Hi” to somebody who needs to know someone in the world cares a little about them, or to take time to listen to someone else’s troubles and be an encouragement to them however I can. I’ve learned that most people get so blessed if you ask them if you can pray for them, and be very kind and wise in what you pray. One two minute prayer can accomplish things 20 hours of “advice-offering” can’t. (If I may: We sometimes fail to realize that God’s nature is to obligate Himself to work in the life of another through our prayer for them oftentimes MORE than all the counseling and advice we think they could benefit from. Never underestimate what a simple prayer from you to another needy person can accomplish, because with God’s direct intervention - which prayer effects - all things become possible, plus prayer tends to allow God to be glorified … and God LOVES to be glorified!).
All through my time in prison God took care of me and used me. I didn’t get any visits from people coming in from the outside, but God showed me I had a huge family around me that I could be encouraged by, and be an encouragement to … as God chose to use me. (And man oh man is prison a ripe harvest field to be used of God to encourage and sow seeds of eternal life in others!). I had failed as a father up to that point in my life, but God sent me many “spiritual sons” to speak to; to advise; to pray for, and to encourage.
I earned less that $20 a month in prison, but by sharing at least 10% with others of what I had, (Obeying Proverbs 3:9-10, in other words), God not only met my own personal needs, but also showed me I was truly RICH. It was the first time in my life that I began to understand what God is getting at when it says (Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure), “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I discovered that in my giving with what little I seemed to have to give, my relationship with God grew more precious, and God opened up more and more opportunities for me to be used to minister hope and encouragement and spiritual insights with others less fortune. When you get a handle fully on Matthew 6:19-21, you realize ministering to others is no small matter.
All glory be to God as I say this - I truly believe that if I had had a “hording mentality” while in prison, most of the blessings of God would have gotten short circuited, and I might still even be in prison as this is being written. I observed many other Christian brothers operating with a “hording mentality” and knew in my spirit they were simply hindering God to increase favor and blessing on their lives … in their ignorance, sadly.
This is so important to grasp: In speaking of God’s faithfulness, God obligates Himself to reveal His faithfulness to us on a much higher level when we purpose to OBEY his Biblical commands. (Going back to money, which most prisoners struggle with … if all you make is $1.00 a month, and you’re a Christian, the wisest thing you can do is make certain that at least $.10 of that dollar goes as a blessing to someone else in genuine need, which is simply living out Proverbs 3:9-10. And there are times when if you give that entire $1.00 monthly income to someone in greater need than you are at the time, your trust (faith) in God will begin to get elevated to believe Him for things you never could otherwise.).
When things were stolen from me in prison, which happens a lot in there, I obeyed the scriptures to forgive them as God exhorts (commands) us to do, and committed these people to God. In so doing, God poured out even greater blessings. When people would say things against me and ridicule me, especially for my spiritual devotion to God, I would forgive them. God would either move them out of the way, or end up using me to minister to them in some capacity to where the friction would cease.
I am out of prison now and strive to live a live committed to God, doing whatever God puts in front of me, taking each day as they come. It’s not always easy, of course. I’m not perfect and I make mistakes. I continually go to God and ask forgiveness and His help to enable me to walk each day in obedience to Him, and strive to do what is proclaimed in Phil 3:13-14 … Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward toward to those which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
One of the greatest scriptures that God has imported in me is Isaiah 41:10: Fear not; for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Now I once again want to bring you back to the question: Do I really believe and trust that God is going to be faithful in all situations in my life no matter what I see going on around me?
Don’t be so quick to take this lightly and just answer YES, but do a self-examination and ask God to help you. He has done in for me. I know he can do it for you. There are many scriptures that speak of his faithfulness. Here are just a few:
Duet 7:9-10: "Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face."
1 Cor. 1:9: God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Cor. 1:18-20: But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us - by me, Silvanus, and Timothy - was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
1 Thes. 5:24: He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Hebrew 10:23: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I would encourage you to take the time to pray and meditate on these promises frequently until they become as real to you as eating and drinking – letting their reality of God’s faithfulness become second nature to you.
TRIALS OFTEN REVEAL WEAKNESSES IN US TO HELP REMIND US OF HOW MUCH WE NEED TO DEPEND UPON GOD ALL THE MORE TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE - BRING ABOUT SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Remember: God delights to show Himself faithful so you can learn to trust Him more and more. From time to time He allows trials to come our way to test us in these matters. Trials reveal the depth of our willingness - or lack thereof - to trust Him in our painful circumstances.
The easiest thing in the world is to be addicted to worry, fear, lack of trust in God. God allows some people to go through terrible hardship when they get stubborn and refuse to trust God to be faithful in their lives.
Also - A Christian can live their entire life frustrated with God much of the time, simply because they’ve never learned their POSITION in Christ, and work diligently at acknowledging such.
For instance, when people ask how you are doing, instead of just sharing your frustrations with life that might be going on at the time, (and we all have them), and saying something simply like most people would just say, “Oh - things are - wellllllllll - okay,” … be quick to speak to them the REAL truth of what God has to say about every true disciple of Jesus Christ on this planet: “I am blessed in Jesus!” and you will always be speaking the Truth of the matter from God’s perspective.
You are a child of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ in all of God’s blessings … no matter what kind of trials or difficulties are going on in your life. It is not based on how you feel and/or what kind of struggle/s you are going through. It is based upon your identify and position in Christ Jesus. That’s the perspective God views it as … not just from our earthly perspective as we view it, though in compassion and mercy, He also greatly sympathizes with our weaknesses at the same time.
Sure, it’s okay to let certain ones know trials your are going through, so they can comfort you and pray for you … but at any given time, that is only HALF of the truth of the matter. The other HALF is that as a Christian, we are ALWAYS blessed in Christ Jesus, and in terms of attaining and maintaining peace with God and faith in promises, it is crucial to learn and believe WHAT our position is Jesus Christ IS. There are HUGE blessings in doing so!
Our circumstances are NOT the gauge to use to measure our position in Christ at any given time. God’s promises in scripture on our behalf is the GUAGE -- the gauge that God wants us using the longer we walk in relationship with Jesus Christ.
If we don’t remind ourselves often that we are ALWAYS blessed in Jesus – twenty four hours a day – seven days a week ... the cares of this world and the trying circumstances we may find ourselves facing, can begin to weigh down on us heavier and heavier, and it can affect our trust in God, and also affect our prayer lives, not to mention our desire to be used of God to be a blessing to others.
We aren’t JUST here on earth, waiting someday to get to heaven. God says that our position in Christ is so secure – so assured – that we are to work DILIGENTLY at NOT thinking so much about ourselves, and start thinking of how God can use us to be a blessing to someone else. Providing, of course, that we don't turn our back on God permanently and essentially renounce being a Christian anymore.
How can we set our mind (affections) on things above, and not on the things of this earth, as scripture tells us to do? (See: Colossians 3:2). Well – what do you think heaven is all about? If you will be so kind, please allow an ex-prisoner to tell you. It’s about seeking ways to be a blessing others. God first – others second. And because that is what heaven is all about … what is stopping us from practicing the very same thing before we get there? Nothing but our resentment towards God and maybe even feeling sorry for ourselves, and/or our selfishness doing our thinking for us. Ouch! That hurt, didn’t it, but it’s true. We must be very careful: The easiest thing in this world is to be addicted to a mindset of: “I’m getting a rotten deal here in life. God – when you start blessing me, I’ll get more enthusiastic about You.”
If we were to write an entire book on the faithfulness of God, backing up everything with holy scripture correctly applied, we will come to the solid conclusion that God cannot be anything BUT faithful. God doesn’t need to be convinced – EITHER – that He is faithful. He knows full well that He is faithful.
Here then, is the crux of the whole matter: What God is looking for are people who will be faithful to HIM! - especially in the midst of their trials, like Job was. Even if it were possible that God is NOT faithful (a ridiculous statement, I realize), God would STILL be looking for people who are faithful to Him.
Let us always remember … He’s the judge and rewarder. God will reward those who were faithful to Him while on earth -- especially those who had every “logical earthly reason” to believe they have gotten a rotten deal handed to them in various stages of their life, and maybe even right now.
Dear reader: If that is where you are right now in life – being tempted to believe that “God has handed you a rotten blow in life”, please realize you might be experiencing a type of “Job testing” and not even realize it. And - God may allow you to stay in the painful place you are emotionally in (and maybe physically) until you determine within yourself to declare that “God IS faithful to me, and that’s the beginning and the ending of the matter! I don’t care how much suffering I’ve undergone in the past, nor might have to experience in the future … here is my daily proclamation":
“God is faithful to me and that’s all I have to say about the matter. I realize that to have maximized faith in God’s faithfulness to me, I need to be diligent to examine myself frequently and make any necessary adjustments, AND daily purpose to please Him in accordance with His written Word wisely applied, though I refuse to condemn myself if I fall short, as Romans 8:1 addresses.”
With a daily attitude like this … it motivates God to set things in motion on your behalf that you may NEVER experience otherwise in this life. Think about it: What have you to LOSE in adopting such a mindset?
If you remember little else from this writing, I sense the Holy Spirit wanting this declared:
God's faithfulness is not the most important issue. Our faithfulness to HIM IS! (which is being faithful to His Word, and/or - to anything God may have said directly to you). That is what He will reward us greatly for on the Judgment Day.
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Here is another testimony/writing by David Morphew: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/BornAgain/L-N/Mord.htm
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