I do hope you all are enjoying this study on growing wholesome virtues in our lives. What with all the things that we all wrote down at the beginning of the year – ‘lose weight. learn ____. read more. spend less. go back to college.’ whatever they were, I hope that growing in our faith at least made it in our mental list of dreams for this year. I want to be a woman of God in every role I have: a wife that treats her husband as God has called her to – with respect, submission and love – a friend that is compassionate and speaks truth into others’ lives, a sister that is there for her siblings whether it be a listening ear or encouragement that is needed, and a daughter that can now minister to her parents in love, respect and honor for all they have done for her. Looking back at February, I was able to note that I had ended the month much more hopeful than I had started it. The beginning of the month marked a time that I was really struggling mentally with this chronic illness that has stunted my life so much – and yet, is it not still a full life? I look around me at the people in my life and know that, despite not being able to accomplish all I would like to, I am a very blessed woman. And with that realization, came the reminder that He does indeed love me and want what is best for me. This pain that is slowly devastating my body does not diminish that in the slightest. By thinking these things, and a lot of daily prayer, I ended February with a great deal more hope in my heart than at the beginning.
If you would like, feel free to check out the first two studies – Virtue and Hope - and then check back in here! This month’s study will be a little different, because I want to focus on what faithfulness in our lives looks like and God’s faithfulness to us. A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.
So please, grab your Bible and join me!
- strict or thorough in the face of duty
- true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc
- steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
- reliable, trusted or believed
- adhering or true to a fact, a standard or an original; accurate
- full of faith, believing
Synonyms : ” True. Devoted. Staunch. Faithful, constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, devotion and dependability. Faithful implies long-continued and steadfast devotion to whatever one is bound to by pledge, duty or obligation. Constant suggests firmness and steadfastness in attachment. Loyal implies unswerving allegiance.”
1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear Adonai and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for think what great things He has done for you!”
First, I want to clear up the word ‘fear‘ in this verse. It is not to be taken in the ‘scared’ sense of the word, but rather in the ‘reverential awe’ sense. So to re-word it ‘ Be in reverent awe of Adonai ‘ – for me, that makes what the writer is saying come alive more. Don’t be complacent toward Him, be in AWE of Him. Serve Him faithfully. Serve Him loyally, constantly, steadily. Not as one willy-nilly, but as one who is full of faith in Adonai.
Prov. 3:3,5 ” Do not let grace and truth leave you – bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart… Trust Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding.”
What I get from this verse is to be intentional about keeping grace and truth in your life. Don’t ‘hope’ that they stay- for if you do that, they certainly won’t. What is around your neck cannot go far from you, and what you have written on your heart will stay as well – be sure that what God has spoken to you through His word will always be with you.
Heb. 10:23 “Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering; for the One who made the promise is trustworthy.”
Continue holding fast = faithfulness. Without wavering = Steady-constant-loyal. And what reason are we given for remaining faithful? Because our God, Adonai, is trustworthy. Want to know what the meaning of trustworthy is? Deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable. Now, seeing some repetition to the meaning of faithful, I’d say trustworthy is close to saying the same thing as ‘He is faithful’. Knowing that someone is faithful to what he has promised, makes it a whole lot easier to carry out your part of the bargain, doesn’t it? Now, this is my example for this: you have plans to meet a friend for coffee say. But you’re tired, you’ve had a bad week and all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Pride and Prejudice. If your friend is one that you know will show up at the coffee shop when you planned, it is a lot easier to tell the couch to wait a few hours and go, than it is if the friend is one that tends to not remember when you’ve made plans, or shows up an hour late. We all have at least one of those friends, so I’m sure you can relate to this example. Isn’t it amazing how with just knowing if the person is trustworthy, or faithful, to do what they said they would, your priorities can change? You might still be tired, but you know you will have a good time because you both have set aside this time to meet together.
Deut. 6:5 -6 “And you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart.”
The word ‘faithfulness’ doesn’t show up in these verses, but it is so fully described. Love Him with all you are and all that you can be. The following verses show how they are to be in every aspect of your life – sitting, laying down, working, teaching your children, etc. Our commitment to Him is to pervade every aspect of our lives. I know that we’ve all heard ‘give everything to Him’, but how hard it truly is! For me, these past months, I have held onto my pain as a thing to grasp in my frustration. But giving it to Him is so sweet, so freeing. Even in my chronic illness, I will be faithful , constant, loyal to Him.
Here are some verses sharing how God is faithful to us:
Eph. 2:8 “For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift.”
Rom. 10:9 “that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be delivered.”
I love what is required to be delivered. Trusting. Plus, did you see any ‘but if you are a ___ you will not be delivered?’ no, i didn’t either. Whoever trusts in Him will be delivered. He will be saved. What wonderful love, and what faithfulness that He keeps His promise here.
1 John 1:9 “If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is trustworthy and just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.”
Acknowledging our sin can be difficult – simply because of pride. Deep down, we all know what we have done wrong, what things we struggle with, but it’s admitting them – out loud or just inwardly to to Adonai – and asking for forgiveness, that is difficult. But how sweet the reward! He will forgive us and make us clean again. Hallelujah.
Psalms 119:89-90 “Your word continues forever, Adonai, firmly fixed in heaven; your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands.”
Psalm 91:4 ” He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His truth is a shield and protection.”
I like how these two verses go together – He is firmly fixed in heaven, and as such, His protection of us is a sure thing. There will be no ‘walking away’ or disappointing us. Ever. Adonai is the epitome of faithfulness.
2 Tim. 2:13 ” If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself.”
Titus 3:4-6 “But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, He delivered us. It was not on the ground of any righteous deeds we had done, but on the ground of His own mercy. He did it by means of the mikveh (bath/cleansing) of rebirth and the renewal brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), whom He poured out on us generously through Yeshua the Messiah, our Deliverer.”
Hallelujah. Our God is faithful, He forgives us, He cleanses us and He gave us a helper as we travel along our path in this life. And coupled with that, He tells us how to live so that we may have full, blessed lives.
Above is a printable for you so you can have a simple reminder of His faithfulness.
Thank you so much for joining me in this series, blessings,