But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants.
God is always faithful to do as He promised. Even throughout the Old Testament, God’s faithfulness is extolled, even though He would not fulfill His promise of a Savior until many years later. Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise. Let us thank and praise our God for His faithfulness to His promise to the Israelites, for it is through the fulfillment of that promise that we can find salvation! Every promise that He has made and fulfilled should be a source of joy to us, because it reminds us that He will keep all His promises. Every time we see a rainbow, we can be reminded of this: it is a promise God made to Noah and all mankind that He would never destroy the earth with a flood again. This is just one example of a promise God has made and fulfilled.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;We already know that the fruits of the Spirit are reflections of God’s character: we are called to love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19); we are to reflect God’s goodness and kindness and patience, etc. So clearly, we are to be faithful because God Himself is faithful.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
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!
But there is a deeper relationship between God’s faithfulness and our faithfulness at work here, which is this: we are able to be faithful to the things which God has called us to do because He is faithful to do what He has promised. This connection is much more important than it would first appear.
We can and should trust a holy God who can no more break a promise than He can commit sin. He is all-powerful, so whatever He commands to happen will happen. The only way we can be faithful to the tasks that God has given us to do if we believe that He will be faithful to hold up His end of the bargain, so to speak. We can be faithful to preach the Gospel because He has promised to save the elect by that means. We can be faithful in our everyday tasks, in being a mother or father, in whatever we do, because we know that none of it goes to waste; it all glorifies God.
Whatever God has promised, He will do it, and we have to behave as though we believe He will. There is one area where most of us need to be assured of this: sin. I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time, I will find myself committing the same sins over and over again. Or a sin that I thought I had defeated a long time ago will creep back up on me. And if I focus on that sin, I will get discouraged and be less likely to fight against it, which leads to more sin, and it becomes a vicious cycle.
What we have to do is focus on God’s promise that we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 8:1-4). He has set us free, by the blood of His Son! And He has promised us that He will progressively sanctify us and purify us from sin.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24If you look ahead to that great work of sanctification, and remember that because He has promised it, it will happen, you will be more likely to progress towards that goal by actively destroying sin. The same logic applies to weight loss (for example). If you concentrate on what your body is like now (with those ten extra pounds of turkey and holiday cookies sitting around your middle) you will probably get discouraged and fail before you even start. But if you focus on your future goal, you will be more likely to make the changes in diet and exercise necessary to achieve that goal, a little at a time. We are able to be faithful today by living in anticipation of the future, and what God promises will happen in the future.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
If you need more convincing of the faithfulness of God, I highly recommend reading the stories of Moses, Abraham, Gideon, and David, as well as the promise of a Messiah (spoken of by the prophets), which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. That will inspire you to believe God will do what He says, so that you can be faithful to serve Him wherever He has put you, even if it doesn’t feel like it is doing any good. I hope this reminder encourages you to be a dedicated and faithful husband, wife, mother, father, pastor, student, or whatever other role God has given to you!
Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.