You’ve Never Failed me Yet”, the song, was written as the result of reflecting back on the experiences we had with the lord in our lives and especially in ministry, and how I experienced God during those years.
The theme of the faithfulness of God is one that is becoming more and more difficult to tackle. Now it’s no longer the unbelievers who ask questions that link God’s love, his goodness and care to the state of our world or the things that happen in our lives. It’s no longer the unbelievers who asks “ If God is a loving, carrying, and a good God… then WHY?…
Born again Christians reach a point in their lives when they ask why God allow certain things to happen in their lives. They reach a point where even though they don’t really doubt the faithful character of God, they wonder why God apparently didn’t show to be always “faithful” in their lives. They wonder why they don’t really see What God promised, become fulfilled in their lives.
Is God faithful only when we have a happy endings? Are there limitations to God’s faithfulness? In other words, are there criteria that needs to exist for God to show his faithfulness? Is God faithful in this present world ? Is God faithful to you in the mist of your circumstances? What does God’s faithfulness refers to? What is the Bible really saying about the faithfulness of God?
I hope and pray the Holy Spirit will Open our eyes to see the “not so obvious” as we meditate on God’s faithfulness in the next 7 days.
Day 1- When my strength is gone
2 Cor 12: 8-10
Song extract: “ Even in times when I had no strength, oh God I’ve seen your hand”
There are may times when like Paul I was “handicapped”with a lingering situation that won’t go away no matter how hard I prayed, how many times I fasted and pleaded with God. Situations I had exhausted my creative mind over, situations that tested my resilience, my stubborn yet God given ability to bounce back.
I thought, if I could just pray more, if I could add fasting, if I could adjust my schedule, if I could avoid this person, if i could get hold of my very good friends in high places, if I Could try something new, if I play all my cards and do my part, If I can persist a bit more…
I always had a solution, until I came to the place I called “The end of Me”.
A place where even when I use the last strength to kneel down, no word could come out of my mouth…
And that is the place God wanted me to reach, in order to for him to show His hand, His strength. God wanted me to realize, I could not add an inch to my life, or make it better with my strategies, and smartness, and creativity and resilience … my strength. We often declare and confess not relying on our own strength, but we get up and pull all our resources out for combat.
Maybe you are facing a situation you’ve unsuccessfully done everything in your power to make better. You’ve played all your cards, you’ve done your part, you’ve even gone the extra mile to do what’s not your part. You’ve poured out your last energy… You are just done!
Now the journey begins…
Let God show you his faithfulness when you finally accept your weakness that you once called “strength”,
when you surrender to his ever sufficient grace. Let him carry you, and feel the amazing rest rest for not beeing in control. When we finally surrender you will no longer ask why God allowed the situation in your life in the first place, but like Paul you will boast all the more gladly in your weaknesses; you will delight in your impossible situation… for when you are weak, then you are strong.
Day 2 – My Hiding Place
Psalm 32: 7
Song extract: “ Storms of life come rushing hard oh God, in you I can hide”
The word of God throughout the scripture talk about times of trouble, and Sooner or later everyone experiences those times. As we can observe in our lives, those times come often.
Now more than ever our world is conditioning us to hide and loose consciousness of the trouble. We seek refuge in things that num our conscience but cannot save. Work, busy lives, friends, projects, friends, alcohol, drugs and list goes on. David declares “ The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.”
When we seek refuge in God, he does not just momentarily make us feel better. He is a resting place. He protect us from danger while we keep consciousness of the trouble.
At some point in my own life I thought to myself, it seems like the times of trouble outweigh the time of peace and tranquility. I’ve come to realize that The lord is not surprised by the frequency of my troubles, nor by their nature, nor intensity. He is not surprised, or overwhelmed by our circumstances. He delight in being a refuge for the oppressed.
Often times we find it fairly easier to run to God when the trouble we are into is not caused by our own actions. It becomes more difficult to run and hide in God when we’ve sinned against him. God encourages us to run and seek refuge in him regardless of what caused our trouble. David’s life is a wonderful example of this truth. David’s guilt over his sins has always drove him to runnand confess his sin to God and plead for pardon. He could hide in God no matter what the storm is. What ever the cause or the source of the storm you are facing today, God is a constant and sure refuge. He will cover you with his wings, if you would just run and hide in him.
Day 3- When you don’t understand God
Song extract: «Even in times when I don’t understand, I know you are on my side »
Have you ever reached a point where you felt angry at God? When it just seemed as if he told you one thing and served you something else? Or you felt as if God has NOT kept his promise? Or worst when you start doubting if what you heard really came from God?
Have you received the call to serve God in a specific area of ministry but God has led you in contradictory circumstances you had no power to change? Did God promised to do something in your life and you’ve waited waited and it just seems like time is running out?
Have you ever came to the conclusion that God has “deceived” you?
Relax, many other people today in the Bible have felt that way. It took me lots of prayers lots of tears and lots of opening myself to surrendering to realized that God has never ever changed his mind about me.
When God gives a promise, he’s as much interested in the end result as much as the process. He’s concerned about delivering the promise, as much as getting you to the promise. God is not just interested in giving us gifts, He’s even more interested in making a gift out of us.
See, a promise is always about an action in the future… “ I promise I will…” Between now and then, many things happen, and God would need to take us through the now and then. God is interested in getting us ready for the promise. God’s accomplishment of his promise in our lives is never disconnected with his strong desire for us to become a promise for others. Many times we are not ready to handle what he promised, and he needs to get us ready for it. Often times we form an idea of how God’s promise will look like, but the Bible teaches us that God’s thoughts and ways are far away from ours. His ways are indeed far better than our ways.
Believing that God of the promise is also the God of the journey to the promise is key to not loose faith and hope in what God is trying to accomplish in our lives. When you don’t understand…
trust in the God who choose to wonderfully clothe the field of the grass which will be thrown into the fire. Trust in the God who could prevent Lazarus from dying but chose to raise him up instead. Trust in the God of the promise to change your life rather than trust in the promise to change your circumstances. He is faithful!
Day 4- Count your blessings
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Song extract “You walked with me on the mountain top lord, you’ve never failed me”
God faithfulness is a theme that seems to be of relevance when things are not going the way we expect and we are to be reminded of His faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is mostly appreciated when his intervention comes to end a season of trails. In those times, we tend to appreciate and celebrate His faithfulness. Often times, we fail to notice or appreciate the faithfulness of God in things that have never been an issue in our lives, in things are going right for us or when we are on the mountain top.
Most times though we are simultaneously on a mountain top in one area of our life and in the valley low in another area of our life. Human nature tend to focus less on things going right and we fail to celebrate God for his faithfulness in the areas of our life where we are not struggling.
So many times I failed to recognize how God has kept me up on the mountain in many areas of my life. I would thank him for the day and thank him for my life but I would then focus on those areas where it seems I’m not having winnings. I failed to celebrate God and notice his faithfulness in many other aspects of my life.
When we take time to intentionally acknowledge and celebrate God’s faithfulness when things seem to be going « naturally right », it does not only glorify God, it unlocks faith and strength in us and reminds us that God who accomplished those things in one aspect is not blind to the other aspects of our lives.
Would you take some times today to acknowledge God’s ever presence and faithfulness in your life? Would you take some time today to count all your many blessings? Would you name them one by one and see what God has done?
Day 5 – His love is greater than your fear
Song extract: “You walked with me in the valley of death lord, you never failed me”
Yes, just like David, there are times in the Christian walk when we find ourselves in the valley, whether it’s the valley of lack, pain, sickness, loneliness, abandonment, homelessness, or even in the valley of death.
In those times, we are confronted by the feeling of danger. We fear to lose our comfort, our jobs, our reputation, our marriage and why not. We fear to lose our lives.
David made an astonishing declaration in Psalm 23:4. He declared that even though He walks through the valley of the shadow of death, He will fear no evil, for God is with Him.
Remark that David confidence was not in just being in the company of God while he walks through the valley, but his confidence was in the character of who was walking with him. He was confident that the one walking with him through the valley loves him more than anything and will surely not let anything harm him. His confidence was in the unchangeable, undeniable and sure love of God.
How many times do we find ourselves confronted to difficult situations in life and ask if God sees us, if he even loves us. When we doubt his love and care, fear creeps in. This is because we accept the thought that there is a chance God will not come to our rescue or will not protect us from evil while we are walking through the valley.
Fear creeps in because we do not know God’s love for us. The Bible teaches us that Love banish all fear. Knowing God’s love banish all fear.
Situations will come in your life and will shake you even to the foundations of your faith; But Knowing God’s heart and love for you in those times is extremely important.
Many times in my life when my heart fainted were times when my eyes were removed from the unconditional love of the father for me. When I look back at those times I can see how God has been faithful. He did not remove the valley but he kept me through it.
Is it today the day you need to be honest with God and tell him how much you’ve doubted his faithfulness only because you doubted his love for you?
Is it today a day you need to call your fear by name and tell it how much God loves you?
Shall we ask God to reveal to us the depth of his love?
Day 6 – God does want you to be Happy
Song extract: “You walked with me in the garden of joy, you’ve never left me”
Scripture clearly tells us that God is a pretty happy being. The Bible says in Zephaniah 3:17 that “God rejoices over us with singing” which literally means, God dances and spin around with singing over us. Just imagine God singing a song for you with Joy…
Not only scripture, but the nature also tells us God is a very joyful and happy person. God’s happiness is all over the place; it’s in the colors and shape of his creation. It’s in the colors of flowers, it’s in the songs of birds, and it’s in the kiss of the sun on your face.
If God is such a happy being, he wants you to be happy!!! So rest assure that God is not just that serious being somewhere frowning on you when you become loud and wild in happiness. He does not think happiness is unholy and will not leave you when you are happy.
Even though God wants us to be happy, that is not all he wants for us. God is the master of the seasons and of the seasons of our lives. More than happiness, God wants to form a character in us. Sometimes we go through difficulties and struggles, but even in the mist of those times the end result God desires is to bring us growth, maturity, spiritual health and therefore happiness.
The happiness he wants for us is not just a temporary one or just a superficial one. God wants a deep and lasting happiness for us. Sometimes that does not come without God taking certain things away from us because he has something better or because those things will provide only a surface level happiness and later cause pain. God is so faithful he watches for our joy to be perfect.
You want to be happy? God wants it for you too.
Are you happy? God is faithful to keep you safe in your happiness.
Let’s therefore have confidence that he, who wants us to be happy, is faithful in all he does in our lives.
Day 7- The friend who Sticks Around
3 John 15:13
Song extract “You walked with me on the rocky road you’ve never left my side”
Few years ago, my kids introduced me to the movie the “Lord of the rings”. They were so much into that film I had to finally sit down and watch all three parts back to back. That was a test to my patience…until I fell in total admiration for one of the characters. He would have been the main character if the movie was titled “The Friend of the Chosen”.
Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, Frodo Baggins’s friend has played an extraordinary and important role in the victory over the ring. Sam was the moral, emotional and physical rock for Frodo during the difficult parts of the journey. He suffered cold, hunger, tiredness, betrayal, Frodo’s anger and rejection, but never back down from his love for His Friend. Many times He resisted the influence of the ring and took the risk of wearing the evil jewel when Frodo could not take it any longer.
I so admire Sam’s steadfast love for Frodo, especially during the last battle to victory, when he picked up a lumping and falling Frodo and cried: “Come, Mr. Frodo!’ I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get! Come on, Mr. Frodo dear! Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he’ll go” What a friend…
What a friend we have in Jesus, he who, like the illustration above, never leaves us. He never abandons us when the going gets tough. He never back down. He never turns away. He is not scared of your trials, he is not grossed by your mess, he is not surprised by your confusion, nor is he scandalized by your mistakes.
He is willing to take you by the hand, walk the rocky road with you, comfort and support you along the way. He will walk the long distance with you and will pick you up when your feet start to bleed. Jesus is faithful in friendship, faithful till death, death on a cross. Won’t you invite him on that rocky road today?
We see through this devotional that even though seasons occur in our lives, God is not seasonal in his love, goodness, or faithfulness. The times when we think God is not present are those very times when he had us in the palm of his hand. The question is no longer why God has not accomplished his promises in our lives but rather if our perspective of God’s promises and how he accomplishes them is renewed. We no longer measure God’s faithfulness to happy endings but we know God is faithful in the journey and through the process. We now can rest assure that God’s faithfulness is not limited to good times or bad times. He is the God who holds and control all seasons.