Studying the attributes of God, it is critical to address the issue of God’s faithfulness.  Can God be trusted to do what he says he will do?

Incorrect Perception: The Unreliable God

The unreliable god is walking around with some significant baggage left by numerous people in our lives.  Each of us knows what it feels like to be forgotten and isolated.  Too many people have broken some precious promises which led us to some serious consequences.  Each time that someone failed to keep his or her word, we built emotional walls up higher than we ever thought possible.  In order to keep ourselves safe, we learned to keep people out.

We make God pay for the mistakes of others.  For all the people who have proven to be unreliable, we associate their nature with God’s nature.  We stare at the promises of God and demand that we receive a deadline of when they will come to pass.  We confuse God’s reliability with our expectations of how he should do it.  When God doesn’t do things the way we want it and when we want it, we decry his methods and question his motives.  Since God doesn’t operate according to our preferences, we claim him to be unreliable.

The Faithfulness of God

God is not unreliable.  God is faithful.

While people are characterized by unfaithful transgressions and faithless decisions, God reassures his faithfulness time and time again.  In fact, all of the other attributes are uniquely dependent upon this one.  If God’s holiness is not faithful, he will periodically change his stance on issues of morality.  If God’s mercy is not faithful, he will second guess his decisions and change his mind when he is having a bad day.  If God’s omnipotence is not faithful, he will encounter certain obstacles of which his hands are tied.  The attribute of God’s faithfulness keeps all the other attributes consistent.          

The faithfulness of God means that whatever God says is completely true and it will truly come to pass.

    1. God is Trustworthy– God is faithful because his words are true.
      1. We are liars (Num. 23:19) in a culture of liars (Isa. 6:5) led by the Father of lies (John 8:44).
      2. God’s faithfulness is seen in that his words can be trusted.
          • God never lies and so, therefore, his promises can be trusted (Tit. 1:2).
          • Due to God’s nature, it is actually impossible for him to lie (Heb. 6:18).
          • God has never lied nor does he change his mind (Num. 23:19).
          • Since God’s words are true, we know that his promises to us are good things (2 Sam. 7:28).
          • God’s words have been refined and are completely pure without any blemish upon them (Ps. 12:6).
          • When sinful people finally hear God’s words compared to the judgments of sinful leaders, they will know them to be true (Ps. 141:6).
          • Every one of God’s words proves to be true (Prov. 30:5).
          • Even though the grass and the flowers fade, the word of our God stands forever (Isa. 40:8).
          • Our sanctification process is contingent upon God’s words being true (John 17:17).
    2. God is Reliable– God is faithful because his promises are reliable.
      1. For all the expansive lists of promises made by God in Scripture, every single one of them finds their “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20).
      2. Whatever God has promised, he will do (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Ps. 89:34; Ps. 105:8; Gen. 28:15; Phil. 1:6).
      3. Do not mistake God’s patience with your definition of slowness (Isa. 55:8; 2 Pet. 3:8-9; Jer. 29:10-11).
    3. God is Willing– God is faithful because he is willing to help us in temptation.
      1. God promised we would never be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13).
      2. As we pray for God not to lead us into temptation (Matt. 6:13), we are assured that he will never tempt us (James 1:13), and that he will always guide us to a safe path away from the temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
    4. God is Consistent– God is faithful because his character is consistent.
      1. God’s character will not allow unfaithfulness on his part (2 Tim. 2:13).
      2. As we confess our unfaithful sins, he is faithful to forgive us of those sins (1 John 1:9).
      3. We can be guaranteed of such incredible promises due to God’s faithful and consistent nature (1 Thess. 5:24; Lam. 3:22-23).

If the LORD has been this faithful this far, how could I ever fathom that he would leave me now (1 Sam. 7:12)?

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.