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EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) -- The word "always" is frequently misused in our everyday conversations, simply because the definition and its application often do not match.
The definition of "always" is "at all times." If you think about it, no one is "always" late or "always" on time, but when we speak of the faithfulness of God, always is the correct word. God is always faithful to His promises -- and understanding this attribute is the key to the life of faith that we long to experience.
If you desire a stronger faith, then isolate a difficulty and find a promise in the Bible that speaks to that problem. In Deuteronomy 7:9, the Lord is called "the faithful God." Psalm 36:5 says that His faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 37:3 tells us to "feed on His faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "… His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."
As we trust the Lord to be faithful to His promises, we experience an inner peace that crowds worry to the corners of our minds, and then out the door.
When we realize that God is faithful to every promise He has made in the Bible, it instantly revamps our perspective. We can become Abraham-like, following in the footsteps of the man who "did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Romans 4:20-21). He is always faithful to His promises.
Likewise, God is always faithful to His plan. The books of Daniel and Revelation (and other passages in the Bible) lay out God's plan for the ages. One of the joys of my ministry has been studying biblical prophecy and teaching the doctrine of the end times. Prophecy and providence go hand in hand. Prophecy is the prediction of what God is going to do while providence is His engineering of events to accomplish it. Providence is God guiding the course of global history as well as the affairs of the individual lives of His children.
He knows the plans He has for us; our steps are ordered by the Lord; and He leads us in an appointed way. When tragedies befall us, we can't minimize or ignore them, but with the passing of time we increasingly understand that "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform," as a hymnwriter once put it.
George Truett was 30 when he was named pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas. His life took a tragic turn when he accidentally fired his gun and killed the Dallas police chief during a hunting trip. Truett was inconsolable in his grief. He felt certain that he would never return to the pulpit.
But Psalm 31 came forcibly to mind: "But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD.... My times are in Your hand...." (verses 14-15). Finally it was announced that Truett would return to the pulpit, and churches across Dallas cancelled their services to join him as a sign of support. He made it through the service and remained pastor of the church for the rest of his life. During his tenure, church membership increased from 700 to 7,000. The tragedy at the beginning of his ministry led to a helplessness of heart that enabled God to take over.
Our heartaches cannot be downplayed. They often cannot be understood. But God is bigger than our burdens and He is always faithful to His providential plans for our days.
God is always faithful to His people. How important it is to remember that truth! Even during a season of thanksgiving, we're prone to worry. This is the time of year when our minds whipsaw from elections to thanksgiving. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by world events or with personal circumstances.
But come what may, don't grow frenzied, troubled or panicked. You're under God's providential care. Our God is faithful to His promises, His plans and His people.
He is faithful to you. He always has been; He always will be.
David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif.
For more information on Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.