By: William Henry
When it comes to faithfulness, we need understand the truth. According to Hebrews 11:1 as found in the NLT, we understand the biblical definition of faith.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT
When we examine this definition, we can see that we trust in God because we believe. We are saved by grace through faith. Salvation is purely based on faith. It is faith, not works.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10
Faith in God’s Word and that Jesus walked as a man of His Word is offers the truth and the promise of salvation. What we must understand are these principles. Grace brings salvation. Grace is something we don’t deserve but we are granted. Grace is required. Likewise, God grants mercy. Mercy is forgiveness. We need to remember to be thankful for God’s mercy. Mercy is the gift of not receiving what we do deserve. Freedom to live in victory knowing we receive the gift of life through God’s grace and mercy.
That does not abstain us from good works. It is because of salvation, we seek to do good. We seek to please God and honor Him with our salvation. It is through these good works that our faithfulness comes to light. God loves a faithful man, but a faithful man is hard to find.
Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? Proverbs 20:6
A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. Proverbs 28:20
I heard a sermon once concerning a man who wanted to be mentored by his pastor. This guy wanted his pastor to teach him and mentor him. The pastor agreed and said he would help the student. He told the student to report to his office at 6:30pm every Monday.
The eager student showed up at 6:00 Monday evening, ready. The student had prepared notes and several ideas to ask about. He was eager to demonstrate to his teacher that he was ready to learn. At 6:45 a woman came out to where the student was sitting and told him the pastor would be unable to meet with him. She told him to come back at 6:30 next Monday and the pastor would meet with him then.
The next week, the student showed up at 6:10, once again eager. He had all his notes. This time, he had watched some sermons and made notes about how he felt he should proceed. This time 6:30 came and went. It was nearly 7:00pm and the pastor came out and informed the student that a counseling session that run long, there was a marriage in the balance. The teacher said he had to leave and would not be able to meet with the student. He said to come back the next Monday at 6:30.
This time, the student was discouraged. He knew he was showing up and he knew he was eager. He wanted so badly to be mentored. However, he didn’t understand why he could never get his time with his teacher. The following week. The young student decided the pastor hadn’t been able to see him at 6:30, so he took his time getting there. This time the student arrived at 6:45. He took his seat outside the pastor’s office. After several hours, he began to wonder. It was now 8:00pm. He started packing his notes and he heard the main door open. In walked the pastor. As he approached the student, he said “ Where were you?” The student said well, after so many times of being told 6:30 and never being seen, I didn’t think it would be a problem. I got here at 6:45.
The pastor looked at him with a confused face and said “ Hmm, I thought you were serious about this. If you can’t be faithful to show up at 6:30 every Monday how can you lead others to be faithful?”
The student had failed to learn the lesson. This was a question of faithfulness. Sometimes, we are caught up in our own perspective of others. We try to base our faithfulness on others or their lack of faith. God doesn’t tell us to be faithful if your friend is faithful, He said be faithful. The issue with the student is this. He had one task. Simply be at a certain place, at a certain time, faithfully. The teacher instructed him to show up at 6:30pm every Monday. He never committed to meeting with him, he simply told him to be there at 6:30pm on Mondays.
Often God tests us. He desires to help us understand that our faithfulness and commitment to obedience to Him is the most important thing. He desires for us to be successful, but for God to bless us we must be faithful. Sometimes just showing up is all that is necessary. God is always going to give you the opportunity, but the rest is up to you.
I would encourage you to examine your life. Do you have any missed opportunities? Maybe there are some things you thought you deserved or that you had earned. Maybe a missed promotion or something. Instead of blaming God or someone else, maybe you need to ask yourself if you proved to be faithful. Maybe you need to look yourself in the mirror and admit that you could have done better.
God placed a young man in my life to guide and mentor. I am trying to instill in him the value of faithfulness. Being a man of your word. Giving your best when no one else is looking. Giving your best even when those around you are not. Instead of thinking of it as giving others his best, give God his best. I will leave you these two scriptures and a prayer for God to give you wisdom and soften your heart. I pray that He will soften your heart and help you receive this truth with love.
I leave you these to verses of God’s Word to hold yourself to.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. Luke 16:10
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:23