Independence Village Devotional 8/21/19
“But the Lord is faithful” (2 Thessalonians 3:3a)
Tonight, I’d like to share with you a verse I read this morning from my personal Bible reading. It ministered to my soul and I hope it ministers to yours as well. The verse is found in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the church at Thessalonica and is 2 Thessalonians 3:3a. It reads “But the Lord is faithful.” I think this simple statement is profoundly reorienting when we let it sink into our souls and reorder our thoughts and lives. It is a truth worth considering again tonight as we sing hymns together.
It is always good to consider verses of the Bible in their context. This verse finds its context in a section where Paul is speaking about the difficulties of ministry and life. He has just asked the believers in the Thessalonian church to pray for him (2 Thess 3:1) and his ministry; he requested that they would pray for him so that as he preached the gospel it would be received (1 Thess 3:1b) and that God would deliver him from “wicked and evil men” (1 Thess 3:2a). Paul then reminds the Thessalonians that “not all have faith, but the Lord is faithful.” (2 Thess 3:2b-3a).
Paul remembered that even though there were many obstacles to faithful gospel ministry, God was still faithful to His people and His Word, and he was confident that God would “establish and guard” the Thessalonian believers “against the evil one” (2 Thess 3:3b). He knew that they were safe with God, who is a faithful God.
This is our hope as Christians: God is faithful. He is faithful to His promises and He is faithful to His people.
He is faithful to promises. God has created us and made us to know Him and love Him. But we all have chosen the path of rejecting God’s kind kingly reign over us. We have chosen what the Bible calls SIN. We’ve wandered away from God, the source of life and beauty and truth, and chosen the path of spiritual death, destruction and foolishness. In our state, we are alienated from God and estranged from Him; moreover, we stand guilty before God for breaking His law. Left to ourselves, we have NO HOPE. But the Bible teaches that God is rich in mercy and love and has acted to save us.
After Adam and Eve sinned, God promised that there would be a descendent who would defeat Satan and Satan’s power (Gen 3:15). Later, God promised Abraham that he would have a descendent who would cause all the nations of the earth to be blessed (Gen 12:1-2). Later still, God told King David that he would have a son who would reign forever over God’s people as a king (2 Sam 7:12). And later beyond that, God told His people through Isaiah that there would be a Messiah who would take on the people’s sins himself and bring about a spiritual healing (Isaiah 53).
Those are just four promises from the O.T. but we see that in Jesus Christ, all of these have been fulfilled! God is FAITHFUL! Jesus, God the Son, came and defeated sin and Satan and death through his life and death and resurrection. Jesus has brought about the kingdom of God and now all the nations of the earth are being blessed with the good news of the gospel (Matt 28:18-20). Jesus is the promised king of God’s people (John 18:36) and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). We see here that God is FAITHFUL to His promises.
As Christians, we cling to His promises today. God promised eternal life to us in Jesus Christ: God so loved the world, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). God promised, in Romans 8:28-29, that for the Christian, God would “cause all things to work together for good.” God promised to never leave the Christian (Matt 28:20b). God promised a forgiveness for all who are in Christ (Col 1:14). God told us that all who become Christians are adopted into the family of God (John 1:12-13). God promised to give Christians the Holy Spirit to empower us for holiness (John 16:12-16). God promised that in those whom He began a good work, He would carry it on to the day of Christ (Phil 1:6). These are just a few of the many amazing and great promises that God has given to those who are Christians, and God is faithful to His promises.
God will continue to be faithful to His people. He will never abandon the Christian. He may allow us to go through grievous and painful trials, but He uses these trials for our good and His glory. He is faithful to love His people everyday! He is faithful to look over His children every minute. Psalm 121 says that God is our “keeper,” which means that God is actively caring for us. It also reads that in that Psalm that God does not slumber or sleep. I once had a job where I had to sit at a front desk from 12 am-6 am, it was called the graveyard shift. Sometimes it was INCREDIBLY difficult not to fall asleep. But it is not hard for God. God is FAITHFUL to look after his children all day and all night. He watches over us and is doesn’t get bored or tired of us. He is the faithful God.
Friends, I we want to encourage you tonight to set your hearts on God who is faithful.
If you are not a Christian, we urge you to come to faith in Jesus tonight. God is faithful also to punish sin and complete His justice. Don’t think that your sins are minor and will be overlooked—God is faithful to punish all sin and evil. But He is also faithful to pardon the sins of those who have faith in Jesus. You are never too old to become a Christian. In Romans 5:8 we read of God’s faithful love, “God demonstrates his love toward us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
If you are a Christian, rest in the fact that God is faithful. You may not be faithful to obey Him perfectly and walk in His ways every second—I know that I fail and sin daily—but God is faithful to forgive us and lead us back to Himself; God is faithful to lead us in paths of righteousness, for His Name’s sake (Ps 23:3b). And when He does take us home in glory, He is faithful to bring us to Himself.
Let us pray and sing to the God who is faithful and is faithful to hear the prayers of His people.