That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Staying Faithful

I'm so glad God is faithful!  The Bible gives us many great promises of His faithfulness.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (I Cor 1:9).

Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it (I Thess. 5:24)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9)

Sometimes it becomes difficult to be a faithful Christian.  Discouragement is very real, and we all struggle with it.  I've seen a lot of Christians give in to the discouragement and quit.  I've given in to it at times too.  I don't think there's anything more discouraging than a discouraged Christian!  Discouragement is a disease that pulls us down and causes us to become unfaithful to our Lord.  I don't think any Christians wants to be unfaithful on purpose!  We don't set out planning to let God down, but the struggle of the Christian life is very real.

I like to be optimistic.  I like to look for the positive in things.  I learned a long time ago that dwelling on the negative only makes me unhappy, discontent, and downright miserable.  What's the point of going through life being sad all the time??  But, that doesn't change the fact that staying faithful to the Lord is still really hard!  So, here are some things that have helped me and continue to help me stay faithful.  The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:15-29 teaches us a lot about faithfulness.

1.  God commands us to be faithful.
God gave these servants the talents, and He expected them to do something with them.  When God tells us to do something it's because He knows that is what is best for us.  Following God's commands always brings peace, joy, and blessings to the Christian.  What amazing benefits of staying faithful!

2.  God rewards faithfulness (Matt 25:21-23).
I think it's pretty amazing that God actually gives us a reward for following Him!  We let Him down so often, but not only does He forgive us when we ask, He allows us to continue to serve Him, and then He reward us for the things we do for Him!  The servants were rewarded with ruling over cities.

3.  Faithfulness pleases God (Matt 25:21-23).
Not only did God reward the faithful servants in this parable, but He said to them "Well done..."  He was pleased with them that they had served Him.  I think this is one of the greatest motivations for a Christian.  Our whole lives should be about pleasing God.  There's much teaching in the Scripture on this (Gal 1:9-10, Col 3:23, I Cor 10:31).

The truth is, there's a lot to be discouraged about sometimes, but that's not what God wants for us.  He just wants us to be faithful.  We have to come to the point where we accept that it doesn't matter if we have a big church, an influential ministry, a published book, the perfect marriage, a successful career, or whatever!  God just wants us to be faithful.  I've been in big churches and small churches.  The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, but I can tell you from experience that it's just as hard to be faithful in a big church as it is in a small one.  God's ways are so far above our ways.  We may not understand why He does certain things in our lives, but we can always understand that He just wants us to be faithful.

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