The Virtues – Faithfulness
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man? Proverbs 20:6 NKJV
Faithfulness is keeping your word, even when it is impossible. Faithfulness is working hard and doing your best in what God has given you to do, even when the prideful voice within you says the work is below you or unappreciated. Faithfulness is doing what you say you will do, even if it takes years.
Jesus promised to return to earth one day, and His disciples have been longing for that day since the moment He ascended to heaven. It’s been a long time, it’s an old promise. But Jesus is faithful. If He said He would return, He will. Faithful is one of His Kingly names.
The apostle John was given a vision of the end times and the second coming of Christ. In the vision, John saw heaven opened and a white horse on which Jesus was riding, and John said, “He who sat on him was called Faithful and True…” (Revelation 19:11 NKJV).
John was seeing a future, yet to be realized, event, the second coming of Christ. It is still to be realized in our generation and there’s no telling how much longer it will be before what Jesus promised, and what John saw in the vision, will come to pass on the earth. But we know it will because Jesus is Faithful and He keeps His Word.
This is how we must be, dear one. Faithful to our word no matter what. And faithfulness is difficult because it is hindered by our number one adversary, our pride. When pride is wounded it calls for pay-back, “If you don’t like me, then I don’t like you. So there!”
But we are called to a perfect love that forgives and is unoffendable. Part of faithfulness is the ability to humbly accept ridicule, hate, and any harmful attack that is based in sheer meanness, because of love. In fact, it is humility that empowers faithfulness, that is, truly preferring others above yourself.
Think about what Jesus endured yet remained faithful —
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 NKJV
Isaiah saw a vision of the future rejection of Jesus, the Messiah, and described what he saw as a lamb being led to slaughter. He could have resisted and escaped, He was God Incarnate. Yet He chose to endure the suffering and rejection. How was Jesus able to withstand the treatment of sinful men?
He had surrendered His will to the will of the Father. He wasn’t living for Himself or for His comforts, He was humbly walking the path God set before Him. Willingly, selflessly, lovingly.
Pride is always looking for a crown, only humility will lead you to a cross.
Pride will resist the cross with kicking and screaming. Following my pride will never lead to God’s path for my life. Faithfulness is following the path Jesus leads me down even if it leads in a direction I didn’t expect or wouldn’t prefer. Faithfulness.
In the parable of the talents, the Master gives resources to His servants. Some a little, some more. But the point of the entire story is faithfulness. Those who work with what they were given are called faithful, while those who are fearful and reluctant called wicked and lazy (Matthew 25:26 NLT).
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” Matthew 25:23 NLT.
You don’t have to be a Christian to be faithful. But it is a difficult road whether or not you are a follower of Christ. That’s why Faithfulness is listed among the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. It is a byproduct of a Spirit-filled life. Faithfulness is among the virtues God will grow in your life as a result of laying aside your agenda and picking up His.
Follow Jesus, dear one, and your humility and contentment will lead to a selfless, faithful and truly fulfilling life.