The Attributes of God: Faithful
Heartbreak. Betrayal. Back-stabbed. Slandered. Disowned. Ignored. Forgotten. Left behind. Cheated. Misused. We all know the unfaithfulness of people in some form. Maybe it was a friend who talked behind your back. Maybe it was a boyfriend or husband who kissed another woman. Maybe it was a parent who abandoned you, or who was never present in the first place. Unfaithfulness, no matter how it is given, is painful. Sadly, even the people who love us the most and desire to be faithful to us will at some point fail in this aspiration. They may break a promise, forget us, or say a cruel word.
As well as we know the sting of the unfaithfulness of others to us, we also know of our own unfaithfulness. Hurtful words we have spoken to others we were supposed to love. Promises we made that we never fulfilled. Times when we were supposed to stand strong to hold another up but ran away and let them fall. Just as others have left their marks of unfaithfulness on us, we have likewise left our own wounds of unfaithfulness.
Who can be trusted? Can we rely on anyone? If even those who love us most will still be unfaithful due to their sin, and we ourselves cannot be trusted because of our sin, is there anyone who we can look to that will be steadfast?
Praise be to God, who is forever faithful.
God’s Faithfulness Where Others Fail
It’s tempting to put our faith in spouses, friends, or family. But as we have already established, that it isn’t a solid place to trust—like an old, wavering bridge, they are bound to collapse under us. People are corrupted by sin. Those people who hurt and abandoned us are not perfect. They need grace just like I do. But God is different.
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19
God can’t tell a lie, and He can’t break a promise because God can’t do anything outside of His character. God never needs to be forgiven by us. God is perfect in all His ways. But this doesn’t mean we should never grant trust to one another. We can expose our hearts with the chance of them being hurt because we know God will always be faithful to us.
God sees our sins, He sees our struggles, He knows our ugly side, yet He still loves us as His children and remains faithful. And that’s all we need—if all else falls away, God will remain as our hope and stay. We don’t need to rely on others to be perfect because God already is. God has seen all our shame and sin, and He didn’t run away but died on the cross for it. If God is the only one left when everyone abandons us, then we have more than enough. God is enough.
God’s Faithfulness in Our Unfaithfulness
God is faithful even when we are not faithful to Him.
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
What a comfort this is to us—we fail God every single day by being unfaithful to Him. We are unfaithful by worshipping idols we have erected in our hearts, by choosing to sin rather than obeying his Word, and by loving others more than we love Him. And yet, He does not abandon us. He does not break his promises to us. He does not stop loving us or showing us grace. Instead, He continues to be faithful. Not because we are great people, but because He cannot deny His nature of perfect faithfulness. In the midst of our unfaithfulness, God forgives.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
God is faithful to not leave us in our current state, but to sanctify us: “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; see also Philippians 1:6).
Though our journey through sanctification may seem slow at times, we can trust that God will faithfully bring us to the end. Even more, God promises He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to resist: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Even the most loyal person is still an imperfect human being. But God is perfect in all His ways, including His faithfulness. What can we proclaim, other than God is trustworthy? We can live in confidence, knowing God will remain faithful to His promises and faithful to us—not based on anything we have done or will do or anything worthy in us, but because He must remain true to Himself.