VIDEO The Reassuring Quality of Faithfulness

The Reassuring Quality of Faithfulness – Dr. Charles Stanley

Sooner or later, each of us must face the reality that in our own strength we don’t measure up—we’ve all sinned and fallen short most every day of our lives. But the good news is God’s faithfulness to us has never depended on our perfection. In this message, Dr. Stanley explores four ways we experience God’s fidelity in keeping His promises to His children. Relax into the trustworthy character of our heavenly Father—He will never leave or forsake you.


Pray for Jerusalem

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.” Psalm 122:6-7

According to Wikipedia, “Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times.” In short, it has been the most conflicted piece of real estate in history. Ironically, Jerusalem has traditionally been called the “city of peace.”

It is no surprise that Jerusalem, the city where God chose to establish His presence in the Old Testament era, and to which Christ will return, has been the center of great conflict. In Zechariah 14, a chapter focused on the Second Coming of Christ, Jerusalem is embattled by all the armies of the world (verse 2). But then, in verse 4, Christ is shown returning to the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, having destroyed the armies. From the city, then, will flow rivers of “living waters” (verse 8). Today, Jerusalem remains an embattled city, surrounded by nations who oppose Israel. Perhaps we are on the doorsteps of the return of the King.

In your prayers, “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”—especially for the arrival of the Prince of Peace whose kingdom will reign over all the earth.

There will be no universal peace till the Prince of Peace appears. J. C. Ryle

The Pathway of Faith

Genesis 12:1-9

Scripture says that we are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). That means we’re unable to know what’s ahead but can trust the God who does. Abraham is a prime example, and we should follow in his steps. When called to leave his country and family to go to a land God would show him, Abraham obeyed. Hebrews 11:8 adds, “He left, not knowing where he was going.” 

That’s basically a summation of the Christian life. Each day we face the unknown, but we trust the Lord to guide us. Since we don’t know the particulars, our walk with God can seem perplexing. That’s when we’re tempted to rely on our own feelings, perceptions, and reasoning. But sometimes He places us in situations to teach us to trust Him even when we don’t know where we’re going and cannot see the outcome.

The Lord wants us to lay down our own ways of figuring things out and instead to walk by faith. That may sound risky, but here’s why it’s absolutely reasonable: The One leading us has complete knowledge of the future and the power to orchestrate all events to achieve His good purposes in our life.

God the Owner

The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)

In communist countries, “the people” own the lands, while in capitalist countries individuals may own “private property.” Both are myths unless these are viewed as a stewardship from God. We don’t really own anything, “for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7).

In the mineral kingdom, the most important substances are the precious metals upon which monetary standards are based, yet God makes it clear that all “the silver is mine, and the gold is mine” (Haggai 2:8). The greatest members of the plant kingdom are the mighty trees of the forest, and God reminds us that “the trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted” (Psalm 104:16). All the birds and beasts in the animal kingdom are His also. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).

Again and again God reminds us that “all the earth is mine” (Exodus 19:5), and even the infinite heavens belong to Him. “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deuteronomy 10:14).

God has, indeed, given man “dominion…over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26), and Satan has, indeed, laid false claim to “all the kingdoms of the world” (Luke 4:5-6), but the fact remains that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Daniel 4:32).

Most of all, every Christian should understand that he and all he has belong to God by both creation and blood-bought redemption. “Ye are not your own…For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). HMM

Your Compassion Is Great, O Lord

Resh

Consider my affliction and rescue me, for I have not forgotten Your instruction. Defend my cause, and redeem me; give me life, as You promised. Salvation is far from the wicked because they do not seek Your statutes. Your compassions are many, Lord; give me life, according to Your judgments. My persecutors and foes are many. I have not turned from Your decrees. I have seen the disloyal and feel disgust because they do not keep Your word. Consider how I love Your precepts; Lord, give me life, according to Your faithful love. The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever (Psalm 119 vv. 153-160).

How prone we human beings are to panic when the pressure builds. Our faith shrinks and were even tempted to avoid unpleasant confrontations at all costs—in other words, to run in the other direction!

The ancient songwriter must have known that trapped feeling. Three times he reminds the Lord of his promise to renew and preserve life: “Give me life, as You promised” (v. 154). “Give me life, according to Your judgments” (v. 156). “Give me life, according to Your faithful love” (v. 159).

Suddenly the theme of this song sounds above the discord of defeat like the clear, sweet note of a lark: “Your compassions are many, Lord!” (v. 156). The Lord not only knows the feelings of our infirmities and sympathizes with us, but he desires to alleviate the pain or remove it’s cause altogether!

I can’t begin to comprehend the love and compassion of the Lord. Under intense emotional pressure, I either abandon it or forget it. Yet he is faithful to supply his mercies in rich abundance if I follow the example of my ancient counterpart and ask for it!

Personal Prayer

O Lord, I thank you for your great love and compassion. Revive my life on the basis of your truth today!

Our Only Hope

I am Yahweh, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth.—Jeremiah 9:24

In today’s church, we seem more interested in knowing about ourselves than in knowing God. The result of this is increased anxiety, depression, and a hundred other ills. However, God has revealed Himself through the Scripture in many different ways: as powerful, personal, plural, having holy love, a God of wrath, trustworthy, gracious, all-knowing, and all-wise.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, as our passage for today shows, that when the Lord talks about Himself in the Scriptures, it is usually in terms of His attributes or character traits: kindness, justice, righteousness, and so on. And there is a clear and definite purpose in this: the more we know of God, the more established our lives will be here on the earth.

I myself am convinced that there is nothing more important than knowing God through contemplation of Him. I am not talking about mere intellectual knowledge. I speak of the knowledge of God that comes through contemplation of Him, the ability to see life from His perspective, through His eyes. It means to look out at life’s circumstances through the lens of faith, bearing in mind God’s plan, to accept that whatever is happening is allowed by God and that everything comes under His personal surveillance. This kind of God-understanding and God-awareness is our only hope for coping with the problems of our day.

Prayer

Father, I am convinced. I see that if I am to operate in a context of confidence, I can only do so as I look out at life through Your eyes. Help me to do more than glance at You occasionally. Help me to gaze on You continually. Amen.

Further Study

Php 3:1-11; Col 1:9-10

What was Paul’s desire?

What did Paul pray for the Colossians?

In the Sanctuary

Luke 12:6, 7

Sanctuary is an interesting word. It is the term used for the central or primary room in a church—a place where people gather in corporate praise, worship and prayer. It is also a place where people can be alone, in a somewhat mysterious way, with their Creator. A sacred place to commune with God. A holy place.

Sometimes the lives we live are hectic, crazy. The treadmill keeps moving. Certain things on our agenda are important and demand immediate attention. But we need to stop from time to time to reflect on our lives, collect our thoughts, work through our priorities.

Many years ago, God instructed Moses to build and furnish a tabernacle for the Israelite people to worship and commune with Him. “Then have them make a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). God, dwelling with them. Fellowship and interaction with the Creator. Help in the time of need.

So often we feel lost, confused, totally out of it. We feel alone, as if no one else really cares. We’re desperate because time is at a premium. It always is. As God gave a promise to Moses, He gives a promise to us: that He will be with us.

There’s nothing spiritually wrong with escaping to a coffee place, either alone or with friends. In fact, a nice cafe may be a kind of sanctuary in the middle of a hectic day. A place to unwind, if only for a few brief moments. And it is important to enter God’s house and to regularly worship in the sanctuary of a church. But above all, we need to enter into the sanctuary of God’s presence. David poetically cried out: “My soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You” (Psalm 63:1). Why? What did he really desire in his heart? Only to see “[God] in the sanctuary and [behold His] power and… glory” (Psalm 63:2).

David knew he could find ultimate rest and satisfaction in God’s presence. Are we thirsty for meaning in life? Do we long to retreat from our fast-paced world and run into the presence of God?

David had experienced God’s sanctuary in the past. Many today experience His presence through a peace of mind and heart that only He can bring. It simply takes initiative and a willingness of heart and spirit before Almighty God. Only then will we be able to cope realistically with life. Only then will we experience the fullness of His presence—in the holy sanctuary of the Lord.

Beverly Ivany, The War Cry