Night six of Chanukah we light the LOVE candle again… Five candles and reminders of who HE wants us to be brings us to FAITHFULNESS. What does it mean to have faithfulness inside of us?
One of the most popular verses about faithfulness is in the book of Lamentations. Putting several together we read:
Lamentations 3:21-24 But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope —that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted,that his compassion has not ended.[On the contrary,] they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness! “Adonai is all I have,” I say; “therefore I will put my hope in him.
God’s great LOVE is what compels us to keep going. It is clear that when we RETURN to something that brings us HOPE, we will see the COMPASSION of Adonai. The last verse explains His FAITHFULNESS. I think it is easy for us to forget that Adonai is FULL of LOVE, COMPASSION, and FAITHFULNESS. HE really will never LEAVE us or forsake us. HE ALONE brings us HOPE.
As I looked for the word, “faithfulness” in the Word of God, the only person I could find that faithfulness was attributed too was God. Verses in the PSALMS. Verses that bring understanding to God’s greatest attribute – being faithful. Both of these are encouraging to us as we understand WHO God is.
Psalm 119:90 your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands.
Psalm 36:6 Adonai, in the heavens is your grace; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
I said last week that as we move through the fruits of the Spirit, the attributes become closer to the heart. Faithfulness takes it a step deeper for sure… Lots of people were considered “full of faith.” We have the faith chapter in the book of Hebrews.
As I looked at chapter 11 in the Complete Jewish Bible, I noticed that they used the word, “trust” instead of faith. Now my thought process on all of this is highly intrigued! I want to know WHY????
What is the difference?
The definition of faith is:
1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
The definition of trust is:
firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.
I do not have a way right now to inquire with Complete Jewish Bible to find out why they used trust. I fully believe they have a good reason. I found a long article written in 2007 that has a great explanation. To go into all the details here is just tough.
Here is one paragraph from the conclusion:
So, we can see that true faith is more than just belief in the existence of God. It is not just believing in God; it is believing God. It is trusting God. It is trusting in what God is, what God has done, and what God promises to do. It is performing what God instructs us to do in his word.
Sermon by Philip Edwards
May 19, 2007
Copyright 2007, Philip Edwards
If we understand faithfulness in ourselves to be the idea that we do not just believe IN God, but that we TRUST God enough to know that HE will do what He says He will do, than I think we get the right concept. Having FAITHFULNESS inside of us is more than just a belief that God exists. If someone says that we are filled with faithfulness, it would mean that we truly believe God and trust God with EVERYTHING.
When we grasp FAITH in this manner, than we have to realize that carrying the attribute of FAITHFULNESS should not be taken lightly. We have shared things that everyone can agree should be shared (LOVE, JOY, PEACE…). Now we have reached faithfulness and we must acknowledge that the attribute goes deep. This is not “on the surface I believe in You.” Faithfulness is more than just confidence, it is TRUSTING Adonai so deeply that we WANT to do what He says.
If we say that someone has at the gift of FAITH, it needs to mean someone that is trustworthy. Someone who will “do what God asks” because they TRUST God so deeply that they do everything with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness…
How are you in your faithfulness? Do you TRUST God so completely that others are drawn to Him? Or more importantly, do you TRUST Adonai so fully that others know you follow Him?
Faithfulness… It’s time to do a heart check and see where you stand. You might believe “in God,” but do you truly BELIEVE GOD? WHO is your heart putting faith in? Man, or God?
I know this is what I struggle with. I often want to believe man over God… Tough to trust when man fails. But, if we truly believe the statements above about God, than we have NO reason to not carry faithfulness inside of us.
Chanukah LIGHT… let’s think about HIS LIGHT.
Psalm 27:1 Adonai is my light and salvation; whom do I need to fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid?
BE FAITHFUL. BE the one that TRUSTS so much. Share that LIGHT with others…
Love and blessings,