REST IN A GOD OF FAITHFULNESS
Saturday, 30 March 2019
Isaiah 57 : 14-21
‘‘I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn…" -Isaiah 57:18 [NLT]
God's nature of love and faithfulness has always desired to gather His people who have backslidden or walked away from Him. The key verse gives us a clear picture of a God who is willing to forgive and restore the penitent because of His faithfulness. 1 John 1:9 says, "But if we confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." Such a great and precious promise in Christ is available for all who truly repent and return to Him!
FAITHFULNESS OF GOD: In Hebrews 6:18 we read that "God has given both his promise and his oath…" When people make promises, they guarantee them by pledging an authority higher than themselves. When God wanted to guarantee His promises, He gave His word- God cannot break His word and because His Word cannot change, the promise is unchangeable!
OUR FAITHFULNESS: For some, faithfulness means faithfully reading, studying the Bible, praying, giving, church attendance, etc. For others it is when we live without lust and gain victory over sinful habits, avoiding evil, doing good. We see many in the body of Christ who love God with all their hearts even after losing everything. These are all wonderful things commanded in the Bible- but they are not the core of faithfulness. Our Faithfulness to God is having a trusting and believing heart- believing that God will keep His WORD.
UNBELIEF: In His promises is the sin behind all departure from God. Hebrews 3:12: "Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God." In Hebrews 11, we have the heroes of faith whose belief in God made them faithful and never wavered till the end. They were counted faithful because they never doubted God's Word to them.
KEY TO OVERCOMING UNBELIEF: As our trials and battles on this earth increase, we allow fear and doubt sent by the enemy to creep in. Caution and questioning invade our hearts replacing simple childlike faith. When we allow the enemy to lie to us then a seed of unbelief is planted that hardens our heart and causes distortion of the truth. We then end up being led by our emotions and feelings. He will send us lying thoughts that will discourage us even when we are trying to make progress in our walk with Him-
"You aren't making any progress." –Such thoughts will make you lose hope. Remind yourself that God's good work is in progress in you: "… as living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house …" (1 Peter 2:5)
"You aren't strong enough for spiritual warfare." –Daniel warned that the devil would be successful in wearing down the saints (Daniel 7:25) so that they give up the good fight. Ephesians 6 exhorts us to put on the full armor of God and stand against these wiles of the enemy. And you will see how God moves with you in a victory that will build up your faith.
Finally, there is a rest for God's people."Rest in God" (Heb. 4:9-10) means a place of total trust in His Word, where there is no struggle. It is continuous confidence that God, "the great I AM" is with us in all our situations!
It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him,
we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless,
He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13
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