Great is Thy Faithfulness!
Categories: Ministry, Theology, Uncategorized
This week’s guest blogger is James Forbis. James is with the School of Ministry for one year preparing to be a church planter in the Greater Boston area. He is currently serving as a Resident Minister at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills as Associate Connections and College Minister.
You’re probably humming the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” in your head now after reading the title, and if not and you’ve never heard it before then allow me to introduce it to you at this time. Take a moment and listen to the words and the truth that resonates behind the words of this melody.
These past two months have been a struggle for me and at times I have desperately wanted to concede to the powers and principalities that Satan has brought against me. I have been tested and tried like never before and with each passing moment I feel as if Satan himself is standing at my door waiting for me to fall into his web of lies and temptations. Not just any temptations mind you, but the temptation to cast off God and as Job’s wife in Job 2:9b says to “Curse God and die.” Like Job’s life, at the time this was written, I am finding trials with every turn I take and every morning I wake. But also like Job, I am reminded that God’s faithfulness is ever present and so reliable. I am finding that the words of Job, who went through unspeakable pain and suffering, ring more clearly to me than they have before. I am finding that in all that happens in my life I must respond as Job does in Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
I must remember that God will continue to be faithful to provide and protect and bless me even in the midst of what may seem as earth shaking circumstance. I will say that Satan has had a time trying to get me to reject God’s promise for my life and to reject God’s ever present peace and faithfulness to get me through each and every day. It is the words of this hymn that remind me of God’s faithfulness and that it is truly a new mercy each and every morning that I wake up, because I know God has gifted me with one more day to fulfil His plan for my life. I can rest in the promise that God is never going to leave me or change His position on me because I am chosen; I have been elected to be a child of God. I have been made whole and redeemed by the blood of Christ.
I am reminded of this verse which says “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!” I have received that pardon and that peace. The presence of God is resting within me and spurning me on to success and salvation in and from the trials that the Devil may provide. I can have strength and I can have hope because as Timothy Keller says “Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends”. Jesus is the better Job because Jesus is the only innocent sufferer this world has ever seen and is the only one who could deliver you, me, and the world from their sin and their struggles with Satan. Unlike Job who probably did sin in his life and probably did fail God several times, Christ never did and Christ never could because he is the Son of Man, the Son of God, the very essence of God in human form. Jesus Christ was brought to this world to stand in our place. Jesus is the truer and better Job because Jesus never wavered in his commitment to God, and Jesus never once gave in to people clamoring for him to reject God, even Satan couldn’t get Jesus to succumb to fleshy desires.
As the verse said above “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided ‘Great is Thy faithfulness,’ Lord unto me!” God has all that I have ever needed or will ever need, and it is His faithfulness that keeps me going and keeps my eyes fixed upon His magnificent and glorious throne. Great is God’s faithfulness. I urge you to seek out how God is faithful to you in the midst of trials and struggles that Satan throws your way, and remember that God will provide for you every day in all circumstances “Morning by morning new mercies I see, All I have needed thy hand hath provided, Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”