“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have 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 2:10-13
This day and age, our culture flies in the face of faithfulness. We will start off talking about the “weeds”. Remember- weeds choke out the fruit. See if some of these sound familiar: pride, selfishness, disloyalty, undependability, fickleness, unpredictability, fear of being alone, being controlled by shifting circumstances. Think about what goes on around you everyday: TV shows, movies, music, celebrities- the message is that it is about you, it is ok to do what you think is best for you when you think it is best, and it certainly is ok to change your mind. Especially when things get hard. This is opposite to so many things Scripture teaches- but let’s focus on its teaching about faithfulness.
Webster’s dictionary defines faithfulness as: “steadfast in affection or allegiance (loyal); firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty (conscientious), given with strong assurance (binding); true to the facts, to a STANDARD, or to an original. (An aside here- YES it is ok to have a standard. Let SCRIPTURE be your standard!)
Ok- back to faithfulness. Faithfulness can be really hard- you have said that you would do something for someone, but an opportunity that is more fun or more popular presents itself. You are contemplating making a decision that you know is not in line with Scripture. I’m sure you can think of a million examples.
But we are not supposed to just change our mind because something is “hard” or “more popular”. Lots of GOOD things are hard, and NOT popular- being a Christian is one of those! We are so blessed to have a savior who knows this, helps us, and is the perfect example of faithfulness himself.
How many times did the Israelites grumble, and do what he said not to do? He ALWAYS preserved a remnant! Our Lord is such a wonderful example of faithfulness. His faithfulness helps US to be faithful to him! Hebrews 10:23 speaks to this. And even when we mess up, (we will), he remains faithful to his children. It is God’s faithfulness that has merit- not ours. 2 Timothy 2:10-13 gives us encouragement to keep on walking with the Lord, even when it is hard, and in verse 13 it specifically says he will remain faithful.
We’ve already talked about the weeds that choke out faithfulness, what does the artificial fruit look like? Half-heartedness. Lukewarm is another way to think about it. When you are struggling to remain faithful, and feeling lukewarm, half-hearted, or struggling with pride and disloyalty, remember- God will remain faithful; and he will help you become more faithful too.
Are you faithful to your word? Even when it hurts?