As we’ve already seen, these nine attributes are just pieces of the whole – the whole person God desires us to be. Today we’re looking at “faith” or “faithfulness”, depending on your translation.
This is the Greek word pistis, and it is used throughout the New Testament. Take a moment and look up the dictionary and Bible dictionary definitions of faith. Check out “faithfulness,” too, while you’re there.
I love the definitions found in the Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: loyalty; fidelity to one’s promises; sincerity of intentions; loyal; constant; steadfast; resolute; a steady and unwavering course in love, allegiance, or conviction.
Shooo! That’s a serious word!
Can’t you just see God’s character all over that definition? As we think back over the scriptures we’ve read just during this study it is easy to see that God is all of these things. He is completely faithful and unwavering in His love for us. We can totally trust in that love.
Take a peek at this verses to see how God is faithful to take care of our every need.
1 Corinthians 10:13
As Paul shows, we are to exhibit this same faith in our lives. A steadfast faith in God is a gift from the Holy Spirit that, when accompanied by the other fruit of the Spirit, brings a confidence like nothing else.
This feels easier said than done some days, doesn’t it? But faithfulness, just like joy, is not an emotion. It’s a quality. It’s a choice and an action. We are faithful to our husbands because we choose to be trustworthy and keep the vows we have made.
Read Ephesians 6:10-17. How is faith described?
I find the wording here intriguing:
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”
If we are to “take up” faith, it also makes sense that we have the ability to lay it down again. Maybe this is why we sometimes feel our faith is wavering. Maybe it’s because we have a loose grip on our shield and a few of those arrows are getting through our defenses. These are the times when remembering is good for us.
The Bible is full of remembrances and memorials to God’s faithfulness. Names of places and children point directly to God’s work, as well as altars, wells, and more. It’s full of stories of God’s power and deliverance. The cool part is that if we’ve walked with God for very long at all, our lives are full of stories, too.
Take a few moments and think of a time that faith showed itself fully in your life. Remember that feeling of fully trusting (and knowing!) that God has not forgotten you and the peace that washed over you at that moment? Remember the deep-soul joy that came when you least expected it? Remember how the patience necessary to wait for His timing was there because your questions were at rest? Remember how nothing about that difficult circumstance could make your faith waiver because you just KNEW?
Now write that down, as best you’re able. Be descriptive, and just let your mind fill up with the memory. We need to remember these times when we clearly see God’s hand in our lives to help us in the moments that make us unsure.
Telling our “God stories” to one another builds this faith as well. So much of the Bible is stories of God’s faithfulness to His people. As we read them and hear the testimonies from others, our own faith is strengthened. Amazing, isn’t it?
Please hear that I’m not saying our own experiences have the same weight of or take the place of the Bible. Not at all! But let’s not forget that the Bible itself says to tell the stories. Deuteronomy 6 tells the people of Israel to love the Lord, store the words and stories up in their hearts and teach them to the children in all circumstances. Verse 20 tells the people that when the son asks the meaning of it all then the parents are to tell him how God rescued them out of Egypt and how they were to continue to follow the Lord. I have NO doubt, whatsoever, that personal stories were a part of this, not just the words we find in scripture. Real people were in these stories. Real mothers gathered manna. Real fathers and brothers marched around Jericho and saw the walls fall firsthand. Children who crossed the sea on dry land and wore sandals that never wore out told these stories to their own children. They were real. They were personal. And they were faith-building.
Today, remember to pick up your shield of faith, and allow the Holy Spirit to build this within you. Lean on God’s faithfulness and feel strengthened in your own. Share your stories with others, and if you feel your grip weakening, look to the stories of others.
To dig in a little deeper, check out one or more of these Biblical stories of God’s faithfulness to those who believe in Him.