On Faithfulness

In the Old Testament, there is the word chesed. It is favorite among the writers of this part of the Bible. The word means faithfulness, loyalty, favor, or graciousness and is even applied to Godly actions or achievements. The word in the New Testament is pistis. Pistis means to be faithful or trustworthy or even to pledge or promise. Both words are used in reference to God’s acts in history.

One of the hardest things for people in the Scriptures to remember is that God is faithful. You see it in the Psalms, Job, Ecclesiastes. You see in the Gospels and in the Epistles evidence that people still dealt with this. Even in the Early Church, the thoughts were there, especially as the world persecuted them for being Christians.

People ask the same question today. Is God faithful? They probably are worded today in the following ways:

“How could God let evil exist?”

“Why is their death and natural disasters?”

“Why can’t I get a job just to make ends meet?”

“Why are we going hungry?”

In America, it’s not as bad as other places, but we can still see these questions. One of the most popular answers in the Church is that God gives and He takes away. But when you look at the book of Job, God answers that comment from Job by listing all the good things He has given. In other words, God simply states, “I GIVE!” God is in the business of giving. Humanity and nature are the ones taking away.

God is faithful, and the Bible continually shares stories of how God has continually given to us. This would lead us to answer the above questions saying,

“God wants to end violence using us.”

“God will resurrect and redeem the earth in order to end death and disaster.”

“Keep searching. How can I help you through this time.”

“God told me to share this meal with you.”

In this way, God is giving. If we go out and be in his image, we will begin to witness God’s faithfulness. Yes, part of God’s faithfulness is found in supernatural acts like we see in healings, visions, etc. But most of history is filled with great acts of God that were experienced by God using His followers. Think of Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, St. Francis, John Wesley, St. Paul, St. Peter. Most of their acts, if not all of them, were natural acts of giving in love.

The big question is this: Do you believe that God is giver and that He wants you to give? Is this theology pervasive in your life?