I see references to God’s faithfulness often. When someone gets married, has a baby, finds a job, or is healed. When a relationship is restored or a wayward son comes back to Christ. It is said then that God is faithful.
In our limited human view of eternity, we often view getting what we want as a characteristic of God’s faithfulness. When we contend for something in prayer and it happens, we say that God is faithful.
Three weeks ago I watched as my dad, a man of God, prayed over my mother all day. I myself prayed for her with shaking hands in a moment of crisis. My family, who has served God faithfully with our entire lives, asked one thing of Him. Many other men and women of God agreed with us in prayer.
And yet at the end of the day, my family was three, rather than four. At the end of the day three of us left the hospital with a deeper sorrow in our hearts than can be described in words.
Had my mom been healed, surely we would have said that God is faithful.
My mom was not physically restored. She left us and we couldn’t – and can’t – understand. Yet the faithfulness of God is not described in scripture as something God DOES. Faithful is something God IS. Faithful is a characteristic of God.
God’s faithfulness is not defined by his granting of our desires or sparing us pain. God’s faithfulness is not conditional to our comfort or even our joy.
God is faithful. He is good. We cannot add to or take away from these characteristics. On the mountaintop and in the valley, let us remember that God is faithful.