Faithful—it’s a word that means loyal and reliable, dedicated, steadfast. Faithful is what God is. Faithful is often not how I feel. I think there is a reason Hebrews 6:19 calls Jesus the anchor of the soul. We’re like a ship on the sea. Sometimes the weather is calm, and it seems like smooth sailing. Other times, we’re tossed here and there, wondering if the next wave will capsize us. Yet, there is Jesus, holding us, refusing to let us go.
Thank God he is faithful.
In 2 Timothy 2:11-13, we find a beautiful passage, a trustworthy saying, as Paul called it. Perhaps it was the theology of a poet whose heart had been changed by Jesus. Maybe it was an early hymn or a simple creed. Whatever the saying’s source, it reminds us:
For if we died with him
We will also live with him.
If we endure
We will also reign with him.
If we deny him
He will also deny us.
If we are faithless
He remains faithful
For he cannot deny himself. (CSB)
On the one hand, this saying rings with the utter delight of hope! If we have Jesus, we will live. Death doesn’t get the final say. More than that, whatever our status in this life, even the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low, we are destined to be kings and queens in the Kingdom. It reminds me of Narnia and how four bumbling children ended up sitting on thrones.
On the other hand, there is some fear as well. If we deny him. If we are faithless.
I often don’t feel very faithful. Where does that leave me when temptation knocks? When doubt rears its head? When I give in to busyness instead of devotion?
Yet, there is grace to be had. Even Peter, in a swell of fear, denied Jesus three times. His heart, though, wasn’t moved to a hardness that rejected Jesus forever and faced rejection from Jesus. Instead, his heart was moved to a grief that led to repentance and restoration. After all, just like Peter, there are times when we cave and our lives, for the moment, look faithless.
But if we had once belonged to Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts. Faith is a seed planted that will grow and bloom, even past the moment’s struggle. For, if we had once belonged to Jesus, he remains faithful.
He cannot deny himself.
If you find yourself struggling, if you find yourself weak, if you find yourself questioning, the place to run is right into the arms of Jesus. God knows our weakness. We have a Great High Priest in Jesus who sympathizes with our weakness and says to us: “Approach my throne of grace with boldness because I have more mercy and grace to give you in your time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Jesus is faithful.
Thank God he is faithful.
Mike Bergman is the pastor of a very normative church in small-town America. He is passionate about the weather, his family, foster care, and Jesus.
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash