When you think of faithfulness, what image does it paint in your mind? How have you witnessed it in your life?
Some common examples can be seen in our loyal pets that we’ve taken care of through the years. No matter what we do, they will remain affectionate and trusting towards us even after a long time of being apart.
It can also be seen in the people who have been with us for a long time. Whether these are our friends, family, or spouse, they choose to stand by us through the highs and lows. They are there to hold space for us when we need it the most. Hopefully, we are also able to do the same for them.
There is a popular artwork called “Christ at Heart’s Door” by Warner Sallman that many might have seen or heard about. In this image, Jesus is knocking at a door, representing a person’s heart. The painting looks as if He is knocking and waiting to enter. The artwork inspires us to think about how we would react to seeing Jesus faithfully waiting outside our door.
Jesus is there for us all the time, whatever we’re going through or however we receive Him. Even if we send Him away, refuse to let Him in, or forget that He is waiting, He remains faithful.
A Story of Unconditional Love and Faithfulness
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.’”
Israel is God’s chosen people. Despite being chosen, they have shown their unfaithfulness to God countless times in the Bible. God makes His point through the prophet Isaiah who married Gomer, a prostitute. Yet, even with unfaithfulness, God has shown His love for Israel even if they have turned to other gods.
Unrequited love can be heartbreaking, especially the kind where you’ve done everything you can to prove your love to the other person. It’s one thing when someone isn’t the right match or if the person you love hasn’t been faithful. But God is God—He is holy and perfect. He is love. It is incredible when we realize that He continues to love us even when we don’t reciprocate. Despite everything, His love for us still stands.
Think about traditional wedding vows. They say, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, in the presence of God I make this vow.” The promise to love your spouse goes beyond condition. The pledge of faithfulness stands for whatever happens to the husband and wife.
In the Old Testament, God makes a promise to Abram Himself:
“I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
It was not an “if.” God was telling Abram what He was going to do. But as the generations pass, God’s people have become more stubborn to the point where He said in Isaiah 48:8,
“Yes, I will tell you of things that are entirely new,
things you never heard of before.
For I know so well what traitors you are.
You have been rebels from birth.”
Despite the continuous rebellion and disobedience, Yahweh’s unconditional promise is the only basis for hope. If the fulfillment of God’s promises depended on us, there would be no hope nor salvation. If it were up to us, our unfaithfulness would render all these void.
In Isaiah 54:9, God makes a promise to unruly Israel that He will keep His promise to Noah—that He will never punish His people by letting a flood cover the earth. He also kept His promise to David, who will have a descendant on the throne forever – (2 Samuel 7:12-13). All of these promises are fulfilled in Jesus. In Matthew 1, we see a record of Jesus’ ancestors—the descendants of David and Abraham. Despite everything that has happened in the past, God’s people are established. Their lineage continues.
God’s people then and now–the Church– have no other spouse, no other union. Jesus is our First and Last.
In Him, we see God’s unqualified love manifest. The righteousness He has given to us will never be exhausted and it will never end.
Jesus Christ is our First and Last, the only one we ever have and will ever need. He is always faithful. Even when our actions are worth condemning. Even when we are distracted. Even when we chase things that don’t have eternal value.
A Faithful, Promise-Keeping God
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” –2 Peter 3:9
For those of us who experienced God’s unconditional faithfulness, we respond by loving Him with all our being, above all. We also respond by blessing others even if there’s nothing in it for us. In the example of Israel and Hosea, we are taught that the past is past. We must not let our sin become our absolute end. Through Jesus, we are redeemed and set free. His righteousness makes us eligible to experience His Presence and the fulfillment of His plan for our lives.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” –Hebrews 10:23
God keeps His promises. He has kept all of His promises and will continue to fulfill His promises to His people forever. Even if we, His people, don’t keep the promises we’ve made before Him and fail to follow His instruction, He continues to be faithful to His promises and also to us. No matter where you stand, there’s nothing that can cover up what Jesus has done. He is faithful to His promises. It doesn’t depend on how good you are or how well you’re doing, God will always keep His promise and be your God, and you will always be His beloved child.