God Is Faithful

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never
come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23
My father’s tremoring hands struggled to lift a forkful of scrambled eggs to his mouth. Days earlier, the same hands had swung golf clubs, pitched baseballs, fired up the grill, and carried grandchildren. Now, we sat alone in his hospice room, a grown-up little girl across from her daddy who could no longer walk or carry a conversation, the cruel work of an inoperable stage IV brain tumor. My dad searched for a single word until he found it. ‘Why?’
 
With so many words out of his mind’s reach, I’ve wondered how he was able to voice the question. I think God gave him special grace to speak it because God knows the silent prayers of our hearts, knew that I was asking the same question, and allowed father and daughter to hold hands in a prayer of lament and cry out together to him, ‘Why?’
 
My mom’s whole life, through Dad’s cancer journey, and later through her own, she declared with confidence that God is good. I know it’s true, but in moments of deepest pain, I take a longer path getting there. I have to give names to God’s goodness, trace His signature in creation, and count out His faithfulness to the generations.
 
I name His goodness in my husband, my children, parents and grandparents, friends. I name His goodness in the name above all names, Jesus. ‘All the promises of God find their yes in Him’ (2 Corinthians 1:20).  I trace God’s signature in creation, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, perceived in all that He has made (Romans 1:20). I count out the patriarchs and trace the genealogy until I return again to Jesus and remember that God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all (Romans 8:32).
 
God is faithful through our doubts and questions, our wavering and wandering, our grief and lament. He does not become more faithful when our faith is strong, or less faithful when our faith is weak. ‘He is a covenant-keeping God; he never fails those who trust His word. Abraham proved God’s faithfulness, waiting through a quarter of a century of old age for the birth of his promised heir, and millions more have proved it since’ (Packer, Knowing God).
 
God’s covenant would never hold if it depended on us. Broken promises like shattered glass scatter across earth’s landscape, threatening to cut and wound—politicians’ empty promises, our own empty promises, broken wedding vows, defaulted loans, hypocrisy, duplicity, betrayal. But God offers His own Son as the guarantor for His covenant, the One who promises to pay when we default. God gives us Jesus, Lamb without blemish, as payment in our place.
 
God is faithful, even when human bodies fail. Great is Thy Faithfulness played as my dad took his last breath. We sang the hymn at his funeral and sang it again at my mom’s funeral ten years later. It was a song of hope in the midst of our grief, just as it was for Jeremiah when he wrote this anthem of God’s faithfulness.
 
Whether we’re in a season of rejoicing or lament, there is no better time to call to mind the truth of God’s eternal, unchanging faithfulness. ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful’ (Hebrews 10:23).
 
Questions for Reflection:

  1. When in your life have you doubted God’s faithfulness? How has He proven faithful, even in times of grief or periods of waiting?
  2. If you are in a season of waiting or lament, offer up Psalm 13 as a prayer, giving your doubts, fears, and grief to God, asking Him to show you His faithfulness.
  3. Listen to the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness (or sing along), reflecting on God’s eternal, unchanging faithfulness to you personally.
Rebecca Janni | Author

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