Faith Is Not always Easy!

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)

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                                                Being Faithful to God

When a person walks consistently with God, in humble service to Him, he or she can be called “faithful.” When Nehemiah had to leave Jerusalem to return to Persia, he put Hanani and Hananiah in charge. The reason for his choice of these men was that they were more faithful and God-fearing than most. “
I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most” (Nehemiah 7:2, NLT).

Nehemiah needed men of character whom he could trust. He needed men who would not take bribes, who were committed to the welfare of the people, and who would uphold the integrity of the office. Notice, also, that faithfulness is associated with fearing God. The better we truly know God, the more we will want to imitate Him.  “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children” (Ephesians 5:1 NLT).

The Bible also warns us of the consequences of unfaithfulness. These warnings are necessary because, as the old hymn says, we are “prone to wander . . . prone to leave the God I love.” Our hearts are too often found fickle, despite our best intentions. It was the writer of Proverbs who said, “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable (20:6 NLT)? God spoke to Jeremiah the following words: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is (17:9 NLT)?”  This reminds me of what happened to Peter, “Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me. And he went away, weeping bitterly.” (Matthew 26:75 NLT)

Faithfulness affects every relationship we have. The Bible says it is a gift from God. When we receive Christ as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit indwells us and brings the blessings of love, joy, peace and faithfulness (Galatians 5:22).  The fullness of these blessings depends on walking with God and yielding to His Spirit. We should be faithful to read and abide by God’s Word and to seek the Lord in prayer. “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:18 NLT).

The Old Testament taught “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. (Habakkuk 2:4). That truth is quoted, amplified and illuminated in the New Testament. We obtain that faith, and our faithfulness, by the grace of God. He is faithful to His children, and by His grace we will one day hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23).



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