faith•ful: loyal, constant, steadfast, true, trustworthy
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful & gracious, slow to anger, & abounding in steadfast love & faithfulness.” –Exodus 34:6
“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” –2 Cor. 1:20
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful–for He cannot deny Himself.” -2 Tim. 2:13
un•faith•ful: disloyal, wavering, adulterous, false, unreliable
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” –Romans 3:23
Throughout the history of mankind, mortal man’s unfaithfulness to God is recorded.
- Man’s allegiance to God failed in the garden resulting in man’s separation from God to live in a sin-stained world with death as his sentence (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:13, 6:23).
- In the days of Noah, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).
- “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:21-23).
- God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, had a pattern of being unfaithful to God. “…for a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore” (Hosea 4:12). “How the faithful city has become a whore” (Isaiah 1:21).
God commissioned Jeremiah as His spokesman to prophesy to a nation gone astray. Jeremiah lamented bitterly as Israel went into captivity and Jerusalem was desolated.
It wasn’t until Lamentations 3:21, where Jeremiah’s tone changes, beginning with a pivotal word, “but”. All seemed without hope to Jeremiah until ”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…“therefore I will hope in him” (Lam. 3:21-24).
but: except for the fact
In man’s failures of unfaithfulness to God above, all is not lost–there is a “but”…
Mankind should be so very thankful that God’s great faithfulness is coupled with great love & mercy. The Psalmist declares, “Thy mercy O Lord, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds.” -Ps. 36:5
- “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8).
- “for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
- “but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:4-7).
- “but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13).
Alas, this fallen world continues to be filled with disappointment and sadness whether over the loss of loved ones, failing health, broken appliances, vehicles & relationships…or even disappointment with our very own short-comings, but we can be like Jeremiah and keep God’s Words of hope in the forefront of our mind as we cling to the Father of lights Who never changes as we hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; FOR HE IS FAITHFUL THAT PROMISED” (James 1:17, Heb. 10:23).
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” –Isaiah 40:8
With a thankful heart, Laura