This adjective is defined as “loyal, constant, and steadfast.”
By its very definition, it requires passing time to see. Without some experience of the valleys, we really have no idea if an employee, spouse, or friend is actually loyal, constant, or steadfast. It requires the passing of time.
We certainly can look at the past for examples. Israelites are taught to remember what God had brought them through. To this day, they practice the Passover Feast remembering how God brought his people out of Egypt (whilst slaves for multiple generations), provided for them in the wilderness (whilst hot, thirsty, and hungry for a generation), and led them to the promised land. The idea is we should remember God’s faithfulness across multiple generations because when you’re in the middle of the trial it certainly doesn’t seem like God is being faithful…. BUT HE WAS THEN AND HE IS NOW.
Here’s what I’m getting at – because faithfulness requires time and experience in the valleys, it can often be difficult to see a faithful God while in the valley. In other words, just because something in your life totally sucks eggs it doesn’t mean God stopped being faithful! It just might be evidence that he is smack dab in the MIDDLE of being faithful.
Again, for someone to be considered faithful, they must have experience in the valleys. So when Christians say that we serve a faithful God, we’re confessing our confidence in future low moments of our life.
So if faithfulness requires time, who better to hear from than an old dude who had plenty of time to see God let him down? I met an old retired preacher at a nursing home a few years before he passed away who had this to say: “People always say that God never leaves us and never forsakes us. That’s in the Bible, and I always heard it. And I’ve been through a lot in my life and it’s about over, and you know what? — it’s true. He never left me and He never forsook me. God’s been faithful. He’s been so faithful.”
Last week I visited another older man who said the same thing.
Why do old people think that God is faithful? Because they’ve seen it.
I’ll leave you with these song lyrics which sparked this line of thought. From Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman:
And on that day when my strength is failing;
The end draws near and my time has come;
Still my sould will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore.