Christ, The Church

What Does “Faithful and True” Actually Mean?

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Recently, a sister was presenting the idea of Father being “faithful and true” to the church. She asked for examples in their lives of when that aspect of God has been very evident in their lives. Examples given included times of miraculous provision, protection, and healing. This sister then explained that while all of those examples were wonderful blessings that The Lord provided, it wasn’t truly capturing a full definition of being “faithful and true.” The way she drove this point home was with this question: If He had not done all of those things for you (provision, healing, etc), would He still be Faithful and True. The church agreed that even if He had not done the miraculous intervention, he would still be perfectly “faithful and true.”

I could tell that I had a very loose grasp on what she was saying, but as I’ve thought about it I think Dad gave me a part of this concept. If He is faithful and true to me, then that means that he is also faithful and true to the rest of his people. As such, He knows that if we are truly “joined and jointed’ like a body is, then that means He knows how each part is supposed to fit together. Part of that shaping is difficult circumstances and trails that we go through. As we know from scripture and just life in general, trials grow and change and mold and develop our character. In other words, difficult times shape us. Because he is not just faithful to me, but he is also faithful to those around me, he will be faithful and true to them by ensuring that I develop into the person that I am supposed to become. What this means is that if He knows that in my future the people around me will need to have and example of someone who knows about long suffering, then he will be faithful and true to provide me with those experiences to make me into the person that the others in the body will need. Does this make sense? Perhaps an example will help:

Lets say that I am struggling with apathy towards The Lord and things of eternal value. As such, I pray for these feelings to change and they don’t, and I have to deal with them and work through them. From a me-centered perspective, The Lord was not being faithful and true to me to answer my prayers. However, from His perspective, he IS being faithful and true to the church as a whole because His end goal is to have a functioning and healthy Bride. I can imagine Him saying “son it seems like I’m not being faithful, but really I am, I’m being faithful to the bigger goal I have, and you don’t fully see it now, but trust me, I know what I’m doing.” Continuing the example, 6 months from now I’m with a group of people who are dealing with apathy towards The Lord, and because it he didn’t respond to my prayer the way I wanted him to, I will be better equipped to help them in their struggles.

As my walk has progressed, I pray less and less for circumstances and instead pray more for personal character development through those circumstances. When I am sick, I pray less for actual physical healing, and more for my spirit to be renewed through the illness.
Perhaps my prayers should change again: instead of praying for personal character change and growth, perhaps I will pray more like this: Jesus, as much as possible on my end, let this difficult circumstance be used for the benefit of the rest of your Body. Let me die so that others might live.

Just some thoughts. What do you think?

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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    kenneth dawson
    October 16, 2014 at 6:44 am

    well those final words seem to be the main issue–let me die so others will live–is not this what Christ did?

  2. Reply
    Thomas Fortson
    October 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

    you got it ken 🙂

  3. Reply
    Shirley Dills
    October 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I don’t believe God is dealing with us or has something others should necessarily learn from our struggles. I believe difficulties are from the evil one, who has come to kill, steal or destroy. Let’s lay this at the enemies feet and not think God is growing us through difficulties.

  4. Reply
    Shirley Dills
    October 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    What kind of Father would you be to treat your kid like this? We serve God the Father, not the “Godfather”.
    Jesus suffered once and for all, so that we could triumph in every situation. Jesus has made us more than conquerors.

    1. Reply
      Thomas Fortson
      October 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Dear sister, thank you for your reply; it shows you have a desire to speak the truth. It is with the same desire that I respond 🙂
      I encourage you to consider the book of Job, Job was a righteous and blameless man and still Father allowed an incredible amount of suffering into his life. Father never gave him an answer as to why either; he basically said “I’m God and your not.”
      Also, lets consider the life of Jesus, whom Father wanted him to go for 40 days without food (thats some suffering for sure!). Also, Jesus in speaking of the apostle Paul, said in acts 9:16 “I will show him how much he must suffer for my names sake.”
      There are many others, but scripture shows us that following Jesus will bring suffering and pain. I wish you the best.

  5. Reply
    Amanda Iosa
    October 19, 2014 at 4:23 am

    You bring up a great point here. I’m reminded of Bridget’s last post, too. Jesus even said of Himself, “I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (From John 15, right before he tells us we’re the branches on Him too…wow) Jesus was perfect, but Father even pruned Him and took parts of Him away to produce more fruit! And now WE are the branches in Him that are pruned. How faithful Father is to His Purpose!

    I have followed Jesus in this experience this year, and though it’s very painful, I have come to see mountains of Father’s faithfulness in it all. If pruning me back and removing all of my own “branches” that aren’t bearing fruit means more life can flow to others elsewhere down the Vine, then that’s just what I want! We are ALL part of the same Plant…members of Christ’s body. What affects one, affects all…and can benefit all, even if it’s something difficult. How wonderful!
    Amanda Iosa recently posted…Lord of the DanceMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Thomas
      October 19, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Glad to hear it sister!

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