When life is unpredictable, we can look back on how God has been faithful to us and trust that He will be faithful once again.
One of my favorite worship songs is Goodness of God by Bethel Worship. The chorus proclaims:
All my life You have been faithful, and all my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, I will sing of the goodness of God.
But my favorite line in the whole song is this:
I’ve known You as a Father.
I’ve known You as a Friend.
And I have lived in the goodness of God.
Amazingly, the God of the Universe is also our Father. Like a good father, He is tender and compassionate, teaches us, guides us, protects us, and cheers us on.
Yet, He also wants to be our friend. He wants to be near us, support us, encourage us, laugh with us, and share inside jokes and meaningful late-night conversations.
When I sing this song I oscillate between two trains of thought. I sift through memories that reveal His goodness and praise God for His faithfulness in my life, overcome with gratitude that I do know Him as both a Father and a Friend.
Other times, I pray that my kids or the students in our youth ministry will one day sing these words in spirit and truth. I pray they would experience God in intimate ways, see His faithfulness, and proclaim His goodness. And that they would have a lifetime filled with memories that allow them to say, “I have lived in the goodness of God.”
While this song reminds us of the truth, we too quickly forget that God is faithful. When the budget is tight, when a loved one is hospitalized, when our kids are acting out (again), when we feel irritable and overwhelmed, when the car is in the shop (again), when we feel lonely and discouraged, when a friend hurts our feelings, when a looming decision has to be made, when we feel anxious and afraid.
During these times, our Father is close by, ready to point us in the right direction, comfort us, and encourage us. But we tend to ignore Him. With every worry and “what if,” we add more weight to our tired hearts, rather than unload our burdens onto the only One fit to carry them. We forget that we have a Friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). A Friend who knows us perfectly, understands the whole situation, and knows just what to say. Instead, we call a friend whose voice is audible, even if their advice isn’t sound. Sometimes it’s easier to turn to a human than to our Bible. But even in those moments when our faith is forgetful, God is still faithful.
2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny Himself.”
It’s God’s nature to be faithful. He cannot be flighty or unsure. His love is steady and unchanging. His kindness is constant and reliable. Even if we are not.
In one of the hardest moments of my life, I withdrew from most of the people in my corner. I felt alone and sad, confused and angry. I was even angry at the Lord. And I told Him so. But despite my pain and disappointment, the only place I found comfort was through spending time with God. I might journal or pray aloud, read scripture, or listen to worship music.
And even though my prayers questioned God’s fairness, He was faithful to give me exactly what I needed—Himself. His presence. I didn’t receive answers to my questions (or at least answers I liked), but I received peace that surpasses understanding. I received His nearness just as it’s promised in James 4:8 (ESV), “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
I look back on those months now and even while I still vividly remember the pain, I see a season where I was closest to the Lord.
I wonder if you have a history with God that reveals His faithfulness? Have you stopped long enough to consider it?
Just as you might sift through your closet or clean out the garage, taking inventory of your possessions, let’s take inventory of our walk with God. If you’re the journaling type, below is a list of questions to help you consider your relationship with the Lord and reflect on who He is and what He has done. If journaling is not your thing, that’s okay! Find a place in your house or outside where you can focus and connect with God as you think through these questions.
- How has God been a good Father?
- In what ways have you experienced God as a Friend?
- How has God been faithful?
- Specifically, thank Him for the times He has been faithful even when you haven’t.
Read Lamentations 3:19-24 (NLT):
“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!’”
As you consider this passage, insert the hardships, disappointment, and pain you might be experiencing right now into verses 19-20. Then, pray verses 21`-24, believing that every word is true.
God loves you and wants nothing more than to show you just how good and faithful He is. It’s up to us to look for the evidence of His presence in our life, to believe that His character is unchanging and that His promises are true. Let’s move forward knowing that every day we are building a history with God—who cares for us as a faithful Father and Friend.
Callie Clayton writes to encourage others (and remind herself) that it’s possible to experience God right where you are. She enjoys teaching the Bible to teenagers, having good conversation over meals she didn’t cook, and baking all the chocolate desserts. Embracing her role as a boy-mom to three little ones, she and her husband are worn out, but loving the adventure of parenthood.