The fourth of the nine words in this “Words” Blog Series is…

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There’s an interesting thing about this word. It requires hardships, difficulties, trials, and other tests in life. We cannot be faithful until we go through something that tests us, something that causes us to consider giving up, yet we choose to stand strong and remain faithful instead.

I’ve always wanted to be known as a faithful man. Faithful to those I love, faithful to what matters in this life, faithful to doing what is right, and faithful to God. It is a character quality that I’ve always admired and wanted to be said of me. So I worked hard at doing what was right, putting those I love before myself, trying to focus on what really mattered in this life, and continuing to seek to live for God.

Then 3 years ago, whether or not I am a faithful man was put to the test. When life as I knew it came crashing down, I had to decide if my desire to be faithful stopped at mere words, or if I was going to actually live it out in my life.

Was I going to give up and walk away? Away from what I believed. Away from what is right. Away from those I love. Ultimately, away from God.

There certainly were many moments where I was definitely ready to.

And, I know that it is only because of God and his strength and grace that I didn’t walk away from everything and just give up.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

In 2 Corinthians chapter 12, the author Paul is struggling with something difficult. He wants to be done with it. But God reminds him that his grace is sufficient…rather than taking it away, God will help him in it and through it. Paul then acknowledges the truth that when he is weak, he will actually be strong because of Christ.

Paul remained faithful to God through a trial. He recognized that he was actually stronger if he didn’t try to be strong on his own, but rather admitted he was weak and then relied on God’s strength in him…with God he was truly strong.

Over these past 3 years as I have walked through this trial, my desire has been to be strong and faithful in the midst of it all, no matter how difficult. But so many times I have just felt like giving up, like I wasn’t strong enough and couldn’t make it.

There were many times I felt so numb from the pain and anger. Many times that I cried and cried because of my sorrow. Times that I would just sit and stare for hours, unable to move because I had no idea what to do and didn’t want to feel anymore.

Like Paul, I had to recognize that I was stronger when I didn’t try to be strong on my own, but rather admitted that I am weak and then relied on God’s strength in me. To be faithful, I had to allow God to give me the strength I needed so that I could remain faithful.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

God is faithful. Always. He never changes, and he is faithful no matter what is happening in life. Even when we stop being faithful, he remains faithful.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God (Deuteronomy 7:9)

God is faithful to me. He takes care of me, loves me, shows me grace, and continues to be there for me. He is faithful to me. Always.

For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 117:2)

I praise God for his faithfulness to me. Even when I wanted to walk away, or I doubted him, or I was angry with him. He has remained faithful to me through it all. And he continues to give me all the grace and strength I need to be faithful.

Because he is always faithful, when I allow his strength in my life, then he gives me the strength to be faithful as well. On my own I am weak, and at times will want to give up. But with God I am made strong enough to be faithful, even in the midst of difficulties.

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I pray that by God’s strength, I will be known and marked as a man who is faithful; to those he loves, to what matters in this life, to doing what is right, and ultimately to God.