Past Performance Does Not Guarantee Future Results: thoughts on faithfullness

In Controversy is Christian, My two cents and Christian Opinion on October 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Rock of Gibraltar

The rock of Gibraltar stands as a beacon of both majesty and reliability. The idiom, “solid as a rock” has come to mean faithfulness, and is synonymous with the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s fitting that even modern day companies such as Prudential have used this symbol to convey reliability and strength.

Faithfulness is a highly praised quality that persons of all persuasions admire. The Bible is replete with thoughts on the subject. One of my favorite scriptures is found in Proverbs.

Pr 25:19

Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

If you have ever had a toothache, or twisted an ankle then you are getting the imagery here that the writer Solomon wished to convey. This communicates to me that times of trouble really help reveal the quality of faithfulness in a person, and that unfaithfulness can carry pain and impediment to a persons hurt if we are not careful.

But what is faithfulness? The first occurrence of the word in the Bible is found in 1 Sam 26:23 and literally means firmness. In other words something that you can stand, build, or otherwise rely on the character of. Solidity. Ultimately, it means to be trust worthy.

Trust however must be “found”. It requires examination. Daniel was examined and found faithful. Dan 6:4

Stewards of the mysteries of God must also be examined and found faithful. 1 Cor 4:1

Jesus teaches us to avoid building our lives on things that shift. Matt 7:24-26.

God constantly has appealed to humanity to place its trust in Him. Mrk 11:22. To examine him, and find him faithful. He proclaims that he changes not. Mal 3:6

But what if you’re not faithful? What if you have had troubles being faithful?  Sometimes in our zeal to serve, we like Peter know not our own heart and its capacity to turn. Peter thought he would never deny the Lord. But Jesus knew him well enough to let him know not only would he deny him, and would show his unfaithfulness three times in one evening.

It’s astounding when one thinks about this, could it be that Jesus didn’t follow his own advice in Proverbs, and relied on an unreliable Peter? But the actuality is that Jesus had indeed examined him, and knew that after his testing, he would come forth as pure gold.

Lu 22:31, 32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Jesus knew that after Peter’s trial by fire, and after the dross was removed he would come forth a vessel qualified to carry his message beyond his own race of people. Peter’s end in faithfulness was so astounding that according to church tradition he would not only stand up for the cause of Christ, but would be crucified upside down.

God makes the unfaithful, faithful. Such is the power and transformative love of Christ.

As you, evaluate the faithfulness of things and others around you. On what can we really guarantee our future success? Keep faithful men and women around you. Be not weary as others examine you, and as the Lord reveals to you the need for a deeper level of reliability as you walk with him. Don’t be offended if you are submitted for examination, it simply means that God or persons are simply looking for faithfulness in you.

More importantly keep Him around whose faithfulness knows no limits. I suppose I can’t say it any better than what it states in Hebrews.

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Now that will guarantee future success!

  1. Very much enjoyed the article on faithfulness.

  2. […] Past Results Do Not Guarantee Future Results: Thoughts on Faithfulness By Donovan Neil […]

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