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August 18 Today’s Reading: Lamentations 3-5
“Great is thy faithfulness!”
There was a time when I talked about God’s faithfulness merely as an article of Divine truth revealed in the Scriptures. That was the best I could do, because I had not experienced (to my knowledge) much of his faithfulness. But now, it has been more than 47 years since God revealed himself to me in Christ. I have seen some trials, some temptations, and some sorrows. In them all, I must confess, my weakness in the flesh and my sin have been mournfully manifest. But this one thing I can tell you about God my Father: he is faithful! From the depths of my soul, I rejoice to acknowledge it. — “Great is thy faithfulness!”
God the Son
God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, has been faithful in his obedience to the Father as our Surety and Covenant Head (Psalm 40:6-8; Isaiah 50:5-7). In order for the holy Lord God to save his elect people, certain requirements and stipulations had to be met for us. We could not meet them. But Christ met them for us, as our Representative; and by his obedience unto death, we are saved. God required perfect obedience to his law for righteousness to be brought in, the complete satisfaction for his justice for the atonement of our sins, and the restoration of manhood to perfect holiness. Christ agreed to do it, became responsible to do it, and has done it. That is what Paul means when he says, “Christ hath redeemed us!” That is what our Savior meant when he said, “It is finished!”
God the Father
God the Father has faithfully given our Mediator the reward of his obedience (Philippians 2:9-11). He has been exalted and glorified as a man (John 17:2-4). He has been given a seed to serve him forever (Psalm 2:8; John 17:9, 20, 24). God the Father gave him pre-eminence in all things and over all things as our Mediator and Surety (Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:1-3).
God the Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit faithfully fulfills his work in the covenant, in the fulness of time, by bringing every elect, redeemed sinner in the world into the kingdom of grace, graciously causing each one to receive the adoption of sons to which they were predestined from eternity (Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:5; 1 John 3:1-3). The salvation of sinners is a matter of Divine faithfulness, the faithfulness of the triune God to his own purpose of grace in Christ. Every blessing of the covenant of grace we have received and shall yet receive is a matter of God’s immutable faithfulness to his covenant (Psalm 89:19-37). There is not one blessing in the covenant that shall not be bestowed upon God’s elect (Ephesians 1:3-14). Our redemption by the blood of Christ, our regeneration, and the faith God has given us are all the result of God’s faithfulness to his purpose of grace and love toward us in eternal election (Jeremiah 31:3; 1 John 1:9). Forgiveness, justification, acceptance, adoption, preservation, and glorification are all matters of God’s covenant faithfulness to his people (2 Samuel 23:5).
“God is faithful.” — We may safely rely upon him. No one has ever trusted him in vain. May he give us grace to believe him, to lean upon him completely and alone for everything. We often make the same mistake Jeremiah did. We judge God’s faithfulness by our circumstances and experiences. We ought to judge our circumstances and experiences by his faithfulness, as the prophet learned to do (Lamentations 3:1-40). As he is faithful in all the operations of his grace in the fulfilment of his covenant and his promises, God is faithful in all the dispositions of his providence (Romans 8:28). Everything that comes to pass is brought to pass by his hand for the everlasting, spiritual good of our souls.
Yes, our great God, you have proved it to us, and we have proved it for ourselves in the sweet experience of your grace, — “Great is thy faithfulness!”