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Have you ever had the time when you met someone that you once trusted, but let you down and probably hurt you badly? I’m sure you have.
I have—many times and, sadly, many of them were professing believers.
We expect Christians to be trustful and honest and if they say that they will do something, to keep their promise. When I grew up, it was in an era when a man’s word was his bond; when a business deal could be transacted over a gentleman’s handshake and if someone said that they would meet you at a particular time that they would turn up and actually be on time! Today however, we have to be cautious and make sure we read all the fine print.
I try to avoid making promises that I know I cannot keep, because I have been sorely let down too many times it is not funny. All I do nowadays is to say that I will do what I can, or to do what I am capable of doing.

Christians often talk about faith and rightly so. We are designed to live by faith. Everything starts in the spirit realm and material things depend on spiritual things for their very existence, but we require faith to comprehend this. Faith dictates our future. Faith sees what the natural cannot see and this is the area in which God expects us to function. The just shall live by…faith. See Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38.

On this occasion however, I am not referring to faith as such but to faith…fullness. It is our faithfulness that proves the mettle of the man. If we are not faithful, we cannot be trusted. There have been many times I expected someone to help me in a particular thing and relied on their promise, but they did not show up, or arrived too late to fulfil the promise. You’ve doubtless experienced this. As a pastor, I had expected someone to open the premises and greet visitors at the door only to find that they were a no show. After a while, I never asked them to do anything because I did not know where I stood. I could not trust them. Faithfulness also embraces honesty especially when it comes to money. It is surprising how dishonest some Christians can be about money…
 

A pastor friend was conducting a series of pastors meetings and wanted to prepare his church before the event, doing spring-cleaning and the like. Marjorie and I promised to help him and he was surprized. He had received numerous offers of help in the past but no one kept their promises. When we turned up in work clothes he and his wife were surprized because they had only seen us dressed in suits. We said we would do anything he wanted and he asked us if we would clean the toilets, which we did. Unlike many others, we are prepared to do anything for the Kingdom and he almost broke down and cried. He had been hurt many times before. In his experience most Christians he knew were unfaithful. I suppose you have similar stories to tell.

I said all that to say this; God is always dependable and reliable. He is faithful to the n’th degree and you can trust Him. The issue really is, “Are you and I really willing to stand and keep on standing until His promise comes to pass in our lives?” Faith does not depend on time…it is always now. That is a definition of faith as per Hebrews 11:1.
NOW faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Hebrews 11:1 (emphasis mine).

Faith pushes us beyond our natural understanding and ability. Please also consider that true faith will often place us in a position of ridicule! Think of this for a moment. People who do not live by faith and I mean genuine biblical faith will mock and scoff you when you do. They are only motivated by what they can discern in the natural—by intellectual reasoning and by religion (that was already here when Jesus arrived) because religion keeps people in their familiar comfort zones without any revelation. Religion does not see the unseen. For example Jesus saw a fig tree in Mark 11:12. That fig tree pretended to be something it was not. It had leaves in the way fig trees are supposed to have, but it wasn’t necessarily out of season! For some reason that fig tree was not being productive and that was the problem. We could say that it was pretending. Jesus spoke to it—and kept walking. The following day, that tree had died from the roots, but you cannot see those roots by natural observation! Think this through…

I’m not going to take this faith analysis any further, because I am discussing God’s faithfulness. You can trust God because He is faithful! Let me share scriptural illustrations.

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9

Because of God’s faithfulness, we can rest in the knowledge that what He said He would do…He will do. That assurance keeps us going when we are going through a difficult time. He could have said something to us that instils hope and our part is to keep believing what He said when we can’t see it yet. David said when he was having a hard time-

Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope.
 Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. Psalm 119:49-50 


Let’s be honest now. Life sometimes seems unfair. There are times when we could wonder why we are even here and tend to think it is not worth living. Don’t ever say that! Never talk like that. Whenever the situation seems hopeless, that is the time to stop talking foolishly and meditate on what God is like and on what He has said.
He is not a liar.

 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19

If He said it, He will do it and when He says something, as far as He is concerned it is a done deal. He keeps reminding us that.
Lord, your word is everlasting; it continues forever in heaven.

Your loyalty will go on and on; you made the earth, and it still stands.
All things continue to this day because of your laws, because all things serve you.
If I had not loved your teachings, I would have died from my sufferings.
I will never forget your orders, because you have given me life by them.
I am yours. Save me. I want to obey your orders. Psalm 119:89-94

Lamentations is a book I try to avoid reading. It always sounds negative and, like those people I would prefer to see leave than arrive, feel “really inspired” when I read it. They come with their complaints, crying, “Woe is me”, and always seem to be going from one drama to another (what’s wrong with them?). You know the folk. It’s like a lead balloon trying to take off. The guy who wrote Lamentations is sometimes dubbed the weeping prophet, but anyhow, it’s scripture, so see what he wrote-

I’m a laughingstock to all my people, the butt of their taunts all day long.
He has filled me with bitterness, sated me with wormwood.
He has broken my teeth with gravel and pressed me down into ashes.
I have been so deprived of peace, I have so forgotten what happiness is, that I think, “My strength is gone, and so is my hope in Adonai.”
Remember my utter misery, the wormwood and the gall.
They are always on my mind; this is why I am so depressed.

(isn’t that inspiring? Let’s continue)...

But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope— that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended.
[On the contrary,] they are new every morning!
How great your faithfulness!
Adonai is all I have,” I say; “therefore I will put my hope in him.
Adonai is good to those waiting for him, to those who are seeking him out.
It is good to wait patiently for the saving help of Adonai.  Lamentations 3:14-26

Sometimes when things are hard going, we tend to think we are the only ones going through that stuff. It is easy to think that no one else knows what you are going through. Oh…really?
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Replace the word temptation with trial and testing, obstacles and opposition. Even when things look impossible, God will give you wisdom to know what to do about it. Don’t think of Him giving you enough strength to “endure it” as in putting up with it and suffering in the process. The Greek word is hypopherō. This is a compound word that does mean that God will give you what is needed to be able to cope with it, or, to undergo hardship, but it also means that God will bear you up from underneath. It is as if He scoops you up in his hands and holds you in the palm of His hand. Psalm 49:16 says that God has graven us on the palm of His hand. Isn’t that wonderful?
Sometimes when things get hard, God “cuddles you” and He knows precisely when and how to go about it. A friend sent me an email asking for prayer because his daughter got ill and was admitted to hospital in a coma. At such time we sure need His comfort. At such times we do not always know what to do ourselves, so the best thing to do is to reach out…to God of course, but also to each other. We’re family! When one member is going through something, we all go through it with them. We might not always be personally able to do a thing other than to pray with them and agree together that God will step in. At times like this, we need a God who we can trust. We need a God who is faithful.

What seems to be an impossible situation isn’t really. It gives God an opportunity to prove Himself.

Several years ago, I watched my son Gary die. Many years before, God told me-

 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13

That was His personal promise. But now, he was in a coma on life support in the intensive care unit at hospital. I asked the Lord what to do and He told me. He said that I was to tell my son, “Gary, this is your father. I want you to know that I love you. I have always loved you and I will never stop loving you.” When I said that, all the instruments connected to him went crazy and returned back to normal. A few moments later, he was gone.

I found out that he had actually died 12 hours previously but the Lord brought him back to life until I could make it with my other son to his bedside.
That evening in the bedroom of my daughter’s home, the Lord told me that He had kept that promise.
When I spoke to Gary, he actually made a decision to be born again. The Lord brought Him back to life for that moment and had been faithful to His word to me. He permitted me to see Gary talking with my mother in heaven that night and he looked wonderful. You can read this full account by clicking here.

I cried. It hurt. I miss my son, but I know that I shall see him again. I urge you to read all of Isaiah 54. It is full of our heavenly Father’s loving promise to us. He does not fail us. If you are going through difficulties, God will always do the right thing.

Sometimes it can take a little more time than we would like. God is never early. Nor is He ever late. He is always on time at the right time. Let me explain this way. In Mark 5, Jesus had just arrived in town by boat. One of the prominent leaders approached Him and fell at His feet. A Jewish leader should not have done that, but he did and that publicly acknowledged the Lordship of Jesus. He asked Jesus to come to his home because his daughter was sick.
The Lord agreed to come and they started walking down the street back to Jairus’ house.
I think I understand his feelings. All he could think of was getting Jesus into his house to lay his hands on his daughter. All I could think of when flying to my son’s bedside, was the Lord’s word to me that all my children would be taught of the Lord and have great peace.

As they were walking down the road, a woman did the unthinkable. She stopped Jesus and as far as Jairus was concerned, she was nothing but a nuisance, hindering Jesus from coming to his house. All he could see was his daughter lying in her bed. All he wanted was for Jesus to get to his place and heal his precious child, but He stopped! That big crowd wasn’t helping matters any either. Jesus started talking to the woman and then she started telling her story… I can imagine this man thinking, “Oh, dear. Come on Jesus. Come on. Let’s get going. Hurry up. Hurry up!” Don’t we often think like that? “Hurry up!” When are you going to answer my cry? Don’t you know I need your help? I can’t wait any longer.”
Whilst Jesus was wasting time with this woman, who should not have been there anyhow, someone came up to Jairus and told him, “It’s too late. Your daughter died.”

I think I know how that man felt when I watched the instruments on Gary’s life support system start shutting down, but I had a promise from the Lord. He told me, “It’s not over…’til it’s over.” Friend, whatever it is that you are going through, it is not over until it’s over and God is faithful. Gary died and was right at hell’s door, because he was not living right and that was hurting me. I had hoped he would be a preacher, because the Lord promised me that one of my sons would be one. Gary’s testimony has led to many people around the world to be born again. Therefore what seemed a dark day for me has turned around for good. The Lord had kept His promise. Gary heard my voice in his coma and, although he could not answer me, received Christ and is now home with Him.

Jesus promised Jairus to go to his daughter and, although it seemed as if He never would, immediately told him something powerful.
While He was still speaking, there came some from the ruler's house, who said [to Jairus], Your daughter has died. Why bother and distress the Teacher any further?   Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing. Mark 5:35-36

Our problems are real. We cannot discount them or pretend that they do not exist. When illness strikes, it is real, so we do not pretend otherwise and this is always distressing. It plays on the mind. We imagine all kinds of things. We can easily become fearful and filled with alarm, so we must do what Jesus said—keep on believing. The issue is, “What do we keep on believing?” We can’t walk around saying, “I’m believing! I’m believing! I’m believing! I’m believing!” Believing what? We have to believe what the Lord said and this can sometimes be a different thing to different individuals. There are different timeframes; different locations; different people around us and all kinds of different things that influence our lives. They’re all real and they do influence us.

What we have to believe therefore is what the Lord tells us—for our situation. He told me what to do about Gary. He may tell you something totally different, so it is up to each of us in our own moments of need to find out what He wants us to declare. What we say does make the difference.

Jesus would not allow anyone to come with Him, other than those He knew would speak right and they were Peter, James and John. He would not take doubting Thomas with them because Thomas would have negated everything with his negative speech. He would not take Judas with Him, because Judas would have tried to send Jairus a bill for services rendered. He took those three because He could trust them.

My friend, be careful in who you have around you. Associate with likeminded people of faith, because others will drag you down to their level. Don’t try to help someone if they do not want change, because they might have an adverse effect in your life. Water finds its own level. Even if the need seems real and desperate, don’t race in to help unless the Lord says so.

On their arrival, Jesus found the negativity and unbelief so bad it was a noisy tumultuous confusion. When He asked them why they were acting so badly, telling them that the girl was not dead but sleeping, they laughed because of unbelief. He evicted them from the house before doing anything else. You have to get rid of unbelief around you.
I saw a man’s leg that was 2 inches shorter than the other grow out in seconds as the Lord healed him. I was young and immature at the time and excitedly tried to tell my pastor about it. He and the associate pastor questioned me about it in the same manner the Pharisees questioned the man who Jesus healed and they were scornful. They were supposed to believe! They were Pentecostal pastors and should have known better. I never shared anything more with them after that and in fact the pastor died a horrific death many years later with a brain tumour and drowned in his own body fluid!

Jesus kicked the unbelief out and then spoke to the girl as follows-

 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. Mark 5:41-42

If you are experiencing heart wrenching problems and all kinds of difficulties that seem in surmountable, present them immediately to the Lord. Get His answer on it. Jairus did not go to the disciples but to Jesus. Imagine him asking Thomas, “My daughter is ill. What should I do?” No! He went to Jesus and the Lord gave him a promise.

The Lord kept His promise, but on the way, certain other things happened. All the external signs indicated that it was never going to happen. If you are facing situations that seem as if there is no way out, ask the Lord to speak into your life and receive His word. That is what you hold onto…nothing else. His promise to you has to be personal. Every promise in the bible is true, but every promise in the bible has to be personally applied. When He speaks, you can take it to the bank.
In Isaiah 55, we see that His promises to us are free! We cannot work for them or earn them in any way whatsoever, because it is grace…by faith that we receive them. Isaiah further said in verse 6 to seek the Lord, whilst He may be found and to make sure we are living right, because God is thinking about things in a totally different way to our natural way of thinking. We can change the way we think by renewing the mind, but meditating the word of God according to Romans 12. See also Joshua 1 about meditating (speaking) God’s word for a successful outcome.
Isaiah said-

So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them. Isaiah 55:11 

I have often heard people read a passage of scripture and ask God to bless it. It’s already blessed, because the one who blesses said it! I heard people read a passage of scripture and then say that it will not return to God void and that it will do what was said. That’s not so! If we pick and choose scriptures we like and then expect them to work for us in the way we want, we may as well quote Shakespeare for all the good it will do.
What works is when we come to the Lord and He speaks into our lives almost as if He says, “Read this” and gives chapter and verse. That—is the word He sent and it is a Rhema word.
Jairus had received That word. When Gary was in hospital I received That word.
You have to receive That word and when you do, say it and don’t quit.

God is faithful to His word. Paul said-
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful because he cannot be untrue to himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

As I said earlier, God is not a liar, so when we have a need or a problem, we have the answer in His word. 

Sometimes He takes the initiative, but more often than not, it is up to us to declare it and believe it.

The issue sometimes is that of lasting the distance. Are we always willing to keep standing until the manifestation comes?

This is true of Abraham.

 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.
 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.
 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)
 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.
 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”
 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.
 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise
. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.
 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded
 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. Romans 4:13-25

Abraham, as I have said elsewhere was not perfect. He made mistakes just like you and I make mistakes, but he reached the point when He realized that God’s promises are covenant promises that God never breaks. God made His oaths in a blood covenant and I think you understand the significance of that.

And so dear friends, we have a God who is a faithful God.  Every promise that He has made to you has the power inside it to make it come to pass.  If He said it…He will do it.

If you think of quitting, then choose to refuse to quit and get a promise from God.
If you have a real emergent need in your life, get a word from God about that need and hang onto it as your personal lifeboat in the storm around you.

I do not know how He will come into your life where you are right now, but I do know that, even when all hope seems gone, He is continually faithful.

I leave you with this blessing,

 May the road rise up to meet you

 May the wind be always at your back

 May the sun shine warm upon your face

 May the rain fall soft upon all that you plant

 And until we meet again,

 May God cradle you in the hollow of his hand.

Robert

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