Commitment. Loyalty. Perseverance. Faithfulness. Sacrifice. Discipline. Endurance. There are many words to describe the ability to follow through with something to the end. It is not flashy and often goes overlooked, however, so much of our character is defined by this trait. Often times we become excited when we are given new ministry opportunities, start a new job, or enter into a new relationship, etc. But what happens when the enthusiasm has waned, life gets tough, or insurmountable obstacles come our way? In this article, we will unpack faithfulness in the Scriptures, and find encouragement and tips on how to see your commitments through to the gritty end.
- strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
- true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.
- steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
- reliable, trusted, or believed.
Faithfulness is necessary in so many areas of our life – parenting, marriage, ministry, relationships, work, etc. However, Satan is constantly attacking this trait; the reality is, if he can weaken our faithfulness, then it renders the Christian ineffective for the cause of Christ. Satan strives to make us abandon anything and everyone when circumstances of life make serving and being faithful hard or inconvenient: God, our spouses, friendships, ministries, etc.
What does the Bible say about Faithfulness?
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Matthew 25:23 (NIV)
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Corinthians 1:9 (NIV)
9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
In addition to many, many Bible verses on faithfulness, we have great biblical examples like Noah and the Ark. In Genesis 6-9, we learn how the people in Noah’s time had become so evil that God grieved he had ever made them and decided to destroy all people and the earth. But because Noah was righteous and loved God, he and his family were spared; 8 people in all. It took Noah approximately 55-75 years to build the ark! Yet during all that time, he remained faithful and obedient to God and did all that God asked (Genesis 6:22).
The Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith also highlights those of great faith in the Old Testament such as Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, David, Samuel, and the prophets. None of them received what had been promised (Hebrews 11:13, 39). Their descendants reaped the blessings of their faithfulness. Oh, that we would share that same trust and faith in God our Father!
Hebrews 11:39-40 (NIV)
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Hebrews 11:15-16 (NIV)
15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
I love those verses in 15 and 16 – the faithful did not focus on the world around them but instead on the heavenly realm. Oh, that we would be like that! It is so easy to get distracted, but we must ask God daily to help us stay focused on Him and our purpose – to know God and help others to know God.
Examples of God’s Faithfulness
God isn’t just asking US to be faithful. He models this trait in everything He does. Tiffany Jothen of BGEA shared some great biblical examples of God’s unwavering faithfulness:
- Fulfilling promise after promise to people like Abraham and Sarah by not only providing a son to a barren couple but multiplying their descendants as numerous “as the sand that is on the seashore” (Genesis 22:17).
- Protecting three God-fearing men—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—when they were thrown in a fiery furnace for not worshiping an idol set up by the king. They walked out without even a singe on their garments (Daniel 3:8-30).
- And of course, and most profoundly, His faithfulness in sending the Savior of the world to rescue us from oppressive sin and mend the barrier between us and Him (John 3:16).
10 Practical Tips on Fulfilling Commitments
Staying faithful to the Lord, other relationships, and our responsibilities is not easy!
“The commitments we make in this world will only be as strong as our commitment to God. How strong is your commitment to the Lord? Is it strong enough to endure suffering? Is it strong enough to ensure your part in carrying out the commission of Christ to make disciples of all the nations—no matter what comes against you?
Total commitment requires sacrifice, dedication, discipline and perseverance—things many people, even Christians, are unwilling to put forth.” (Tammy Darling, “Fulfilling Commitments“)
But you are not asked to do it alone; God is with you every step of the way! He encourages us with Galatians 5:22 (NIV):
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…
When you became a believer in Jesus Christ, you became a new creation filled with the Holy Spirit; and when you begin to grow in your faith, there will be fruit such as love and faithfulness.
Here are some practical ways to stay faithful:
- Intentionally Avoid Temptations: This can be applied to relationships, your health and fitness, and so much more! 1 Corinthians 10:13 reassures us:
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
If you know you can’t resist potato chips, it’s a good idea not to keep them in your house. If you know someone that makes it difficult for you to stay faithful to your spouse, it’s best to avoid them and all things related to them like the plague. If necessary, be like Joseph when Potiphar’s wife approached him in Genesis 39 and run away!
2. Pray. If you entertain thoughts of leaving your family or quitting some other responsibility, go to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to change your chain of thought and give you strength and perseverance to stay the course He has set before you. There have been times that I wanted to quit fostering. Every time I was ready to give up, God stepped in and filled me with the perseverance that I needed to continue. Sometimes it helps to focus on just getting through TODAY; anything beyond that can be too overwhelming.
3. Remember Who You are Serving: God first, and then those he put in your ministry. If it becomes too difficult to serve under a specific person, do your best to serve that position, if not that person anymore. Do your best to serve the kids, even if the parents have become difficult. Remember that every single person is loved by God. We are ALL His children. When you struggle to love, don’t forget to ask God to fill you with His love! I have to lean on this daily at times!
4. Be Careful of Busyness. We can allow ourselves to get so frantic and distracted that we miss or neglect what God would say to us or have us do! Busyness is another way to wipe us out and make us ineffective.
5. Overcome Your Fear. God gives us a spirit of power; not of fear. 2 Timothy 1:6-8 tells us:
6 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.”
6. Beware of Spiritual Coldness. “A lack of desire for God and his Word results in a lack of desire to obey and serve God. We become spiritually insensitive—paralyzed from keeping previous commitments and prevented from making others.” (Tammy Darling, “Fulfilling Commitments“)
7. Beware of Ungodly Influences. Surround yourself with godly counsel and friends to keep you encouraged and on track.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20).
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
8. Fight Laziness. We all get tired. But don’t make it a habit of just coasting along, rarely giving your best! Physical and spiritual laziness robs us of so much – we can lose years, decades, and more to NOT living the abundant life God had planned for us. It can come in many forms – excessive time spent on hobbies, watching TV, anything that distracts us from God and his job for us. Don’t look back on your life with regret. Take that first step today to fulfilling God’s abundant plan for you! John 10:10 tells us:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
9. Don’t Impulsively Make Commitments. This is something I struggle with myself. I have had to learn over the years to take a step back and pray about a service opportunity before committing to it. “Counting the cost before we commit will enable us to fulfill the commitments we do choose to take on and bring glory to God in the process. Even Jesus made sure his spiritual reservoir was replenished. He dealt with abundant needs, yet he protected his time alone with his Father. We should never take on so many commitments that we don’t have time to nourish our relationship with the Lord.” (Tammy Darling, “Fulfilling Commitments“)
10. Quote Scripture Every time Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, he quoted Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). Memorized Scripture is so helpful in times of need! If you haven’t started memorizing scripture, it’s not too late! Blind Christian author, speaker, and singer Jennifer Rothschild has a helpful article and podcast on how she memorizes scripture.
A Word on Perseverance…
A reporter interviewing Thomas Edison asked him how he felt about failing two thousand times before he discovered how to harness electricity in a light bulb. Edison is said to have replied, “My dear young man, I did not fail. I did invent the light bulb. It was simply a 2,000 step process.”
In Hebrews 12:1, the Christian life is pictured as a long-distance race rather than a short sprint. Some Hebrew Christians were tempted to drop out of the contest due to intense persecution. But Scripture encourages us to run the race in such a way as to receive the prize (1 Corinthians 9:25). Pray and ask God to replace your lost motivation with a new fervor!
“Paul put a high premium on stick-to-itiveness. He wasn’t big on those with a lack of commitment (see 2 Timothy 4:10, 16). Paul knew the value of total commitment and encouraged others, such as Timothy, not to be quitters.” (Tammy Darling)
“Paul knew that only the truly committed are truly effective.”Tammy Darling, “Fulfilling Commitments“
Faithfulness will never be easy. Satan and Sin has made everything a struggle. But you DO have the ability to fulfill God’s plan for your life and to love well the people God has placed around you. Stay close to God in DAILY prayer and Bible study, and stay in fellowship with other godly believers. Surround yourself with godly music and other positive influences to keep yourself encouraged throughout each day. Go outside and allow God’s beautiful creation to rejuvenate your spirit.
When we couple discernment with counting the cost of commitments, we can be sure that those things we commit to are truly God’s will for us. And because God is faithful, He will provide us with the necessary strength, time, and resources we need to echo His faithfulness.
Let 2 Timothy 4:7 be your rally cry!
” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Edited by Allie Anson