“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)
“O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty like you, O Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.”
– Psalm 89:8 (NKJV)
Have you ever been at a stage in your life when your faith hit rock bottom? When you were not sure you believed that God is a God of the impossible?
I’ve been there, and I have more than a few stories I could share of being in that same place even when I’d thought I never would be again. This fickle heart of mine, even after being overwhelmed by God’s love and His trueness countless times in the past, has doubted still. It’s due to me being a sinful human, and it only proves even more how desperately in need of the grace and gentleness of God I am in need of. I am thankful that His mercies are anew with every morning, but I don’t always live in sync with that truth the way I should.
I have many examples of how the Lord reminded me once again, in much more tender ways than I deserved, that He can be trusted and that He is always faithful. There’s irony to the trust issues He’s dealt with in my heart before, because it was the times when I was the most faithless that I expected Him to be faithful and then didn’t quite believe He would be. How crazy is that? He’s given and done everything for me, and still I’m the one who doesn’t step or act out in faith because I’m afraid? Yet He continued to love me and show me what true faithfulness is. Not only is He truly a God of the impossible, He is a merciful God, and He keeps on proving it to me.
The testimony I want to share is more like an ongoing work in my heart that the Lord is doing, as opposed to a lesson already learned. I love that about Him – He is always busy working, even when we cannot see it, and He taught me that in a way that I wasn’t expecting.
You know how they say those you love and trust the most have the most power to hurt you? It’s entirely true. There is someone I love very much, someone dear to my heart in my life, but also someone who has hurt me badly and has let me down in quite a few ways before. A couple of years ago, when things were particularly bad between us two, I was storing bitterness in my heart towards this person, clutching to the resentment I felt and denying to myself that I even cared about them anymore.
I didn’t want to forgive. I didn’t believe they could change. And yet, God was trying to talk to me about these two exact things. I would often receive scripture and words from other people that confirmed what I felt God was telling me: forgive. Forgive and you will be free. But I didn’t want to. That seemed too much like giving up what little control I felt I had over the situation and letting myself be trodden over.
At the same time, the other thing God was telling me very clearly was that I must pray for this person, and that He would change them. That only He could change them. I won’t lie to you, I scoffed at that. The pain and anger in me told me it couldn’t happen, that people’s ways weren’t so easily changed. I was untrue towards God by resisting what He’d asked of me and I didn’t have confidence in what He’d said He’d do.
Looking back now, I wonder how I could have missed how much love and sovereign power God had been ministering to me with. I was so caught up in my unbelief and unfaithfulness to His word that I was blinded.
Still, God kept on knocking on those doors in my heart to get through to me. Slowly, He changed how I felt, and through examples of His love, forgiveness, and patience towards me, that cold part of me began to thaw. I started praying for that person daily. I forgave and often had to forgive again when I felt the acidity of unforgiveness creeping back in again. And do you know what He did? He changed me. Until I was rejoicing in the freedom He’d given me, grateful for how He had released me from the load I’d taken upon my shoulders.
Then something else amazing happened. I started to get glimpses of how He saw that person, and an unworldly but overwhelming and beautiful love for them would fill my heart for them every time I did. I didn’t recognize it as something I’d experienced before and knew it couldn’t have come from me. He had been faithful to restore an infected part of my own faith to become healthy and functionable again. He had been faithful to show me love, and He had been faithful to unshackle me from what was holding me back from having a richer and fuller walk with Him. I praised Him and continue to praise Him for it.
But He wasn’t done yet. As if I deserved what He’d already done or anything more, something else took me by surprise (as if He hadn’t proved by now by innumerable means how faithful and good He was) and left me completely humbled. I saw, bit by bit, how He was changing the person I was praying for, into someone who I was sure I’d never met before. Guys, our God is so incredible and so faithful! Just thinking about and writing about what He has done gives me a thrill. He works in mysterious and wonderful ways.
To this day, I witness what He continues to do and am grateful for how He has brought both me. and the person I used to struggle to forgive so much, to the point where we both love each other with an honest and full love. He is a God who transforms hearts! Nowadays, I get along better than ever with the person I’ve been praying for all this time, and it is so beautiful to me to see what God has done in their heart. It makes my eyes tear up and my own heart clench in my chest. How could I have doubted Him? How could I have been so faithless?
But I am here to proclaim that He remained faithful, and that I am continually thankful for that. And because I believe He has the power to, I pray that He will make me more like Him with every sunrise, so that one day I might hear Him tell me ‘well done’ and call me His faithful servant (Matthew 25:21, NKJV). Not because I deserve to grow in such grace, but because He is faithful. He is good, always – and we can trust that with everything we have.
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
– Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV)