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God, the Faithful God

May 5, 2006

Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,

When the pain of the past meets fear of the future, we know ourselves to be but dust. We feel helpless and often alone with our emotions. Yet Deuteronomy 7.9 exhorts and encourages us:

Know therefore that the Covenant Lord your God,
He is God, the faithful God.

Faithfulness is essential to Godís nature. In his book, The Attributes of God, A. W. Pink writes:

"Far above all finite comprehension is the unchanging faithfulness of God. Everything about God is great, vast, incomparable. He never forgets, never fails, never falters, never forfeits His Word. To every declaration of promise or prophecy The Lord has exactly adhered, every engagement of covenant or threatening He will make good, for God is not a man, that He should lie; neither The son of man, that He should repent. Hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, And shall He not make it good?í (Num. 23.19) Therefore does the believer exclaim, ĎHis compassions fail not, they are new every morning: Great is Thy faithfulnessí (Lam. 3.22, 23)."
(Pink, A. W. The Attributes of God, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1975, pages 52, 53.)

God stories. Every believer has them. We love to tell them, stories of Godís mighty acts of creation and redemption. We love to testify of Godís love in saving us in countless ways, whether from close calls on the highway, to healing us, to changing our hearts, to propelling us into a new life in Christ, to giving us eternal life. We know, if we just think about it, that God has answered our prayers, intervened to help us when we felt most helpless, come to us in the silence, in the secret place of stillness before Him, and demonstrated His faithfulness.

We know it. But it is another thing to act upon it. Itís another thing to really expect God to do for us what He says He will do in His word. Itís another step forward in faith to rest with deep personal conviction and assurance on words like we find in Hebrews 10.23: He is faithful that promised.

We get distraught by our pains of the past and fear of the future. We get distracted with the doom and gloom of the news, with the noises of the world, with the whisperings of Satan. Our trust can get thwarted when friends fail us and people disappoint us, when pride keeps us from confessing to God that we need Him, that our very lives and our next breath depend upon His grace and faithfulness. Itís no wonder that the Bible tells us not to put our trust in even the most noble of people or even in our closest friends, not even in ourselves!

Psalm 146 makes our point well. Praise the Covenant Lord throughout your whole life and sing to God as long as you live. Donít put your trust in people, no matter how brilliant or good or noble you think they are. Donít put your trust in a son of man who cannot save. Why? Because he will die and return to the dust, and in that very day his plans perish. Instead rely on the Covenant Lord, the God of Jacob to be your help. (Psalm 146.105 paraphrased)

Think about Jacob. He was a sinner, a deceiver, a scoundrel for sure. He played on weakness and talked Esau into selling the birthright. He tricked Isaac for the blessing and ran for his life from the wrath of his brother Esau. Yet the God of Jacob blessed him to a point. After some 20 years Jacob returned and intended to put the women and children in front of him with gifts in an effort to appease Esau. Jacob would stay back in safety. Pain of the past met fear of the future.

Then God, the faithful God, intervened in Jacobís life. The Lord met him in the form of an angel and Jacob wrestled with the angel until the Lord truly blessed him. Jacob was changed. He called the name of the place Peniel because he had seen God face to face and his life was preserved. God gave him a permanent reminder in his thigh of this life-changing encounter because Jacob limped from then on.

By the time he met Esau, Jacob was in front of the family. He said to Esau, "Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in your sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen your face, as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with meÖTake my blessingÖ" (Genesis 33.10, 11)

The God of Jacob was his help. Jacob saw the face of God in the face of his enemy, and so, Jacob was not afraid. God is the faithful God who preserves the soul and keeps His own in every circumstance. Jacob lost his fear of the future in spite of the pain of his past because His God is a Creator and Redeemer who has committed Himself by covenant to save sinners and scoundrels just like Jacob. Jacob was elect, and in His electing love, God loved Jacob. God keeps His promises as a faithful God.

Do you have a special need today? Then Psalm 146 has more to say to you.

He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything
In them. He remains faithful forever; he enacts
Justice for the oppressed. He gives bread to the Hungry.
The LORD of the Covenant looses the prisoners.
The LORD of the Covenant opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD of the Covenant raises the bowed down.
The LORD of the Covenant loves the righteous.
The LORD of the Covenant sustains the sojournersÖ
The LORD of the Covenant shall reign forever.
Hallelu Yah! (Psalm 146.8-10)

Every day God opens His creative hand and dispenses blessings to all His creation. Every day He lifts the burden of sin from those who turn to Jesus in faith. Every day He is setting people free from bondages, from hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Every day He offers help to those who cannot help themselves. He lifts people out of depression. He reveals truth. He provides strength through His grace.

Remember God, the faithful God today. The LORD loves the righteous. He loves those who have been justified freely by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word. Let the pain of the past be absorbed by the enduring love of God and let fear of the future be overruled by Godís faithfulness. Halluelu Yah!

The bags are packed and weíre ready to roll. We are heading out to Mozambique, a nation in Africa where AIDS orphans abound, and children suffer who never asked to be born in such deplorable conditions. 40% of the population is under 15 years of age. The plan is to help an orphanage there, Casa das Formigas (House of Ants) and meet up with some area missionaries. Please pray for us "on all fronts." You still have some time to participate in this blessing. Just mark your gifts for "Mozambique mission."

Thank you all. We could not pursue the calling of the Lord without continual support, both spiritual and financial, from people like you. Please consider your gift to MCM and be a part of bringing others to help and hope in Jesus. You will be blessed!

Remembering His faithfulness,

Mary Craig

P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org for the latest. Order from our catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays, grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests because every Tuesday night we pray for them individually and personally, not in a stack. Be blessed! We love you.

Faithful is He that calleth you,
Who also will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5.24


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