When God Doesn't Give You What You Want
Why our words matter when we talk about God's faithfulness.
God is faithful.
This is something we know, but I think if we paid attention to how we speak about His faithfulness, we would be surprised to find out that what we are saying doesn’t match the truth of this statement.
If you take a second to think about the last time you heard someone say “God is so faithful” or “Wow, isn’t God faithful?” what was the context of the conversation?
Many of the times I hear people say this, it almost always revolves around big life events.
A friend gets engaged and hashtags her posts with #Godisfaithful.
Another friend has a healthy baby and you’re sure to find a comment that says something like, “God has been so faithful to you and your husband.”
Or a friend moves and they talk about how faithful God was to them in finding a new home.
At first glance, all of these statements sound correct. We know as followers of Jesus that God is faithful—that is one of the foundational truths of our faith.
However, it isn’t until you stop and pay attention to these comments that you realize how dangerous these statements can be.
Because if we are saying that “God is faithful” when we get engaged, have a healthy baby or find a great new home, then what happens when those things go away? or don’t happen at all? Is God no longer faithful?
Is God not faithful to me because I am single and desire to be married? Is God not faithful to the family who is trying to have a baby but can’t? Is God’s faithfulness in question when life is hard? Can God not be faithful?
We have gotten so good at saying words that sound good without paying attention to what they actually mean.
In this case, it sounds right to say that God is faithful in the context of all of these life events, but in actuality to be faithful means that you keep your promises.
And that is where the problem lies. We tie God’s faithfulness (His keeping His promises) to things that He never promised us.
He has not promised us marriage or children. He has not promised us a nice new home in a great part of town. He hasn’t promised material wealth or an easy life.
But there are so many beautiful things He has promised us that we know He will be faithful to do.
He promised every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). God promised to finish the work He started in us (Philippians 1:6). He promised peace when we pray (Philippians 4:6–7). God promised to supply our needs (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19).
These promises are true. Because of His character, He will do them. He is faithful.
And when He is so kind to give us things that He didn’t promise, let us thank Him as the God who gives good gifts to His children.
And when life hurts and doesn’t make sense, let us talk to Him as the God who is ever present and comforts us in our grief.
He is faithful but not because of the good things He gives us, He is faithful because He will keep His promises.
All His promises are “Yes and Amen.”