GOD’S FAITHFULNESS IN OUR SUFFERINGS
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Paul must have felt that he had more than he could bear, when God allowed a messenger of Satan to buffet him. When this thorn cut deeply in his flesh, he cried three times in prayer to God for deliverance; but God did not remove the thorn, but revealed to Paul the way of escape He had made. This escape from the unbearable circumstances of his suffering was through the all sufficient grace of God. By this means, God, in faithfulness to Paul, made the strength of the Lord Jesus perfect in him, filled his heart with pleasure and glory, kept him from being exalted above measure, and caused the power of Christ to rest on him. Surely he could say with the Psalmist, “…thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me” (Psalm 119:75).
Joseph must have often thought his troubles were unbearable, when first he was rejected of his brethren, put in the place of death in the pit, sold into slavery in a strange land far away from home and loved ones, only to be falsely accused by his employer’s wife and cast into prison as a common criminal. How heavy his chains were, and how much heavier must his heart have been, as he sat in the gloom of that prison with not a hope for the future. But witness the faithfulness of God in the life of Joseph. It was his contact with the butler, made while in prison, that placed him on the throne of Egypt and eventually restored him to the arms of his father and brethren.
Jacob surely must have considered his cup too bitter to drink, when the bloody garment of his beloved son was offered as mute evidence of Joseph’s tragic death. The scriptures record how he refused to be comforted and vowed to go down to his grave in mourning for his son, as he rent his clothes, put sackcloth upon his loins and bitterly wept under a temptation that had taken him, that was more than he could bear.
No escape was to be seen in the sore famine that next came into his land and threatened his life and the lives of his sons. In desperation he sent his sons into Egypt to buy corn, only to have his sorrows multiplied by Simeon’s imprisonment and the demand for Benjamin to be brought to Egypt. Jacob wept that he would be brought gray haired to his grave with sorrow. It was not until the daybreak of Jacob’s long night of trouble that the shadows fled away and he saw that the hand of his faithful God had overruled it all for His glory and Jacob’s good. In all of his sufferings, God was faithfully bringing Jacob to the glorified Son on the throne, who was the source of all nourishment and life [Gen. 35-50]. Oh, dear reader, hear now this testimony of God’s faithfulness, and know that if the cup of your suffering seems to be more than you can bear at this moment, it is because God is driving you to the blessed Son on His throne, who wants to nourish you and give you of His life.
GOD’S FAITHFULNESS IN OUR SINS
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Think of the great weight of sin that was lifted from your heart, when you came to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. All of the years that the locust and the cankerworm had eaten were restored by the faithfulness of God in the blood of the everlasting covenant [Joel 2:25]. Your sins, that were once scarlet, were made white as snow, and though they were red like crimson, they were made as wool [Isaiah 1:18]. All were cast behind His back, carried as far as east is from west from His presence never to be remembered against you again [Psalm 103:12].
But, dear reader, think of the times since you were saved that you have come to Him for forgiveness of sins in your heart and life. Day after day and night after night, and still He forgives you and cleanses you without a word of condemnation. The great faithfulness of God in the forgiveness of sins is seen in the picture of the Lord Jesus rising constantly from His place of communion to lay aside His garments and take a towel to gird Himself like a slave, that He might take the water of His word to wash the defiled feet of His own! See Him now, as He wipes them with the same towel wherewith He was girded, that they might have a continual fellowship with Him. If man, in faithfulness to his brother, is to forgive his sin 70 times seven in this world, how much more will the faithfulness of God in the forgiveness of the sins of His people be seen? How precious to know that every morning, His compassion for us poor sinners is as new as it was the first day we came to the Lord Jesus for salvation, and the blood on the mercy seat in heaven as fresh as though it was sprinkled there today! This is the sure promise of the Word of God (Lamentations 3:23, Hebrews 10:19-20) and the certain evidence that God is faithful to Himself and to us.
Dear reader, is your heart made heavy by the conviction of sin? Come boldly to our Father by the precious blood. He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness [Heb. 4:16; 1 John 1:9]. Cast yourself upon His great faithfulness, crying with the poet:
“Here I rest, forever viewing,
Mercy poured in drops of blood:
Precious drops, my soul bedewing,
Plead, and claim my peace with God.”
Part 2 of 3
Published in 1964 by the Gospel Book Room, P. O. Box 161, Belprie, Ohio 45714
Web site typist: Deborah Cooke