The following answer is from current OMF (U.S.) President Michael Littlefield.

As I reflect on the question, “What does God’s faithfulness mean to you and your ministry”?, the question has touched deep places. I have seen God proved faithful again and again. We are exhorted to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).

A foundation verse for OMF is “Have Faith in God” (Mark 11:22). Hudson Taylor often spoke on it—but he understood it to mean to hold on to God’s faithfulness. He wrote: “you do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God.”

The reality is that from the world’s viewpoint, we are left with a conundrum. God is faithful, and his promises are sure. But the outworking of his faithfulness often leaves us puzzled, with furrowed brow and a barely stifled “Really, God?”

We recently learned of the homecoming of a dear colleague, Eric Yang. Eric was at a church in the U.S. sharing God’s heart for the people Eric and Linda served. While walking to his car, he collapsed and soon met Jesus face-to-face. There is a mystery to how God’s faithfulness works itself out in our daily lives.

There are times when we welcome expressions of God’s faithfulness: The arrival of a long prayed for letter of reconciliation, the healing of a child, a friend believing, or tasks being completed.

Then there is the more mysterious, inexplicable witness to God’s faithfulness. It shines with a rich, deep light when the letter never arrives, a child dies, a friend falls away, or the tasks seem insurmountable. It gives testimony when the fallen world and the spiritual battle seem overwhelming.

God’s faithfulness in the midst of trial and triumph, joy and sorrow, has an eternal, noble purpose. It is the perfection of a gift of great worth. Peter explained that through the righteousness of God and Jesus we have received a precious gift—faith! It is the gift of God, more valuable than gold, and is being tested so that it may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (see 1 Pet. 1:7; 2 Pet. 1:1).

It comes down to seeing things from God’s perspective. Hudson Taylor wrote: “While unbelief sees the difficulties, faith sees God between itself and them.” Of his two years in prison, one Christ-follower in Asia said: “The first time I went to prison it was to test my faith. The second time I went to prison it was to share my faith.” That is God’s perspective. It didn’t make prison easy. It just made it glorifying to God.

Faith is the conviction that what matters most is unseen. It is a steadfast belief that God exists and he is good. It is the solid hope that heaven is real and being with God is worth everything.

Mark Buchanan writes: “Faith’s value is rooted in the soundness and worthiness of its object. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God; but without God, it’s impossible to have good faith. Faith has nowhere to lay its head” (Hidden in Plain Sight: The Secret of More, Thomas Nelson, 2012).

Because of God’s faithfulness, we have a place to lay our heads. There is rest. There is purpose. There is hope, even when we cannot see it. We need to encourage each other to see this journey from God’s perspective. To take one more step. To pray yet again—in faith. To trust the mystery that God’s ways are not our ways (see Isaiah 55:8-12). To know, deep down, that “he who promised is faithful.”

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments