The Herald Weekly Vol XV : 27

We are God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 2:10

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)

Here is an interesting story taken from Favorite Stories by Heather A. Hannam. It relates the theme “Being Faithful.” A man suddenly woke up in his cabin room, and then the Savior appeared to him. A cold, massive and unmoving rock appeared in front of him. The Lord told him to push against it until He returns. So he started to push with all his might, day after day, for many years. Each night the man returned to his bed feeling sore and worn out. Many times he felt that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Many times this man showed signs of discouragement. Tempting thoughts played in his mind, “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved slightly. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it at all.”

The man began to believe that the task was impossible and that he was a failure, and he felt discouraged and disheartened. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. I’ll just put in my time, giving just the least effort and that will be sufficient.”

And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord”, he said, “I have laboured long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately. “My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done.

Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me, with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, but is that really so? Look at yourself.”

The Lord continued to encourage him, “Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are calloused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have, yet you haven’t moved the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done well.”

At times when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him. As Oswald Chambers said, “God does not call us to be successful, only to be faithful.”

The Faithfulness of God (Phil 1:6)

This is a way God’s faithfulness is revealed to us. God is working something in us, doing something among us, that is a work in progress. And God has called us to allow Him to do this work in us and also in others. When work is in the process of being done, a mess is always created. When we acknowledge that work is being done in people, and choose to be okay with the mess that is created when work is being done, that is faithfulness! Something is going on in us. It’s not finished yet.

In fact, it has a long way to go. God is in the process of sanctifying us – making us holy! This is an ongoing process that will culminate on the day of Jesus’ return, at which point we will be blameless in our spirit, soul, and body! God is faithful, and He will get this done. We need to exercise total trust in Him.

Three Things are Certain to Take Place.

1. We are all in the progress of the work God is creating in us. That person who has wronged, hurt, or disappointed you is a person that God Himself has taken eternal interest in and is at this very moment shaping into holiness. Husbands, God is molding your wife into holiness. Wives, God is molding your husbands into holiness. Who are we to give up on others? Who are we to lose faith in people that our eternal and loving God is at this very moment investing in and drawing toward Himself?

2. God will complete His work. God is not going to leave any half-baked Christians around. He will bring each of us to completion!

What does faithfulness really mean? Patience! When we are faithful to God, we are patient with Him in the work He is doing. When we are faithful to others, we are patient with them as God continues working on them, knowing that one day He will complete His work! That person will turn out to be beautiful in Christ! Do we have the patience in God’s work and in the other person?

3. God’s work is not done yet!
Who are we to give up on people? God’s work is not done yet! Who are we to lose faith in people? God hasn’t finish His task yet! Who are we to take a snapshot of a person with his faults and deficiencies and respond to him or her as if something is wrong?

God’s work continues, and He’s not done yet! When we are patient with some people, we treat them in the same way God treats them – we see them not as they are, but as what they will be! At the same time, we realize that God hasn’t finished yet, and they aren’t yet that person they will be, and we partner with God in being kind and treat them with respect and love. Like God does, we allow them to be broken, to make mistakes, to say and do stupid and hurtful things. And we remain in prayer.

When we are faithful, we are full of faith. We cling to the belief that God is at work in people. We refuse to believe the worst about people, because the worst is what we can easily see – it doesn’t require faith. And in case this hasn’t occurred to us yet, please don’t fail to realize that ultimately faithfulness to human beings is an expression not of confidence in them, but of confidence in God – that He knows what He is doing, and that He does all things well! That brother/sister in Christ you have chosen to believe bad things about – let me just ask you this. Does God know what He’s doing? If so, be faithful. If not, then we have to wonder what’s going to happen to us.

Now what about when, in spite of our stubborn clinging to the goodness of our brothers and sisters, they are not actually good? My friends, there will be occasions like this. There will even be occasions, because of human sin and failings, where we will regretfully experience brokenness in relationships even with people who we do honour and acknowledge God’s work in. Let’s not be simplistic and thus confuse ourselves. There are certain human relationships that are not good for us and we should not be in them. But we can still believe God is working in people we can’t be close to. We can still trust in their basic goodness, and honor God’s work in their life. We don’t have to lose faith in a person simply because we are unable to be close to them.

God is faithful. If we are not learning to be faithful, we are not becoming holier and more like Jesus. There is no greater lesson we will learn in relationships than the lesson of faithfulness, because being faithful requires that we learn to see as God sees. Faith is hard, because it requires us to believe what we cannot see, and to trust in the teaching of God’s Word.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
(Phil 1:6)

We must not abandon faith in God because the One who called us is faithful. And we cannot have faith in God if we do not have faith in the work He is doing in us and in others. Therefore, we simply must not abandon faith in each other.

Pastor Bob Phee

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