“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” (I Corinthians 4:2 ESV).
In this 3-Part Bible study series, we will discover faithfulness as the foundation for courageous and contagious Christianity:
1. The Faithful Individual
2. The Faithful God
3. The Faithful Church
The Faithful Individual
“Help, Lord, because the godly are all gone; the faithful have completely disappeared from the human race!” (Psalm 12:1 CEB)
Faithfulness is rare among sinful humanity, but it should not be so among the people of God! The Bible includes many examples of God’s people who are characterized by faithfulness:
- The 3 Hebrew boys would not bow to cultural pressure
- Noah was faithful while facing doubt and ridicule
- Enoch walked with God during the years before the flood when the inhabitants of the earth descended into utter moral depravity
- Abraham was a friend of God who hoped beyond hope
- Ruth was faithful through mourning and milestones
- Joseph was faithful when his dream took him through faith tests he never anticipated
- Esther was faithful to her calling when positioned in the kingdom “for such a time as this”
- Paul was faithful in prison, in chains, in beatings, in shipwreck
- John was faithful while exiled to Patmos
Daniel was faithful in the face of life & death opposition
The story of Daniel begins when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieges Jerusalem. He conquers the city and captures the king and the sacred vessels dedicated to God in the temple. Some of the royal and well-educated Israelites were brought back to Babylon to serve at the king’s palace. Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are among the people who get exiled to Babylon.
Daniel and his friends were chosen to enter King Nebuchadnezzar’s 3-year leadership and cultural conditioning program because they were among the brightest and the best. Because of his excellent spirit and work ethic, Daniel begins to rise through the ranks. He thrived in a culture contrary to the God’s Word while consistently and faithfully serving His God.
We can be faithful to God in a faithless world. A circumstance cannot halt you. A custom cannot stop you. A culture cannot define who you are and what you will become – unless you allow it.
Daniel continues to advance in the Babylonian government through four political leadership changes. In Daniel Chapter 6, King Darius is restructuring his government and Daniel is promoted to become one of only three administrators over the provincial governors throughout the kingdom (6:1). This does not please everyone. The governors and officials’ scheme against Daniel and trick Darius into passing a law that condemns Daniel into being thrown into a lion’s den because of his faithfulness in prayer and worship to God. READ DANIEL 6:1-5.
Daniel was found faultless because he was found faithful [Daniel 6:4). Notice it was the favor of the king that caused others to be jealous of his success!
Faithfulness is a Characteristic of Believers
Daniel 6:10 (the Voice)
“Even though Daniel was aware the king had signed the ordinance into law, he continued to do what he always did. He would go home, ascend the stairs to the upper room—which had windows facing toward Jerusalem — and get down on his knees three times a day and pray to his god and praise him.”
Daniel examples for us true faithfulness. Even with the threat of death hanging over his head, Daniel stayed faithful to God. The Living Bible says, “He knelt on his knees and prayed and gave praise before his God, just as he had been doing previously.” Cultural issues and political pressure did not change Daniel’s habit of prayer and praise!
The early church experienced similar situations and worse, yet they stayed faithful to God!
2 Timothy 3:14a (NLT)
“You must remain faithful to the things you have been taught”
1 John 2:24a (NLT)
“You must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning”
Revelation 14:12 (NIRV)
“God’s people need to be very patient. They are the ones who obey God’s commands. They remain faithful to Jesus.”
Ephesians 1:1 (KJV)
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”
Revelation 17:14 (KJV)
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Continued faithfulness to God is not optional.
Hebrews 10:32-35 (NLT)
“Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!”
The Bible gives a stern warning that those who do not remain faithful will be destroyed.
Jude 5 (CEB)
“I want to remind you of something you already know very well. The Lord, who once saved a people out of Egypt, later destroyed those who didn’t maintain their faith.”
Being faithful to Jesus is based on having faith in Jesus.
John 7:38-39 (KJV)
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…”
The infilling of the Holy Spirit empowers the believer to produce the fruit of the Spirit which includes faithfulness.
Galatians 5:22 (AMP)
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”
We are overcomers when we are faithful.
Revelation 2:10-11 (KJV)
“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
The “good and faithful servant” will hear Jesus’ words from Matthew 25:21 (KJV), “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Romans 16:10a says, “Greet Apelles. Even though he was put to the test, he remained faithful as one who belonged to Christ.” (NirV)
This verse also describes Daniel and a great number of Christians past, present and future! They were tested and found faithful.
Does the word “faithful” describe me? In the King James Version of Romans 16:10, Apelles is described as “approved in Christ.” Does my life have the approval of Jesus?
If faithfulness is to continue in the principles of God’s Word, no matter where you are at or what is going on than the question is, what exactly should we keep doing?
How to Stay Faithful
In Daniel’s case, staying faithful involved the spiritual disciplines of prayer and praise. Spiritual disciplines —godly habits are vital to grow and strengthen our relationship with Jesus.
Sadly, we have the tendency to stop doing what we know to do when difficulty or complacency comes into our lives. If anything, that’s the time to do more of what we’ve always done! Whether the moment you are in is intended to correct or strengthen…stay faithful!
1. Keep Studying the Bible.
The Word of God is able to save your soul (James 1:21). “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
The Word of God is able to keep you safe (Proverbs 30:5). “Every word of God is perfect. He is like a shield to those who trust in him. He keeps them safe.” (NIRV)
When God’s word is missing, chaos, confusion and panic thrive. (READ 2 Kings 22:1-23:7)!
When we desire God’s word like a baby desires milk (1 Peter 2:2), it will:
- Strengthen us (Psalm 119:28)
- Sustain us (Matthew 4:4)
- Guides us (Psalm 119:30)
Try the 3 R’s of Bible study in your daily Bible reading: READ God’s word; RECORD what He shows/says to you; and RESPOND in obedience.
2. Keep Praying
Prayer will help us process and apply our Bible reading (Psalm 119:18).
Prayer is union and communion with God. Prayer is speaking to God and hearing from God. You LEARN His voice from reading His Word. Daniel’s consistency in prayer brought him the victory!
Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17)! Use the “Our Father” prayer pattern (Matthew 6:9-13) – praise, purpose, provision, pardon, protection, and more praise.
3. Keep Praising
If you have breath, praise the Lord (Psalm 115:7)! “I will live and proclaim what the Lord has done” (Psalm 118:17 GNB)
God is always “Worthy…to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:12).
This discipline of praise and worship opens the door for God’s presence and power on the
Earth (Study Acts 16:25-34, 2 Chronicles 20:1-30).
4. Keep Giving
Why should we stay faithful in giving?
- It reveals lordship in our lives (Matthew 6:24).
- It opens the windows of heaven over our life and keeps the devourer away (Malachi 3:10-11).
- Because “Give, and you will receive” (Luke 6:38 NLT)
- Because “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)
- Because everything we have belongs to God (1 Corinthians 4:7). The Bible urges us to be a good or wise steward of the resources God has given us.
5. Keep Believing
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21 KVJ).
Keep believing, teaching, loving truth!
- Get a grip on it and don’t let it go
- Continue in truth
- Continue in doing good
6. Keep Making Disciples
Discipleship is a command.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19 AMP).
Develop your sphere of influence. Share your testimony. Use your social-media accounts to expand the kingdom of King Jesus. Text, Email, tweet, share the Good News of the Gospel!
By John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
A TORCH STILL LIT
One of the Greek’s Olympic games was a race in which the contestants carried torches and the winner was the one that finished with his torch still lit. Is it your desire to finish your race with your flame still burning strong?
The faithful lifestyle is for the one who seeks to honor God with her whole life. Am I faithful in all things? To God? To my family? To others? To my church? To my ministry?
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 24 KJV)
Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” (NLT)
“And you will be hated by everyone because of [your association with] My name, but it is the one who has patiently persevered and endured to the end who will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22 AMP)