Week 4, main session
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful to all his words and kind in all his works] (Psalm 145:13).
The bridge I needed to cross loomed before me. The narrow handrails and roped sides revealed the possible dangers below. As I started across I could see the solid rock beneath the bridge gradually sloping downward. Continuing, the secure base suddenly dropped off to reveal a deep gorge, one that would bring sudden death if the bridge collapsed or if I slid between the ropes. I knew I needed to cross in order to observe the scenic beauty, but I could feel my stomach churn and my legs weaken. Suddenly a strong wind swept through the narrow gorge and the bridge began to sway. Within moments, the legs that once felt weak began to shake. In an instant, I fell to my knees in fear. My mind raced as I tried to figure out my next move. There was no turning back for the bridge was too narrow for two people to pass. I had to keep moving even it if meant doing so in a slow crawl. Hoping for a decrease in the wind, I continued on. Knowing the fear of danger would eventually cripple me, I looked up as best I could. Gaining the courage to grab the side ropes, I forced myself to my feet, and slowly inched forward one step at a time. Failing to do so would block others who were also trying their best to cross the bridge as well. Upon reaching the other side, I understood the reason why many were willing to cross the bridge, for the panorama beyond surpassed my wildest imagination.
When faced with weak legs and churning stomachs it can be extremely difficult to hold life together on our own. We eventually discover the best place to be is on our knees, searching for the One who can hold us together. Looking up rather than at the circumstances, we discover a God who is faithful to listen and love us even in our weakened state. In the process, we see Him as the only One able to assist us as we cross our swinging bridges and the One who is waiting on the other side with joys and blessings unimaginable.
Prayer: Dear Father, no matter my role in life today, there are always challenges. Some issues may seem small; others are overwhelming. Give me Your Spirit’s wisdom to view You through eyes of faith and to cherish You as the One who will strengthen and support me as I cross this unstable life with You. Amen.
From the time we are born up to the age we now find ourselves, life sends us obstacles that need to be crossed in order to reach our current destination in life. Some challenges, especially when we are younger, provide caregivers who hold our hands, like parents, teachers, or friends. At other times we struggle alone, trying to figure out how we can get to the other side without collapsing under the weight of what is happening. Once reaching our destination, we cannot help but wonder how we managed to achieve what we did and how we gained so much wisdom in the process.
Read Psalm 89:1-2, 6-8 together and discuss the significance of God’s faithfulness in your personal life today.
I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”… For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?
In Scripture we learn of the God who remains ever faithful. As a mother, as a single, or as one who is aging all too quickly, God’s faithfulness is sure. When encountering illness, with challenges on the job, raising children at home, or facing painful emotions and memories from childhood, God’s faithfulness is secure. His love knows no bounds. His own personal bridge of support is always there even when our knees buckle under us and the view seems bottomless. The wind may blow fiercely and, while God can calm the wind, He may rather choose to give us the strength to crawl and eventually stand, enabling us to view the incredible picture of Him on the other side.
Go on the journey of God’s faithfulness through His Word this week. Whether you are already on the mountaintop or are viewing the deep gorge below on a swinging bridge, believe that God’s path of faithfulness is secure and He is to be trusted.
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? – the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights (Psalm 18:31-33).
Read Psalm 145:13-19. When reading this section, make note of the incredible blessings, or “views”, of God’s faithfulness to us. Take time to share what each blessing means to you during the tasks that lay before you today.
Note that in the ESV Bible the word all is used ten times. As you read it again, share what all is referring to in each phrase. Now go back over this section again and list the action words that describe what God does on our behalf (ex. open and satisfy in verse 16). In what ways can this confirm or alter your view of who God is and what He does?
GOD’S FAITHFULNESS TO ABRAHAM
In Genesis 18:14 God asks Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Abraham and Sarah were well past the age of childbearing. Although God had promised them a son, an heir, it had to have been nearly impossible to believe the promise could still be fulfilled. God surprised them through the delay revealing that they would not only have the promised son, but would also discover it to be at a time when it was seemingly impossible. God chose just the right time to reveal His faithfulness to them and it would be the result of a miracle. His faithfulness would be revealed through two very aging people (Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7).
Many of us can relate to times in our lives when the tasks at hand seemed like that deep gorge into which we would fall. Worn out and exhausted, we collapsed under the weight. It is during these times that, in God’s Word, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness which is higher than the highest heavens and deeper than the deepest gorge.
GOD’S FAITHFULNESS REVEALED
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord (Psalm 36:5-6).
God does all this at just the right time – no matter our roles in life, our ages, or our professions. Just as He was faithful to Abraham and Sarah, so He will be faithful to us – at just the right time. His greatest proof is revealed in Romans 5:6-8: For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
It is because of Christ’s redeeming blood and through our Baptism that we are no longer under the curse of the law but rather under His grace. Now when the Father views us He no longer sees our sins, for they have been forgiven through Christ. He sees only the Savior. There can be no greater proof of His faithfulness.
Personal assignment: To better remember God’s faithfulness, read Psalm 100 and memorize as much as possible. Take special time to dwell on verse 5 and take note of its meaning and value for you personally.
Let me be Thine forever, My faithful God and Lord;
Let me forsake Thee never Nor wander from Thy Word
Lord, do not let me waver, But give me steadfastness,
And for such grace forever Thy holy name I’ll bless.
LSB 689, v. 1