I love how well this “sermon in a song” packs so much loving counsel and encouragement into a sweet, memorable bundle that can lighten our load and bubble up from our hearts to compliment — or counter — what our days bring. Please give it a sing-along listen, then come back and we’ll talk about drifting down a lazy river and how to take open-book tests.
Who is steering this boat?
Our song begins:
“♫♪ God is faithful, ever faithful;
He will surely keep His word;
To the uttermost fulfilling
Ev’ry promise I have heard. ♫♪”
The last line startled me.
I might have thought the song would say that God would fulfill every promise He made, which I believe is a true saying. But here the song writer tosses us a challenge and narrows the field to God fulfilling “every promise I have heard.”
Every promise I have heard?!? How large — or how small — is that field? And what difference does that make?
Is God going to limit Himself to fulfilling only the promises you or I have heard? Of course not. But when life tests us, the promises we’ve heard can make all the difference between us being confident in the Lord or us feeling intimidated by the challenge.
Does God want us to know His promises?
The long answer is:
He says “Don’t be ignorant.”
He says, “Get saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
He says, “Be wise and understanding what My will is.”
The short answer is — of course!
I have not seen any verses in the Bible instructing God’s people to keep their heads in the sand or to remain weak and fearful.
POWER. LOVE. SOUND MINDS. That’s the stuff God likes for us.
It will be the promises we have heard that help us navigate in life. Where we don’t know the promises, the currents of life’s river will try to carry us where they want to. Many people find that living life floating down a lazy river isn’t all that much fun.
Bottom line … let’s hear lots and lots of God’s promises. Let’s put His promises to work and navigate.
Life is an open-book test
Life tests us. But there is good news! The Bible is an amazing instruction book, and life is an open-book test.
Cornell University’s web site teaches how to take open-book tests. Here are a few points:
- Open-book tests are NOT easier than closed book tests — often they are harder.
- You need to prepare and review. You don’t want the test to be the first time you are looking at the material.
- Make sure you know what you are and are not allowed to access during the test. Your notes? Your other books? The internet? Friends or parents? A tutor?
That last bullet raises an excellent point. Let’s pause a moment and think who or what we can turn to for help during life’s tests — and — Is there anything we can do now to prepare for such times?
As for me — I’ve found excellent help has sprung out of
— learning promises from the Bible
— learning to pray and
— hanging out with smart people that love the Lord
I can report such “preparation” is still a delight and has helped me too many times to count.
From storms and strife to blessing and life
Our song mentions “storms” and “strife”. We might think of
storms as challenges from outside ourselves, and
strife as challenges going on within ourselves.
Whatever the challenge, our song presents this promise, counsel and benefit:
Promise: God is faithful; He will make me more than conqueror …
Counsel: Yield wholly to His guidance
Benefit: This is blessing, this is life!
That was good instruction when the song was written over a century ago, and is still good today. No surprise there, because God is faithful.
God bless you lots!
— Dale R.
Download music sheet free from “The Music Box” – here’s how
LYRICS: God Is Faithful (1903)
Text: E.E. Hewitt
Tune: Wm. J. Kirkpatrick
1 God is faithful, ever faithful;
He will surely keep His word;
To the uttermost fulfilling
Ev’ry promise I have heard.
God is faithful, ever faithful;
I will trust Him all the way;
God is faithful ever faithful,
He will keep me night and day.
2 God is faithful; He will do it;
Not my own weak heart I trust,
But His Spirit dwelling in me,
Wise and holy, kind and just.
3 God is faithful; this my refuge;
When the storms of trial rise:
Help is coming, swiftly coming
From the hills beyond the skies.
4 God is faithful; He will make me
More than conqueror in the strife;
Yielding wholly to His guidance,
This is blessing, this is life!
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Greetings Mr Dale, thanks for taking the time to bless us with so many amazing songs and sermon, your ministry is well appreciated, u have touched on so many amazing topics about OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, …YES OUR FATHER GOD IS SO FAITHFUL, AND LOVING, HE BLESSED US WITH HIS WORD, WHEN HE SPOKE,AND IT BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONGST US.. AND SO TRUE, Life is an open book test, and it’s all right there in front of us, …all we have to do is open it, and meditate on every” WORD “,, and our life will never be the same..”LIFE IS IN HIS WORDS, ….AND TO TOP IT OFF, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER CAME TO US PERSONALLY TO SHOW US HOW MUCH HE LOVES US , IN THE FLESH IN OUR FATHER JESUS,…NOW THAT’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, “FIRST HE GAVE US HIS WORD IN AN AMAZING BOOK, AND IF WE DIDN’T GET IT WHEN WE READ IT, HE MADE A PERSONAL APPEARANCE, AND TAUGHT US HIS WORD IN THE FLESH..”FROM BOOK TO LIFE.. WHAT AN AMAZING FATHER WE HAVE…ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS ACCEPT HIM, …ARMS WIDE OPEN, …Just think mr dale, u were bless with two great blessings 🙏. “Singing and teaching…what more could u ask for, and on top of that, ms Cathy is right there beside u… so keep singing and teaching,…blessing 🙏 upon blessings goes out to u both …MUCH BLESSINGS ..
Julia, great observations! I love “And if we didn’t get it when we read it, He made a personal appearance and taught us His Word in the flesh … from book to life.” Amazing Father, indeed. He makes great children, too! Happy to be family. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Always very much appreciated. Let’s keep singing and praising the Lord! God bless you lots — Dale R.