“The ultimate measure of friends is where they stand in times of challenge and controversy. That being the case, apart from adversity of some kind, we would never know who our faithful friends really are. In the same way, we will never know in a personal way the faithfulness of Christ apart from adversity. Without it, our faith would never increase. It would remain static.”- Dr. Charles F. Stanley
In Chapter 16 (“Faithful is He Who Has Called You”) of Can You Still Trust God?, Dr. Charles Stanley underscores that God wants more from you and for you than simple intellectual acknowledgement of His faithfulness. Rather, God wills that you experience His faithfulness now. Because a life free from pain, turmoil, and sorrow produces a purely academic knowledge of God.
However, Dr. Stanley exhorts, adversity presents great potential for praise. For example, the author notes, the most elaborate celebrations described in the Bible always followed one type of event. An event in which God demonstrated His faithfulness through adversity. Thus, God’s faithfulness functions as a catalyst for praise. As a result, faith is stretched and strengthened.
But, Dr. Stanley cautions, many Christians immediately doubt God when He fails to resolve their trials as they deem appropriate. So, in their anger, some people turn their back on God. Or write Him off as unfaithful and walk away.
Above all, however, God’s always faithful to His promises. And He often demonstrates that as He sustains us through adversity.
In conclusion, Dr. Stanley cites Phillip Keller from his book A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23. In the book, Keller describes God’s faithfulness during his wife’s illness and death:
“When I thank Him for the difficult things, the dark days, I discover He is there with me in my distress. At that point my panic, my fear, my misgivings, give way to calm and quiet confidence in His care. Somehow, in a serene quiet way I am assured all will turn out for my best because He is with me in the valley and things are under His control.”
Today’s question: How have you experienced the ultimate measure of Christ’s faithfulness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The glue of His unconditional love”