Originally written in Latin in 1744, “Adeste Fideles” became known in English as “O Come all ye Faithful” in 1841. What a beautiful message of Christmas urging faithful hearts to come and adore the baby King. Scripture is full of faithful people. Moses, David, Abraham, Paul and Timothy are just a few examples of those called “faithful” in the Bible. They had hearts surrendered to God, and that’s what being faithful is all about, surrender!
You found his [Abraham’s] heart faithful before You, and made a covenant with him to give him the land of the Canaanite, of the Hittite and the Amorite, of the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite – to give it to his descendants. And you have fulfilled Your promise, for You are righteous.Nehemiah 9:8 NASB
Having a faithful heart has the concept of being “steadfast of heart” (Psalm 78:37, 57:7, 51:10, Isaiah 26:3-4). The word “faithful” comes from the same root word as “faith” or “belief.” Genesis 15:6 says, “then he [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness” (NASB). Having faith, being faithful, and believing all have the idea of persuasion, “the willingness to be persuaded by God.” Being persuaded involves a choice of our will to believe God in any given situation. Being faithful is a heart attitude of surrender to the Lord. Our hearts will either be characterized by belief or unbelief. The faithful ones in Scripture are the “believing ones.”
I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me.Psalm 119:30 (NASB)
The moment we believe and trust Christ for salvation, we embark on a faithful journey. Every circumstance we encounter along the way is an opportunity for us to be persuaded again and again by Christ. No matter our affliction, we can make the choice by God’s grace to believe His truth over our present reality. Yielding to the Lord in each step of our journey is the key to experiencing God’s transforming power. As we yield to Christ, the Spirit will produce the fruit of faithfulness in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). Being faithful is not so much the “faithfulness to do something for God”, but the “faithfulness to surrender our lives to Him”. It is through this faithful surrender that God is revealed in us.
May those who fear You see me and be glad, because I wait for Your word. I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, according to Your word to Your servant.Psalm 119:74-76 NASB
God allows affliction in our lives not to punish us, but to conform us to His image! We can believe God through it because He is faithful. Whatever we face in this life, we can be confident that God will be true to His character because He can’t do anything apart from His faithfulness (Psalm 33:4), Our responsibility is to keep surrendering and waiting on His Word.
He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.Psalm 91:4 NASB
“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NASB). Praise God for HIS faithfulness! We don’t always make the choice to yield. When this happens, we sin- but God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we confess our sins to Him (1 John 1:9). Sovereign Grace has a new song out this year called “O Come all ye Unfaithful.” It is a play on words to the original but I love the message that even in our most faithless moments, God is faithful and wants us to come to Him. What an awesome reminder of grace!
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.2 Timothy 2:13 NASB
Regardless of where we are coming from, the most important thing is to COME. Come and ADORE Him!
1. Read Psalm 119:30. According to this verse, what is one way to choose the “faithful way”? (Hint, “judgments refer to God’s Word).
2. Read Psalm 31:23. What is another way to be faithful? What does God promise to do?
3. Read Psalm 100:5. What do you learn about God’s faithfulness?
4. Read Lamentations 3:19-25. What gives the author hope?
5. How is your heart encouraged by knowing that God always acts out of faithfulness? Is your heart surrendered to Him today?
Click here to listen to a choral version of “O Come all ye Faithful” on YouTube.
Click here to watch “O Come all you Unfaithful” by Sovereign Grace on YouTube.