By Roger Wayne Hicks
Many hymns and other Christian songs vividly remind us of the faithfulness of God. In these we are reminded that all we have needed his hand has provided and that in our moments of fear, tears, and pain, God has been faithful. These poetic and musical settings lend commentary to Scripture’s declaration of God’s faithfulness.
Every Christian can surely find great opportunity to testify to the ever-present faithfulness of God in their life. I have experienced nearly eight decades of God’s faithfulness. Divine faithfulness comforted and encouraged me at the death of my mother when I was 9 years old. God’s loving faithfulness led me down the path of salvation in Christ and later into lifelong Christian ministry.
As a result of God’s faithfulness, I was able to make it through the challenging years of graduate school. God supplied financial resources in unexpected ways, enabled me to accomplish academic challenges, and provided unique and future ministry-enhancing experiences. During the graduation ceremony I responded to God’s faithfulness as I joined my classmates in singing, “O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end . . . I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side.”
As the apostle Paul said of himself, “It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). God has entrusted his church with a magnificent variety of gifts and opportunities; these have been given by God for our personal benefit and the benefit of others.
It’s been more than 50 years since I sang those emotionally charged words during my graduation ceremony. I continue to witness God’s faithfulness in my life, in my family, in my part-time choral ministry, and in the world around me. However, at times I wonder if I am being faithful to God, especially when I have feared the battle, as the hymn lyrics stated.
Use God-Created Uniqueness
My two brothers were each accomplished wood craftsmen. They made beautiful cabinetry for their homes and masterpiece toy boxes for their grandchildren. They faithfully used their God-given gifts and shared their giftedness with others. I have sometimes reasoned that I am being faithful to God by not trying to make cabinetry and grandchildren’s toy boxes. No matter how much I have wished I had the woodcrafting talent of my brothers, I have come to realize that this is not one of my God-given talents. However, God has gifted me with some talents that neither of my brothers had. In divine wisdom and grace, God made us each different.
Realizing that God has created each of us as unique individuals, we can confidently live as the people God created us to be. This means we have the opportunity—and, according to God’s Word, the requirement—to prove faithful to God with our uniqueness.
What is the thing you are better at doing than any other family member? Since this talent is part of your God-given uniqueness, using this skill to make a positive difference in someone’s life is one way of being faithful to God.
Of course as Christians our God-created uniqueness goes much further than such things as woodcrafting, musical ability, culinary, or other personal skills. Our most valuable gift of course is the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. And there are the spiritual gifts, as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:6-8. Just as God gifts his people with salvation and the respective spiritual gifts, he also gives us unique abilities which enhance our effectiveness in using and sharing these gifts for the benefit of others. Using and sharing these gifts can be one way of being faithful to God.
Is there a ministry in your church where you, with your unique set of skills and spiritual gifts, would make a good fit? Your giftedness may just be the component needed at this point in time to maximize the objectives of the group or special project. Your fellow church members will most certainly welcome your personal involvement, and you will find yourself being faithful to God in the process.
Impact Your Community
Perhaps you’ve thought about something that would make a great community outreach or mission project for your church. While serving a city church, a choir member presented to me an intriguing proposal. Since he worked in the city’s business center, the choir member was aware of the large number of people who had employment within a few blocks of the church. He wanted to know if I thought it would be possible for our choir to present a noon concert just before Christmas. This, he thought, would make a great gift to the business community and an opportunity to share the good news of Christmas. We decided to share the idea with the choir at its next rehearsal.
The plan was to present 45 minutes of our Sunday concert on the Thursday prior, from 12:15 to 1:00 p.m. Working choir members would need to take off work shortly after 11:00 in order to get to the church, dress, warm up, and pray in preparation for the noon concert. The choir members were excited about the proposed project and agreed to make the necessary adjustments in their schedules.
After some three months of music preparation, community promotion, and earnest prayer, the anticipated Thursday arrived. What should we expect? Would a large number of people show up or would there be few? I suggested that we should be ready for whatever happened in the way of attendance; no matter how many or how few showed up we would joyfully sing the good news of Christmas.
Following our warm-up and prayer time we made our way into the church sanctuary. As we entered, we discovered a standing-room only crowd—downstairs and in the balcony. God had honored the idea and the subsequent faith and work of the choir members. The choir member who came up with the idea had been faithful to God. The choir had been faithful to God. And, of course, God was faithful in making a difference in the lives of a multitude of downtown business people. It all happened because initially one person was faithful to God and shared an idea.
You may be at a point in your life where you are no longer able to be as physically active as you once were. You may even be confined to your home or a nursing home. Being faithful to God has no physical limitations. People’s lives can still be impacted through your faithfulness to God. Your love for God and his kingdom will make a difference in people’s lives that is far greater than you may imagine. I encourage you to seek God’s leading in discovering some unique ways in which you can enlarge your sphere of God-honoring influence.
Being faithful to God can be displayed through our degree of faith in him and our willingness to say yes to him.
Roger Wayne Hicks is a church musician and writer living in Sun City West, Arizona.