All of us have disappointments, heartbreaks, and trauma in our lives and it is natural to question, where is God’s faithfulness during these times? God is not just good when all goes well, He is good all the time. And so as children of God, we must wrestle through what this means so that in the days of trouble we can stand steadfast and rest in His unfailing love. Today we are thrilled to welcome back guest blogger, Kristen Hernandez as she shares a bit more of her story and what she has learned of the heart of God along the way.
After three years of tearful prayers and longing, my husband and I were ecstatic when we learned we were expecting our first child. This baby, a little boy we named Ethan, was a long- awaited answer to many prayers and we praised God for this precious gift. “God is so faithful,” we heard again and again, as we shared the news with the countless friends and family who had been praying for us over the years. God’s faithfulness felt so evident in our lives and our hearts overflowed with gratitude.
In a seemingly crushing turn of events, our sweet little miracle boy died in our arms just 93 minutes after his birth. As I sorted through the aftermath of such a devastating loss, I grappled with the question: Had God been unfaithful to us?
It’s easy for me to proclaim God’s faithfulness when things in my life are going well. I feel compelled to shout His praise from the rooftops when God provides a new job, we move into a new home, a broken relationship is mended, and a loved one beats cancer–and I certainly should give all glory to God for these generous gifts. But what would I say about God’s faithfulness if all of those things were stripped away?
In those first few weeks I felt as if God had been unfaithful to me. I felt as if he had betrayed my trust and I was hurt. . I often came to him broken and angry. As I angrily pounded on his chest like a little child, crying out my frustrations to him, he never once pushed me away or turned his back on me. Rather, he drew me close and gently whispered who He is—sovereign, loving, faithful. As I searched scripture for something to cling to, He revealed His promises to us over and over. He is no more faithful in seasons of prosperity than in seasons of suffering. His word and his promises stand true even when everything else seems to fall apart. Scripture is filled with promises, yet an easy life is not one of them. God’s promises to us are far more precious than an easy life–He given His children every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). He has promised His children freedom (John 8:36), healing of our broken hearts (Psalm 34:18), forgiveness of sins (I John 1:9), reconciliation with God (Romans 10:9-10), eternity with Christ (John 3:16), and that he will never leave us (Psalm 23:4). God has promised to take every joyous and painful thing in our lives and work it together for good (Romans 8:28).
The question of God’s faithfulness in difficult seasons can be answered in the definition of the word itself. God’s faithfulness is just that–faithful, steadfast, unchanging. The very essence of perfect, true faithfulness is that it simply cannot be shaken. If God is perfect and true, then we can conclude that his faithfulness is as well. His faithfulness to us is not contingent on our outward circumstances or even on our own faithfulness to him. II Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” Faithfulness is not an attribute that God puts on when He “feels like it” –it is at the very core of His character.
What a gift that God’s faithfulness to us is not contingent on our faithfulness to him. What a comfort to rest in God’s faithfulness not only in seasons of celebration, but also when our plans unravel and our hearts ache. May we always declare “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, as we rest in his unchanging, unstopping goodness.
I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped for from the Lord.” I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I will remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
By Kristen Hernandez. If you would like to read more of Kristen’s story, you can find her over at sunlightindecember.com