Joseph Scriven was born to loving and well-off parents in Ireland way back in 1819. As he grew up, Scriven had the credentials of a great citizen. He fell in love with a young lady who was eager to spend her life with him. However, on the day before their wedding she fell from her horse, while crossing a bridge over the River Bann and was drowned in the water below. Joseph stood helplessly watching from the other side. In an effort to overcome his sorrow, he began to travel to different places. By age 25 his travels had taken him to an area near Port Hope, Canada. He became highly regarded by the people of that area. It was there he met a wonderful young lady, Elisa Roche, and again fell in love. They had exciting plans to be married. However, tragedy reared its ugly head once again and she died of pneumonia before they could wed. During his time of brokenness, he penned a poem exalting God’s faithfulness to comfort his mother who was very disturbed at the course of events in her son’s life. The poem was made into a hymn after his death and has been a source of solace to many. A few lines from the hymn read thus –
Oh, What peace we often forfeit
Oh, What needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
The word ‘faithful’ refers to such a quality of an individual which cannot be immediately identified. Only when you are with a person for quite some time, can you say with confidence whether s/he is faithful in his/her relationship with you or not. People, who were trusted to be faithful, have turned out to be unfaithful as time rolled by. Surely you can think of some people in your personal or professional lives who were unfaithful to you or to someone you knew! In such a world scenario, it always brings in an element of uncertainty as to who then can be faithful in all circumstances till the end, who can be good enough to be relied on? Or are we so used to hearing of accounts of personal and professional unfaithfulness, that we have developed an attitude of complacency towards the whole attribute of faithfulness?
The Scriptures tell us that God is faithful because of the fact that God cannot change. For God to be unfaithful even once to any one person under the sun, His nature has to change. And God cannot be God if He changes! God’s very name is faithfulness for He is perfect in faithfulness. And so if we are looking for faithfulness, we can be assured of finding it in God alone without being disappointed.
Knowing and believing in a faithful God, gives a feeling of security amidst all insecurity. This is because, God’s faithfulness does not depend upon our faithfulness. God does not become unfaithful to us when we become unfaithful to Him. At times, when things don’t work in our favour, when relationships don’t measure up to our expectations, when rejections and dejections seem to encounter us at every corner, we become hasty to conclude that God is not faithful to us. During such times, remember that God is good and His goodness is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Through all circumstances, He is able to accomplish what is good for you. Though you may not understand His goodness in the immediate events of our lives, believing in His goodness gives us faith in His faithfulness.
Because of God’s faithfulness you and I are able to see glimpses of hope even in the bleakest of all circumstances. Friends, God is faithful and will always remain faithful unlike any human being in your life. If you have never bothered much about this faithful God, I urge you to spare a thought tonight. He promises never to let you down. He who was faithful to Joseph Scriven at his hour of hopelessness will remain ever faithful to you too!
Let this be our prayer and encouragement everyday…
“This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.”