Another dark providence descends. We did not ask for this trouble, yet it has found us again. The hours of the day seem unending, the pain intense, and the loss palpable. Discouragement, melancholy, and even depression threaten to descend upon our frame. Fragility marks our life, and it appears that only one additional blow—it doesn’t even need to be strong—could shatter our life into a thousand pieces. In such circumstances, during turmoil and trial, pain and persecution, sorrow and suffering, the Christian will find solace in the moment and courage for tomorrow in reflecting upon the faithfulness of God. In fact, looking to God’s faithfulness in the past grants peace in the present and fixes hope for the future.
It is all too human for our circumstances to dominate our outlook and our faith in God to waver. This one sight, the present trouble, overshadows everything else. Yet, it is precisely here that we must fight by the power of the Spirit and the truth of the Word. We don’t ignore our circumstances, rise above them, or resign ourselves to them. Instead, we live in them as Christians, reminding ourselves of God’s past faithfulness.
It is no mistake that the Scriptures are filled with stories of God’s faithfulness. These aren’t cute accounts to entertain children at bedtime. They are truths meant to occupy the weary pilgrim’s mind and affect their too often wandering heart. These testimonies of God’s working (Ps. 78:4) provide truth when lies seek to take root, peace when anxieties attempt to take hold, and resolve when strength seems to fade. Every Christian does well to make his mind a field littered with outcrops of Ebenezer stones (1 Sam. 7:12).
This is the practice of the saints. When David is confronted with enemies on every side, he proclaims, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands” (Ps. 143:5). When Asaph finds himself in trouble, he says: “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds” (77:11–12). When the people of Israel shake with fear, Samuel encourages them, “For consider what great things he has done for you” (1 Sam. 12:24). Remembering God’s faithfulness in times past reassures in the present.
And Christians possess the greatest of all evidences. As we look to our past, the cross of Christ shines with splendor. No dark cloud can overshadow it—no matter its strength. No pain rivals the joy it provides. No loss supersedes its gain. We possess the great proof of God’s faithfulness.
Christ does not abandon His people. When doubt enters our mind, let us take another look at the cross. God is worthy of our trust. We need no greater proof than the cross. His past faithfulness provides comfort in the present and hope for the future. Circumstances change, but He and His faithfulness remain constant forever.