Perhaps you've heard or read the poem "Footprints." It's been a blessing to thousands and thousands of people, perhaps more than any piece of writing since the twenty third Psalm!
"Footprints" is a story told by a man who had a dream about his life. In the dream, he was walking along a sandy beach, making footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along his path through life there were two sets of footprints. He realized that the second set of footprints belonged to God.
As he looked closer, however, he saw that there were times when only one set of footprints was visible in the sand. He also noticed that this happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.
As he stood on the beach looking back over those footprints, he began to feel upset. "Lord," he said, "you promised to always be with me. You said that you would never leave me or forsake me. Yet, I've noticed that during the most difficult times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don't understand why you would leave me when I needed you most!"
Then the Lord replied, "My child, I love you, and I would never leave you. During your times of hardship and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
What a wonderful picture of God's faithfulness! He is "the Lord, who remains faithful forever" (Psalm 146:6, NIV). He is the one who says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5, NIV). He is "faithful in all he does" (Psalm 33:4, NIV).
That is why God values faithfulness and commands faithfulness because he himself is faithful. He is a faithful God. He is a faithful friend. He is a faithful Father because faithfulness is a part of his very nature.
Ultimately, that's why faithfulness is right and unfaithfulness is wrong because God is faithful. When you are faithful, you do what is right and reflect what is like God.
REFLECT: Why does God command faithfulness? Why does God value faithfulness? Why is it right for you to be faithful? Hebrews 13:5 gives a promise from God: "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." What does this promise mean to you?
ACT: Look up Hebrews 13:5 in your favorite version of the Bible and copy it on an index card. Try to memorize it. Have you ever read the "Footprints" story? If not, look for it (on a greeting card or a laminated wallet-sized card) in bookstores.
PRAY: "Faithful God, thank you for your promise never to leave me or forsake me. Thank you for your faithfulness. Help me to be faithful like you in everything I do."