To grasp the concept of faithfulness, the idea of faith must first being understood. Hebrews 11:1 is the key passage on God’s definition of faith:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
My wife and I once worked in a children’s ministry, and I loved how the kids would just accept whatever we told them. In fact, I tried to teach the children to follow along in their Bibles as I was preaching, so that they could confirm my statements with the truth of the Bible. Nevertheless, it was encouraging to see the ease of acceptance and trust the children had…
But there is a difference between faith and faithfulness.
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Faith is believing and accepting what Gods says, but faithfulness is acting upon what God says in a consistent manner.
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
I Corinthians 10:11
Some Faithful Men in the Bible
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
God steadily built his faith, and as he obeyed, as he kept his eyes focused on God, consistently acting on what God said, he took a step, then another step, and another step, until the big trial in verse 17
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
As you obey and show faithfulness toward God, he will bring trials to test you, to build more faith in your life.
And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
Joseph was faithful to his new master, even though he was wronged by his brethren. And God prospered him. He became the overseer of Potiphar’s house. Then another trial came:
And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
We find here as Joseph continued to be faithful to the Lord, the Lord allowed more trials to come into his life to prove him, and Joseph was blessed immensely for his faithfulness. He even became second in command in all of Egypt (the super-power of that time), and God used him to save many people.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
God blesses faithfulness.
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
All these great examples of faithful men, who took step after step of faith, but all of that is nothing compared to this:
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Faithfulness as it Relates to Missions
God shows that as believers commit themselves to him, and prove to be faithful, he will move them into ministry, and some, even in to missions.
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
I started on the van route picking up kids and adults for church, then moved on as a helper in Junior Church, then became the assistant treasurer, then was afforded a preaching opportunity in Mexico, then became leader of the Junior Church program, and now God has called me to missions.
What about you? Are you willing to be faithful to the Lord and see where He can use you?