The past faithfulness of God is a glorious hint to us of the future grace he will bestow. When we look back in our own lives, or even better, when we look back in Scripture, we can see times when the Lord has proven himself to be faithful. God is able to do what we would never expect. God is able to give us kindnesses that we could never deserve.
Consider the story of Israel from Genesis through Joshua. In Genesis 12, God selects a man, Abram, to be the father of a nation. God promises Abram, later Abraham, offspring and a land in which his offspring will live. God made a promise that God said he would not break, no matter what.
Think of all God overcame to fulfill his promise. God gave Abraham and Sarah a son, Isaac. God gave Isaac a pair of sons and preserved the life of Jacob, later Israel. God gave Jacob 12 sons, and showed special favor to Judah and Joseph. God preserved the life of Joseph and made a way for Jacob’s family to live in Egypt, but to live there in a way that would not have their family absorbed into Egyptian culture.
Four hundred years later, God brought Moses to the forefront and brought Israel up out of Egypt. They had come to Egypt as a family of 70; they left Egypt as a nation of two or three million. And God protected and preserved Israel in the face of enemies, in spite of their own rebellion, and in the harshness of the wilderness.
Then, when Joshua becomes leader of the nation, God sent Israel into the land of Canaan. There the nation would face violent enemies. There the nation would again struggle with her own rebellious disobedience to the word of God that could have brought upon them the judgment of God. There the nation would face as impossible a challenge as any of us have ever faced. What did God do then?
43 Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. 44 And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
God kept all his promises. God’s word did not fail. God’s power was sufficient. God’s grace was magnified. God showed that he makes promises and keeps them as part of his character.
And now we sit here three-and-a-half millennia later, and we should learn from this. If God has been faithful to carry out his word in the past, he will carry out his word in the future. We serve the same sovereign and faithful God as did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua. God will complete his work that he began in the hearts and lives of his people. No human failing and no evil attack against God’s people will cause his plan to fail. His graces are assured. His promises will be carried out. And when all is said and done, When we look back on eternity, we will all praise God with the truth that everything he swore to do, everything he promised—every single thing—came to pass just as he said it would. God has been faithful. God will be faithful. Not one thing God promises will fail.