How would you answer this question, adjusting for your age?

 Ponderings, No. 6  (Oct. 18, 2017)
Robert V. Rakestraw, PhD

His faithfulness reaches to the clouds

His faithfulness reaches to the clouds

Recently my wife and I received an important booklet in the mail and we pored over it immediately. It is a spiral-bound collection of memories and updates from our former classmates at Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada. One page is devoted to each graduate of the class of 1967, including Judy and me. Everyone who participated in the project had sent to the Prairie alumni office a recent photo of themselves, which was then placed next to their graduation photo from 50 years earlier.

Next to the two photos is a summary, written by the graduate, of his or her life story from graduation to the present. As I turned the pages I quickly looked at the student’s photos and then my eyes went right to the question at the bottom of each page: “What truth about God and his character is so much clearer to you now, 50 years after graduating?” I hungered to read my former classmate’s reply before I read his or her life highlights.

The question led each of us—all now in our 70’s or beyond—to reflect on the character of God as we have experienced him for a half-century. One theme among the replies—actually a combination of themes—that surfaced most was the faithfulness of God: his unfailing love, grace, sovereign wisdom, relentless care, and infinite compassion for his children. One classmate wrote, “The truth I finally learned about God was his complete and unconditional love. … God could never love me less nor could he ever love me more.”

As I went back to the start of the booklet and began reading my classmates’ life stories in capsule form, then reread their reply to the crucial question, I could detect with some of these men and women that life had not been easy. These graduates, along with those who did not mention struggles specifically, had undoubtedly come through some deep waters, parched deserts, and vicious attacks from the evil one. So many trials, temptations, and tears, along with innumerable victories and blessings, are buried implicitly within the pages of this valuable booklet! Through it all, through it all, these saints have learned to trust in Jesus—to rest upon his word!

I don’t know which books or other literature these servants of God have been reading over the past half-century, other than the Bible, but I’m sure they have been readers, at least to some extent. In light of this I want to recommend a daily devotional from Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life. His brief, clear, and often hard-hitting thoughts from the scriptures will come daily to your e-mail inbox, and will fortify you even when you might not think you need the specific word for that day. (You may sign up at Daily Hope with Rick Warren.)

I will close with a few of the hundreds of Bible promises on the faithfulness of God that will surely encourage you as you move through your own journey of life, whatever your age or circumstances. This is my fervent prayer for you!

“The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does” (Ps. 145:13b).

“No temptation [or test] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thess. 5: 23-24).

“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Pet. 4:19).

This item may be found, along with other articles and essays, on Dr. Rakestraw’s website/blog,, where you may sign up to receive automatically postings such as these and where you may order his books GraceQuest and Heart Cries.

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