The Well Blog

Cultivating Faithfulness

November 9, 2015
Keegan Jones
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Having lived in Southern California my whole life, I wanted to try something new after college. Wanderlust had set in, so I loaded up my old Ford Mustang with every possession I had and moved to Portland, Oregon. Over the first few months, I found a place to live, hiked the Gorge, read at Powell’s, sipped some Stumptown, ate Voodoo doughnuts and worked the 7:00pm to 3:00am shift at a call center job I found on Craigslist.

As great as it was, it didn’t take long for the honeymoon phase to fade. I found myself in the middle of a frustrating, confusing and lonely season of life, and asking the question, “what now?”

It was then my (now) wife mailed me a letter with Psalm 37:3 (NASB) artistically drawn on a card:

Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

This stuck with me. It was a solid reminder that one of our roles as Christians is to be faithful to the one who defines faithfulness, no matter the circumstance. It’s easy to trust the Lord in the good times, but when life hits and everything seems to get flipped upside down, it becomes difficult. Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something and putting that loyalty into consistent practice, regardless of extenuating circumstances.

This verse reminds me God has His hand on my life. He puts me in situations that give me the opportunity to trust Him even more, to dwell in those difficult seasons and give Him glory.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

It challenged me to be more intentional in my relationship with the Lord, being more faithful in spending time with Him each day, both in His Word and in prayer. As we worship in spending time with the one whose faithfulness is perfect, we will naturally become transformed and cultivate faithfulness in every area of our lives: in our marriages, families and relationships, in our jobs and in our ministry.

One of my first jobs in ministry was working with struggling teenagers at a residential treatment facility. A motto we had was, “tilling the soil for the seed to be received later.” Before a seed takes root, the soil must be healthy enough to receive it. It has to be tilled or even cultivated.

This is hard and frustrating because we are impatient. Ministry is messy because people are messy. As we work to share the gospel and be the church in our surrounding community, we tend to want instant results and gratification. We want to plant the seed and see immediate life change. But how often is that the case? And where is the faithfulness in that?

Our job is to “Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Even if it is to till the soil so it is prepared to receive the seed from someone else.

My prayer is that we will be a church that trusts in the Lord, dwells in the land, and cultivates, develops and practices faithfulness every day.

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