God is faithful. The Psalmist proclaimed, “For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5). What does it mean to say God is faithful? Is our saying He is faithful based on our perception of how we define faithfulness?

Recently I was praying about a matter of great concern, and the Lord graciously heard my cry, and in His grace I witnessed and experienced His hand move on my behalf and grant the answer to my request. I was thanking the Lord for how he granted my petition and said in praise, “Lord, I want to thank you for your faithfulness.” I stopped in the middle of my prayer, and asked myself this question, “Was I equating God’s faithfulness to the fact that he granted my petition?” Well, what if He had not granted my petition, would He then have been unfaithful? Is God’s faithfulness determined by whether or not he beckons to my request to turn situations and circumstances to my favor? Does God’s faithfulness in my life mean the absence of difficulties?

So, what is meant when the Bible says God is faithful? Faithfulness speaks to the very core of God’s character. Faithfulness has to do with being reliable, fidelity, firmness, stability, trustworthy, trueness to one’s word, dependability. While no earthly man is 100% faithful, the Bible teaches that God is 100% faithful in all He does in accordance with His divine character. God is always faithful to Himself. God is unchanging; therefore, He can never cease to be what He is and He will always be consistent with His righteous character.

God’s faithfulness cannot be defined by our perception as to whether or not events or circumstances work out in what we perceive to be in our favor. God is faithful even if events don’t turn out as we wish or think they should. God will never deny His own character or His divine plan to grant our request. God is always faithful to His character, for Him to do otherwise He would become unfaithful. Several examples are cited as to what is meant.

God’s faithfulness to His holy character. God will not and cannot deny His faithfulness in regard to his holy, moral character. When God created man He expressed His holy character in the form of moral directives that were for the welfare and blessing of humanity: that men should not steal, lie, covet, murder, that marriage is between a man and woman, that those of the same sex should not lay with one another as in the marriage relationship, honor thy father and mother, honor the Lord of heaven and acknowledge Him as Creator and Sovereign. When we violate God’s moral directives, negative consequences result. God will not be unfaithful to His moral nature by rescinding the consequences of violating His moral character. To do so He would not be faithful to Himself. God will be faithful to His moral character and will never rescind His holiness for anyone no matter how much one prays for Him to do so. Our nation today is experiencing the consequence of God’s faithfulness to His holy, moral directives.

God’s faithfulness in covenant. God made a covenant with Israel that if they were loyal to Him, didn’t embrace the god’s of the surrounding pagans, and would be a witness to the true God of heaven that He would bless them abundantly, but if they disobeyed and forsook Him they would experience the consequences of embracing other gods and would eventually go into captivity to other nations. God was faithful to His covenant, as when they obeyed Him they were blessed beyond measure and when they disobeyed they endured the bitter consequence of their forsaking their God. While the people blamed God when they found themselves in bondage, God was only being faithful to His covenant. He was faithful, they were not. God would have violated His faithfulness if He had changed the “terms” of the covenant to accommodate their disobedience. “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

God’s faithfulness to His Word. Joshua said, “Not one word of all His good promises have failed” (Joshua 21:45). Jesus stated, “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). Both the OT and NT echo the message that all that God has recorded to us in His Inspired Word may be trusted, and that the Bible supplies us with reliable and dependable information and instruction that one can rely upon with certainty. One can be sure of the truthfulness and reliability of His Word. “All your commandments are faithful” (Psalm 119:86). The Lord wants us to have assurance that His promises cannot and will not fail. He has promised He will never leave us or forsake us regardless of the circumstances, that He will work all things (good and bad) for the good of those who love Him, that heaven awaits those who trust Christ, etc. Paul said all the promises of God in Christ are yes and amen (2 Cor. 1:20). To those who adhere to the Word find it is a firm foundation upon which to build one’s life, because God is faithful to His Word.

God’s faithfulness in salvation’s design. God will not can cannot deny His faithfulness in regard to His designed plan of salvation. The Bible is a Book of redemption/salvation history. The Bible records how God has revealed Himself to sinful man and how he progressively unfolded His divine plan to provide humanity with a way to come into the presence of Holy God, which culminated in the Christ of the cross. Since man cannot comply with the holy demands of God, judgment is holiness’ reaction to man’s willful sin and disobedience to God’s perfect holiness. For God not to judge sin He would have to deny faithfulness to His holiness. What is man to do? God in Christ came to earth to be the answer to man’s predicament. Christ in his perfect life complied with God’s holy demands on our behalf, and satisfied holiness’ judgment on sin as He hung on the cross. The Christ of the Cross is God’s ONLY provision to the problem of man’s sin, and He will not make an exception for me or you. If He did, He would violate His own faithfulness in regard to what He proclaimed in Jesus, “No man comes to the Father but through me.”

God’s faithfulness to His divine plan: The Psalmist wrote, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” (Ps. 33:11). From the depths of the counsels of eternity, God set forth in motion a great master plan that involves all of creation and humanity that He is bringing to pass in real time. In and on his timetable He will bring to pass everything that He has purposed. Our finite minds cannot understand it all, how his plan is unfolding universally or in our individual lives, but we can be assured His divine plan is unfolding. As man stands in the train station of life, he is faced with two choices as the train of God’s master plan barrels down the tracks of history – either watch as the train passes by or get on board and ride with Him to His designed plan for our lives!! Isaiah wrote that he will bring it to pass with perfect faithfulness (Isaiah 25:1).

God’s faithfulness in His love. John declared, “God is love” (I John 4:16). God demonstrated His love toward us, that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. God is faithful in His love toward humanity. One may reject His love, scoff at His love, but He will continue to be faithful in His love. One may hide themselves from the sun but one can’t keep the sun from shining. In Christ God has expressed a love that shouts He will never cease to love us, for even if we refuse him and find ourselves in hell His love will never cease. Such love boggles the mind. One may reject the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ but His holy-love still emanates from His faithful character continually urging all to embrace the Savior before it is too late. The faithfulness of God’s love as found in the Christ of the cross towers over time, bidding us to come unto Him and therein find the confidence of redemption and hope.

Yes, our Lord is faithful even if events or circumstances are difficult and don’t always appear to work out as we think they should. God’s faithfulness means He will never violate His character, but He will brings to pass in our lives that which will work together for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28). Whether we understand it or not, we can be assured that our Lord is completely reliable, trustworthy and faithful. Yes, God is faithful…always, all the time!

Dr. Dan


It‘s getting close to that time again. It’s been six months since my last one. It’s not something I look forward to, but I have to do it. It’s time for another check-upAllWantForXmas, scheduled for Tuesday, December 15. It has been two years since I completed radiation treatments for prostate cancer. I had been going every three months for a check-up and blood work, but on my last appointment in June the doctor moved me to every six months. I am most grateful that the previous visits to the doctor my blood work has come back good and I seem be doing very well.

My appointment is only ten days before Christmas, so I bet you can’t guess what gift I want for Christmas! You may ask, “If your previous check-ups have produced good reports and you are feeling well, what is the worry?”

I would be less than honest if I didn’t confess that every time a doctor visit pops up on the calendar I am revisited by those same emotions that welled up inside of me on June 14, 2013. That was the day I hesitantly answered the phone and heard the doctor say, “Rev. Merritt I wish I had better news, but…..” There aren’t words to describe the disbelief, numbness, detachment, and anxiousness that you experience at the moment you hear those life changing words, “You have cancer.”

The paradox of emotions that engulf you as your new journey begins is like riding on a roll-a-coaster. While there is anxiousness, there is a sense of His calming peace. While there is uncertainty, there is a sense of His assurance. While there is detachment, there is a sense of His abiding presence. While there is human weakness, there is a sense of His divine strength. While there is a lack of human sufficiency, His grace is sufficient.
How can one experience such a paradox of emotions all at the same time? I don’t know how, but I am here to tell you that I did and that I do again each time another doctor’s appointment draws near. In my humanness I ponder how the check-up will turn out, in my spirit I know that He is with me and will never leave me or forsake me no matter the result. I have learned that prayer is not me trying to change the mind of God, but me discovering the mind of God for my life and realizing He is at the helm of the ship of my life’s voyage.

I trusted Christ as my Savior many, many years ago and while I have failed and made a mess on more occasions than I would like to admit, there is one truth that has remained constant: He has never failed me and He has never been unfaithful to me. My life is in His secure and strong hands, and after the journey I embarked upon two-and-a-half years ago I am more keenly aware of that today than ever before. I am here to tell you, “He is faithful.”

I now see each day as a precious, precious gift. Each sunrise, each moment, is to be treasured. I love life and nothing gives me greater joy than to be used by Him to invest in the lives of others. My desire is to hang around and do that as long as possible, yet each of us are only one heartbeat away, only one step away, from eternity. I know that someday, unless the Lord returns, I, as well as you, will find the flower of life wilting before the rays of a setting sun. But here is the difference: if you know Christ as your Savior you can say with David, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for THOU art with me” (Ps. 23:4). The long shadow of our last enemy ever lingers near the paths we walk, but we have the assurance of Christ who proclaimed, “I am the Light of the world. He that walks with Me walks not in darkness” (John 8:12). His Light shines brightly in our darkest night and guides us in all of life and, as well, as we travel beyond the veil of time. O, what a Savior.

While I will anxiously await the report from my blood work following my doctor visit, I will trust and not be afraid, for because of His shed blood on my behalf on Calvary’s Hill I have already received the greatest healing of all, the greatest gift of all – spiritual healing from my trespasses and sins. I may answer the phone with a paradoxical calm yet trembling hand, listening intently as the doctor tells me the results; but the Rock I confidently stand upon will never tremble.

Bet you can’t guess what I want for Christmas!


Dr. Dan


On June 13, it will be a year. It is hard to believe a year has passed since I got that dreaded phone call. It’s a phone call I will never forget. It was 6 p.m. My wife and I had just sat down to eat supper. I had only taken a few bites. The WXII news was coming on the TV…and then the phone rang. The news of the world had to be put on hold as I awaited news regarding myself. The phone rang one more time before I could answer it, but I instinctively knew who was calling.LordFaithful

On Monday, June 10, 2013, I had a biopsy to determine if I had prostate cancer or not. The doctor said he would call when the results came back. While only three days went by before the doctor called with the results, each passing hour of those three days was filled with anxious anxiety. I nervously said, “Hello.” The doctor didn’t mince words, he got right to the point. “Rev. Merritt,” he said, “I wish I had better news for you but of the twelve samples we took nine came back cancer.” My heart sank as I listened in disbelieve. I had no symptoms of any kind that would suggest such a diagnosis. I thought to myself, “Surely he has gotten my samples mixed up with someone else.” Even in bad news there was some good news, as the doctor added, “We have caught this very early, your prognosis is better than 90% recovery rate. We will sit down and look at what your best options are.”

I honestly cannot remember much of what else was said because I was numb from what I had been told. I wasn’t the first person to receive news like this and I certainly won’t be the last, but when it is you receiving the news that puts a different perspective on the situation. As I slowly hung-up the phone I tried to explain to my wife, as best as I could remember, what he had said. We both sat in stunned silence. I tried to finish my supper but my appetite had vanished like a leaf in a wind storm. The thoughts in my mind were twirling faster than a mid-west tornado. Over the years my phone has rung thousands of times, yet that phone call turned my world upside down and put me on a path of uncertainty.

For the next eight weeks my time was spent reading everything I could read on prostate cancer, talking to men who had traveled this same road, visiting several doctors discussing my best options, and finding shelter under the Wings of Christ and in the Words of Christ. I would be less than honest if I didn’t confess that there were many anxious and fearful days. There were times I felt like a trembling cat treed by a big bad barking dog. There were times I got by myself and wept. Our God wept through human eyes (John 11:35) so tears are a language He understands. Through it all the Lord was/is faithful (I Thes. 5:24; 2 Thes. 3:3) and His sustaining strength and grace was/is ever present.

After much prayer and consulting wise doctors, which I was so blessed to have, it was decided my best option was to take 43 radiation treatments. They began on Sept 10 and ended on November 7. There were times I thought they would never end, but “this too shall pass.” When my treatments started my PSA was 6.4. A month after my treatments ended my first check-up revealed my PSA had been cut in half to 3.1. Three months later, in March, I had my second check-up and it had been cut in over half again to 1.3. The goal is to get it under 1 by November. My next check-up is in July. I am praying that the goal will have been reached by then. I realize I will have to have check-ups the rest of my life. But that is ok.

It has been a year now since I got that shocking phone call and I am here to tell you, the LORD IS FAITHFUL. He has been with me every uncertain step I have taken. His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us is true. That He is a Shelter in times of storms is true. That He is our Certainty in uncertain times is true. That He is an Anchor when the ship of life is being tossed about is true. That He is a Rock that never trembles when we are trembling is true. That He who is the Prince of Peace is able to speak peace to the troubled waters of our souls is true. That He is our Foundation when we feel like we are sinking in quicksand is true. That He is our Strength when we are weak is true. That He is our Burden-Bearer when the load is too heavy to carry is true. That He is our Wisdom when our minds are perplexed is true. That He is our Great Physician when sickness invades our lives is true. That He is our Rest when our soul is restless is true. That He is our Courage when we are cowards is true. That He is our Light in our darkest hour is true. That He is our Way when we can’t see the way is true. That He is the All-Sufficient One when our sufficiency is lacking is true. That He is the Great I Am who is in the present tense of our every circumstance is true. Yes, the Lord is faithful.

We never know when that life-altering phone call or knock at the door will come. But I can assure you when you answer the phone He already knows the contents of the message you are about to hear. I can assure you when you answer that knock at the door He already knows who stands on the other side and why they are there. We can always be assured He is there no matter what we are confronted with or what we go through. He is there and that makes all the difference in the world, in eternity…and in our lives.

The Lord He is faithful.


Dr. Dan