John T. Willis

Thursday, October 07, 2010

God's Faithfulness

One of the most encouraging spiritual songs is: "Great is thy Faithfulness." This song is based on Lamentations 3:22-24.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' say my soul,
'therefore I will hope in him.'

Actually, one should continue this song on through Lamentations 3:25-33:
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for one to hear
the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one's mouth to the dust
(there may yet be hope],
to give one's cheek to the smiter,
and be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not reject forever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

The composer or author of this poem wrote this when the Judeans were in captivity in Babylon not long after the Babylonians had torn down the walls and the temple of Jerusalem. This was a very critical period in Israel's history. How could any people survive under such circumstances? Biblical composers had such great faith that they trusted in Yahweh in all times and situations.

The KEY to such faith is God's STEADFAST LOVE and FAITHFULNESS. These two terms are essentially synonyms. God arbitrarily commits himself to people in wisdom, power, and love.
1. Steadfast love is unique in comparison with all other kinds of love. Steadfast love is a deep, abiding commitment to another person or persons.
2. Faithfulness is unswering commitment to another person or persons.
Our God commits himself totally and completely to people. This is certainly NOT because of who we are or might be, but because of who God is. Two psalms come to mind.

Psalm 117--Praise the Lord, all you nations!
Extol him, all you peoples!
For great is his STEADFAST LOVE toward us,
and the FAITHFULNESS of the Lord entures forever.
Praise the Lord.

Psalm 138:1-2--I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
O bow down before your holy temple
and give thanks to your name
for you have exalted you name and your word above everything.

The source and strength of our hope is God's steadfast love and faithfulness.

Share YOUR thoughts and ideas with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis