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March 24 Devotional – Linda Totman
A few verses that I have been reflecting on recently are found in chapter 3 of Lamentations, which is where the lyrics of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” were inspired. Studying these verses have shown me once again why God loves me.
Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah around the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The city fell, and the temple was burned. Jeremiah saw despair and burning. He prophesied doom and saw destruction.
Lamentations is Jeremiah’s cry during such heartache and suffering. What a lesson on how to deal with suffering.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 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,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3: 21-25
One of the interesting things about this passage is that for twenty verses before this the writer has listed all his struggles and afflictions. Life is hard; life is tough; life is full of pain and difficulty. But, he says, there is something that gives him hope: God loves him, God is faithful, and God shows compassion.
God loves us because he has chosen to love us.
He says:“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
The Hebrew word used for that love is hesed and has the sense of loyal love, committed love, settled love. In other words, this love is not about any kind of superficial attraction. Nor is it a response to someone’s goodness. Hesed love is God’s choice. It is God’s decision. It is settled, fixed, final. It is a love which will never change, a love given freely and forever by a God who has chosen sinful men and women as those he will love. God loves us because it is his will to love us. God’s love was never a recognition of greatness or goodness. First John 4:8 says, “God is love.” It is his nature. For God, love is not a mood, not an attraction, not a response to anyone else’s actions. Love is at the center of his being. It flows from a heart overflowing with longing for the good of his people.
God’s heart is brimful of love. There is no room for anything else. There is no place for evil, no place for deceit, no place for harm. There is no intent to walk away from us, those he has chosen to love, and to love deeply and forever. It is settled; it is done. Loving us is God’s will.
Because God loves us, his faithfulness is there for us day after day, year after year.
God’s love will not change, will not forget, will not be put off by our failings, and will be the same morning by morning, day by day, year by year. No wonder the writer of Lamentations says: “Great is your faithfulness.”
Because God loves us, He is faithful to us in general things (like providing daily bread to eat) or specific things, promises that may be only for us. We are blessed in many ways by God’s faithfulness.
Even in the midst of the Coronavirus or other storms of life, we can celebrate a God who has chosen to love us, and a God who has been and will be with us morning by morning. His love and faithfulness will be there for us tomorrow as well, for there is so much more we are ready to do as we walk by faith into a future designed by Him.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
What “compassions” or “faithfulness” has the Lord shown you this week even in the midst of an unsettled way of life? How have you shown your love and gratitude to God?