Knowing God’s Faithfulness
20My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. 21But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” —Lamentations 3:20-24
I can remember, since I was the smallest little boy, singing the hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” It was one of the first hymns I learned. It seems like I’ve always known the idea of God’s faithfulness. It was a basic fact of faith I accepted. By the time I was in high school, if you had said to me, “You know, I don’t think God’s faithful,” we would have had an argument, and I could have shown you some verses that I believed would prove to you that God is faithful.
But it’s one thing to have the information; it’s another thing to have the experience. And now as I proclaim God’s faithfulness, it’s not just about understanding the concept; it’s also about having specific situations come to mind. There are trials I’ve been through, blessings I’ve experienced, places I’ve been where man, if God didn’t come through it wasn’t going anywhere good! I’ve seen God be faithful! I know that I know that I know that God is faithful.
Now here’s the hard part, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this: I have known for many years that God is faithful, but it’s only been more recently in my own life that I’ve come to understand that God loves me!
So why does a middle-aged man need to know that God loves him? I mean, that’s for kids, right? Like the little song, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” How stunned I was to have God meet me in such a powerful and personal way one summer, immersing me in the reality that He loves me! Until then I didn’t know what I was missing.
I realize that when the pastor says, “God loves you,” many of you might think to yourself, “Well yeah, God loves me. I mean God loves everybody, and I’m part of everybody, and so here I am in this big room and . . . ” Listen, God doesn’t love you like a football stadium full of people, all right? He knows where you’re sitting and He never forgets your name. God knows you better than you know yourself and He loves you! That’s the love you need to know.—James MacDonald
Prayer - Heavenly Father, please teach me, train me, and take me beyond the wonderful words like loving-kindness, compassion, faithfulness, and so many more than describe You. I can define those words and still not know You. Don’t ever let me settle for knowledge when I can also have intimate connection with You. I long to worship You in truth, but I know I also need to worship You in spirit; responding to the measureless heights, breadth, width, and depths of Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.