Psalm 118 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
The promise of “Happily Ever After”
A few years ago I read the book Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge. The premise of the book, and something that resonated with me was that we (as women) long for love and significance.
I look back and think about the dozens of romance novels I’ve read and romantic comedies I’ve sighed over. I look at my lengthy and disastrous dating history (I’m 34 and never married) and all the disappointments. To be honest, it’s pretty embarrassing. Through all this I realize I’ve secretly hoped for “Happily Ever After”. But it’s unfair and arrogant to expect that acceptance, unconditional love, and fulfillment from another human being. I set myself up for disappointment over and over and over.
What hope or expectations did you go into a significant dating relationship or marriage with? Were those expectations fulfilled?
Beyond the desire for love and significance, human beings have in-born longings. Rob Still identified seven in his series Worship & Psychology: to be enjoyed by God, fascination, beauty, greatness, intimacy without shame, to be wholehearted, and to make a deep and lasting impact.
My journey has brought me to realize that the Lord is the only One who can fulfill all my deepest longings! Until I am spiritual healthy, I will continue to look for fulfilment in other things or people and I will continue to fail.
In order to understand who He is, I have to know Him and His attributes.
Gratitude for His goodness
God is good (Psalm 34:8). Everything He made, He called good (Genesis 1:31). He is good to His people, showing us compassion (Psalm 145:9).
When we express thankfulness to God, we often say, “God is good!” I find myself saying this when prayers are answered, I’ve received an unexpected blessing, or the weather is especially beautiful. As my spiritual life is maturing, I find myself also saying, “God is good!” when life blatantly stinks. This year I was hospitalized and lost my job. I found myself saying, “God, this is no fun, but I know You are good.” I am able to say that because I’ve read the Scriptures and I know He will always take care of me.
Our whole perspective and attitudes change when we stop and acknowledge God – whether our circumstances are good or bad. Gratitude and thankfulness help us to stop looking at the mud puddle we’re standing in (or fallen face first in) and look up to see the bigger picture. God is there, holding our hands.
Life stinks sometimes, life is great sometimes. The beauty of God’s goodness is that He gives us hope and hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
His love endures forever
What is enduring love?
- Love is deeper and fuller than what we are shown in popular songs, books, and movies. (1 Corinthians 13).
- God is a loving and perfect Father. We are children of God (Hebrews 12:7-11)
- God loves us so much He wants us to spend eternity with Him (Revelations 21:1-4)
- God’s love is forever and unchanging (Jeremiah 31:3)
- Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:31-39)
God is willing and able to provide for our every need! Through His enduring love, He fulfills our greatest longings. All of my painful searching brought me to a deeper understanding that God loves me forever and unconditionally – no matter how much I fight it. Submitting myself to Him set me free to love and accept myself and others. His enduring love allows me to love more deeply and without selfish motives. Full disclosure: I am nowhere near where I want to be in my spiritual walk. I am deeply grateful that I am on my journey with Him and I’m learning to love Him more.
Point to Ponder:
The Lord is loving and caring Father – always good to us. We are grateful to God because His love never changes and He can meet our deepest needs.
Read the Bible verses listed above (and below). What does each verse say about His enduring love? How does each verse change or challenge your current perceptions? Say “Thank-you” to God for who He is!
He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.
but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights