One day earlier this week I woke up in the middle of the night with a song rumbling about in my mind. It was Forever, by Chris Tomlin. The part I kept ‘hearing’ was a line that repeats throughout the verses, “His love endures forever.” In the manner of call-and-response the song says something about God’s nature, the ‘call,’ followed by ‘His love endures forever,’ the response.
I don’t know the story about how Tomlin came to write this song but I do know of a Psalm that has this very pattern within it, including the affirmation of God’s enduring love. Psalm 118 opens powerfully, repeating “His steadfast love endures forever” four times in its first four verses.
With the song in my mind I opened my Bible to read Psalm 118, where verse 14 seemed to jump off the page at me. It says:
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
This verse contains some very basic truths to it, but they are truths that I need to be reminded of frequently.
The Lord, made known to me in the person of Christ Jesus, present within me by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the true source of my strength in the world and the place of my deepest joy. The wonderful and marvelous ways in which I know joy in daily life, ranging from the more ordinary experiences, such as finishing a good workout this morning, to the more exquisitely delightful ones, like hugging my wife or one of our children, have within them the ability to point me towards the more perfect joy to be known in Christ.
Best of all, the last part of verse 14 reminds me that my salvation is the work of Christ, and not through anything I’ve done. My salvation is in no way dependent on my effort. I didn’t have to earn it. I don’t have to ‘work hard enough’ or ‘be good enough’ to keep it. It has been given to me, a free gift flowing from God’s gracious hand. A gift that He guarantees, time and again in the Bible, and that he reminds me of in diverse and delightful ways.
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.