It’s something we all long for and can often have a difficult time expressing. Apart from the Holy Spirit, our human love will almost always have conditions attached to it. Our love can also fail the ones who depend on it. Steadfast is not an adjective we would use to describe the love we express to one another. Try as we might, the love that flows from our heart, apart from the Lord, will at best, be fickle. We can quickly fall in love with a person in one season and just as quickly fall out of love with them in the next. After experiencing an offense, we are ready to withdraw our love from individuals entirely.
This can be said for human love but what about the love of the Lord? What words can we ascribe to God’s love? Does his love falter or fail us? Psalm 136 helps us understand God’s love by listing two of its attributes: steadfast and enduring.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1
Psalm 136 is a beautiful psalm that admonishes the people of God to thank the Lord in response to his great love. For 26 verses straight, the psalmist ends each verse with the same expression, “for his steadfast love endures forever.”
The psalmist wants to get it deep within our souls that God’s love toward his creation is steadfast and enduring. All praises be to God that his love flows from his immutable, unchanging nature. His love will not vacillate like people’s opinions but will remain constant and last forever. What a beautiful truth this is.
History’s proof of God’s Enduring Love
1 John 4:16 says that God is love, so it is no wonder that everything he does flows from a place of love. His protection, provision, and even his deliverance, all come from his unfailing love. Psalm 136 does an excellent job of reminding us of what has transpired in history due to our God’s steadfast, enduring love.
The psalm opens with a command to thank the Lord because he is the God of gods (136:2) and the Lord of lords (136:3). In verses 4-9, the psalmist then goes on to declare God to be the great Creator. He made the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars. The Lord did all this because “his steadfast love endures forever.” The Lord delivered the children of Israel from the oppression of Pharaoh in Egypt because his steadfast love endures forever (136:10-16). God struck down kings on behalf of his prized possession (Israel) and gave their land as an inheritance to his people (136:17-22). God’s mind was on the condition of his people, and he rescued them from their foes (136:23-25). He did all of this because what? You guessed it. His steadfast love endures forever.
I can imagine the psalmist sitting down and meditating on who God is and what he has done for his people. After much meditation, he concluded that God’s mighty deeds and wondrous acts throughout history are partly due to his enduring love. His love endured through Israel’s rebellion and remained to deliver the Israelites repeatedly from their oppressors.
But if we look closely, Psalm 136 only records up to an early point in the history of the children of Israel.
It doesn’t go on to show the culminating demonstration of God’s love in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The psalm doesn’t document how God’s love has reached you and me in our current set of circumstances today. Over two thousand years after the resurrection of our Lord, God’s love has not ended. His steadfast love truly endures forever!
My History’s Proof of God’s Enduring Love
I am only 34 years old, but as I meditate on my history, I can see God’s enduring love throughout the story of my life.
- I grew up in quite a bit of dysfunction, but the Lord saw me through it all-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- I grew up not knowing I had a Father wound, but the Lord healed that area of my heart-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- I got to travel throughout my youth and experience different cultures-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- When I was 18, I lost control of my car going 90 miles an hour but came out of the wreck unharmed-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- I received the free gift of salvation-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- I thought I wouldn’t be able to have children, but here I am, four children later-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- When we desperately needed another vehicle and didn’t have the funds for it, the Lord provided my husband and me with a free car-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- The Lord provided for my family through months of little to no income-for his steadfast love endures forever.
- I was severely bound by fear and shame, but now I boldly step out on faith and do whatever the Lord requires of me-for his steadfast love endures forever.
I can go on and on with testimonies revealing God’s enduring love toward me, and I’m sure you can too. Not only can we examine scripture to see how God’s love has lasted through the ages, but we can look at the history of our lives and see it played out up close and personal. The Lord has provided for me, blessed me beyond measure, delivered me from my enemies, and kept me securely in his loving hands. This was done for me because his steadfast love endures forever. If I ever need reminding of this, I can read Psalm 136 and see this wonderful truth repeated over and over again. Repetition really does make for good learning.
Give Thanks To The God Of Heaven
Although scripture tells us that God’s love is steadfast and enduring, we can be tempted to think his love has dried up when faced with hardships or trials. As if he has somehow forgotten about us and allowed his love to stop flowing to us. In those times, we must remind ourselves that his enduring love doesn’t allow him to do that. Just like he remembered the children of Israel in their low estate and provided deliverance for them, God will do the same for you and me. No matter what we face in this life, God’s love endures through it all to reach us. I am grateful that his love has endured through my fickleness and remained through my unbelief and rebellion. His love didn’t fail me based on my shortcomings but has remained faithful to me through it all. And praise be to God because it will continue to do so forever!
So what are you facing today that will tell you that God’s love will not endure your circumstance? The truth is that God’s love is firmly fixed to constantly flow in the direction of every saint. I challenge you to take a moment to reflect on your history, and I’m sure you will see his love enduring in your life. If his love was able to reach you in past experiences, will it not continue to do so today and well into your future? I believe it will, for God’s love is permanent and unwavering. His love is unfailing, and absolutely nothing can separate us from it (Romans 8:39).
As you meditate on who God is and what he has done in your life, I hope it will elicit a response of thanksgiving in your heart. You can join the psalmist and command your soul to “Give thanks to the God of Heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26).
Digging Deeper Challenge
- Make time in your schedule this week to write down a little of your history, as I have done in this post. Pick at least ten things to go on your list. Be sure to highlight the good moments as well as the rough times. This will help you see a full picture of how the Lord’s love has endured through it all.