I was reading a book recently where the author was chastising his readers for lack of faith and turning away from God when life gets hard. I found myself wanting to jump to their (and my own) defence. It may be all very well for this person who says we have to choose to trust and not doubt, but many of us have grown up with conditional love. So if God’s blessings seem to have been withdrawn, or He seems far away, then we think we`ve offended Him and He doesn`t love us anymore.
The other problem with this is the ridiculously inadequate words we have to express love in English. We say we love football, pizza, the latest new film by our favourite actor, those shoes, that dress, our spouse, our children, the dog and God. We use the same word.
I’d been a Christian for many years struggling with really knowing God loved me, battling with lack of trust in difficult times and situations. I was often trying to sort out my own problems so God and I could be ‘OK’ again.
It was when I discovered the Hebrew word for love, chesed, used many times in the Bible, that I began to understand. The word is translated differently in different situations. It’s translated as loving kindness, or steadfast love, or unfailing love, but sometimes as mercy, or even loyalty, but the most important thing for me was to understand the Covenant nature of this love of God. God had made a Covenant promise that He would never stop loving us, no matter what. That’s why I chose to look at today’s text in the Amplified Bible, because it seems to express quite well the meaning of the Covenant promise God’s made to us.
Of course we need to go on teaching, encouraging, writing, and reading about God’s great love and faithfulness. But what we really need is the Holy Spirit to give us the revelation of it. Let’s pray for that now.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for Your great love for us. Thank You that You sent Jesus to demonstrate that love to us and to seal the Covenant Promise with His own blood. Please forgive us that we’ve so often doubted Your love and faithfulness to us, and please reveal the unfailing nature of Your love, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
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