Never Failing, Day by Day
Steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. (Psalm 32:10)
God’s love cannot fail. It is steadfast, constant and fixed. In all the adversities we go through, God’s love is unfailing. As He says to us in Isaiah 54:10, “The mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed.”
Because His love cannot fail, He will allow into our lives only the pain and heartache that is for our ultimate good. Even the grief that He Himself brings into our lives is tempered with His compassion. “Though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love.”(Lamentations 3:32) Even the fires of affliction will be tempered by His compassion, which arises out of His unfailing love.
God brought grief into Paul’s life for his good, but He also showed compassion and said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) He provided Paul with divine resources to meet the trials.
I think of a physician whose son was born with an incurable birth defect, leaving him crippled for life. I asked the father how he felt when he, who had dedicated his life to treating the illnesses of other people, was confronted with an incurable condition in his own son. He told me his biggest problem was to capsule the next twenty years of his son’s life into that initial moment when he learned of his son’s condition. Viewed that way, the adversity was overwhelming. God does not give twenty years of grace today. Rather,He gIves it day by day. As the song says, “Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here.”
To know the love of God daily is a blessing for it is often in adversity that we forget that we are loved by God. Somehow in God’s design, He has set in place that we can only receive strength and supply of need on a daily basis. It has never been that we can somehow meet with God and have Him provide for us from that one moment all that is necessary for the rest of our lives.
Matt think of salvation, for example, as single event, once celebrated and then never visited again. The original Greek word that is translated “saved” is really a present participle that ought to be translated “being saved” indicating that it is a continuous process.
We learn from the story of Adam and Eve that their relationship with God was daily for every day in the cool of the evening God came and walked with them. There is never the indication that God created them, placed them in the garden with sufficient supply for the rest of their lives and then left them to theirselves. He was involved with them on a daily basis and this is still His plan for us. Our journey with God is designed to be daily, not even weekly as some have attempted to make it and certainly not twice a year, at Christmas and Easter.
We learn from the Israelites in the wilderness that God’s supply is daily and that if we attempt to store it up for the next day, it becomes spoiled. God instructed the Israelites to collect the manna(heaven’s daily bread) each day. Some of them decided that it was too much effort to do that daily so they decided to collect enough for several days so they could sleep in. We’re they ever surprised when yesterday’s manna was rotten and filled with worms. Their lesson and ours is that we collect the grace of heaven and the provision of God on a daily basis and as God said to Paul, it is always sufficient.
There is a story of a widow and her son who were visited by Elijah. They were on the verge of starvation and only had a small handful of meal and a small bit of oil. Elijah requested she make a small cake for him and so she did. To her amazement when she went to make a cake for her son and herself there was still flour and oil. The flour barrel was never full but it was also never empty. The cruise of oil was never overflowing but there was always sufficient.
These three examples tell us that first of all God loves us and that the supply of grace, strength, comfort and provision are always sufficient. While they are always sufficient, they are only sufficient daily- just enough for today. This leaves us at the place I call the cliff-hanger. I’m sure that we would all be more comfortable if God were to provide overflowing abundant supply that would last for weeks but in His love and wisdom Ge designs it so we keep coming to Him daily and daily He gives sufficient grace.
There have been times in my life when I’ve wondered if I was going to survive much less make it. Yet here I am and though there have been great storms and great trials and often great troubles and stress, God has kept me and sustained me and strengthened me and grown me in my faith.
Every adversity is controlled by our loving Father and each of them have at their roots a design to work for our good. Our parents sent us to school for the purpose of learning and though some of those days were trials and none of us looked forward to tests, we were at the end of the day prepared to face life equipped to do so. In the same way God brings us to His school and thought the tests are difficult, each one passed brings us to more maturity of faith, more trust in God and we understand more of the love of God.
When all is said and done, let us recognize that God truly loves us and that He really is working all things for our good. May He give us the grace to view life through the scope of eternity rather than the single moment of trial.
Dr. John Thompson