Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:1).
Steadfast. Endure. These are solid words that provide a sure foundation in a world of relativity and change. Let the power of these words sink deep into your soul.
Enduring, steadfast love flows out of the immutable — changeless — nature of God.
As Psalm 136 recounts God’s greatness, it becomes a litany of praise for God’s mighty acts and goodness.
The writer commands us to give thanks to the Lord because he is the God of gods (136:2) and the Lord of lords (136:3). God created the heavens (136:5), the earth (136:6), the sun (136:8), the moon, and stars (136:9). The psalm continues with a recital of Israel’s history. God performed wonders in Egypt (136:10), opened a path through the Red Sea (136:12-14), overthrew Pharaoh’s army (136:15), conquered foreign kings, and gave their land to the Israelites (136:17-21).
Each of the 26 verses end with the response, “for his steadfast love endures forever.” Every declaration, in every verse, provides a concrete example of God’s unfailing love. The repetition of this one phrase conveys a message of strength and permanence.
Something happens in my heart when I read this psalm. Each time “his steadfast love endures forever” chants in my brain, it penetrates deeper into my being. Layers of truth grow, solidifying my resolve to live in the hope and confidence that God’s love brings.
God’s steadfast love endures our fickleness, persists through our unbelief, remains during our rebellion, continues endlessly. And he does all that without flinching. God’s love for us — fixed, firm, and constant — continues to exist regardless of our feelings, our response to him, or our circumstances. We can rely on the steadfast love of the Lord. It never comes to an end.
Yet, the psalmist seemed to understand that we need reminding.
So, I consider my life, my story — how God has led, provided, and worked miracles. With 46 years as a believer, 30 years of marriage, three children, and 22 years living with Crohn’s disease, bits of my story unfold like this:
- God looked after my little ones when I couldn’t — His steadfast love endures forever.
- He provided through months of no income — His steadfast love endures forever.
- God defeated the bullies — His steadfast love endures forever.
- He carried us through times of homeschooling — His steadfast love endures forever.
- God revealed himself to me through his Word — His steadfast love endures forever.
- He carried me through days of pain — His steadfast love endures forever.
- God healed my relationship with my sister — His steadfast love endures forever.
- He saw the tears prayed in the darkness — His steadfast love endures forever.
- God brought home the runaway teenager — His steadfast love endures forever.
- He provided good things for us to enjoy — His steadfast love endures forever.
Claim the truth of God’s unwavering love for yourself. Write out your personal history of God’s faithfulness and recite, “His steadfast love endures forever,” after each item. Cling to this truth during your current dark struggle. Nothing can endure longer or stronger than God’s love for you.
As the next big challenge looms dark and ominous on the horizon of my life, I choose to praise God for his steadfast love, which endures forever. Join with the psalmist in proclaiming:
“It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever;
He who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:23-26).
Are you feeling lost in the darkness of life? You don't have to journey alone. One of our free and confidential mentors is waiting to encourage you and pray for you. Just fill out the form in the "Connect" tab below.