Steadfast Love and Faithfulness

This month, I am entering into my last semester of college at Regent University. In light of this, I have been reflecting on some of the greatest lessons I have learned from my time at college. My greatest takeaway has been growing in the knowledge of and experiencing God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.

The steadfastness of God’s love and the attribute of His faithfulness are two clearly important themes in scripture. During my freshman year, I read a Psalm everyday. As I read, I circled the phrase steadfast love each time it was written (a total of 127 times). In twenty-five of those instances, the word faithfulness is also present in the same verse. Below are twelve of my favorite psalms regarding God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. These passages are so beautifully written and, together, they describe how God’s steadfast love and faithfulness impact every part of our lives. I’ll provide a brief commentary after each passage, however, if you do not have time to read it all, please just read the verses. Those words are way more powerful and I truly believe that if you pray about the steadfast love and faithfulness of God like the psalmists do, you will begin to experience God’s presence anew and afresh in your life.

"Satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love, 
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days."
- Psalm 90:14; ESV

The perfect start to a day is one that meditates on and soaks in the steadfast love of the LORD. This is a morning saturated in grateful, praise-filled prayer to God and one that dwells on the life-giving truth of His Word. Mornings like this lead to joyful days abundant with recognition of God’s hand in everything that occurs throughout our day.

"For the LORD is good: 
His steadfast love endures forever, 
and His faithfulness to all generations."
- Psalm 100:5; ESV

Not one year, not one week, not one iota of time goes by without the nature of God remaining consistent. In love for His Creation (us), He holds the universe together. His steadfast love and faithfulness are qualities that always remain the same. He is always always good. He is always love. Need proof? The earth is still orbiting around the Sun so He must not have changed!

"The LORD is merciful and gracious, 
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 
...For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does He remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children, 
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him. 
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust."
- Psalm 103:8, 11-14; ESV

Do you ever get overwhelmed with trying to do everything perfect in order to please God? Sometimes I  do which is why I love meditating on this passage. This reminds me that God is the one who created me from dust and stood there in the garden when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Therefore, He knows that I am a fallen human-being who make mistakes and selfishly chooses things of the world before Him at times. He knows that there is a battle within me between flesh and spirit and He knows that at my core, because of the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in me, I love Him. He knows my inadequacies but He also knows my truest desire is to glorify Him and enjoy Him. Therefore, He has compassion on me. This means that in my times of greatest regret, I need not hide my face from Him. Instead, I can come to Him seeking repentance and He will give it for the sake of His steadfast love. In this, God is faithful- when we are weak, His grace abounds. 

"Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love,
for His wondrous works to the children of man!"
- Psalm  107:8, 15, 31; ESV

Psalm 107 is a psalm that recounts the times the LORD redeemed those in distress. Those who had lost their way in sin; others who were hungry and forgotten and in need; some who were prisoners; some who were fools; and those who had turned from the LORD in doubt. But God, being rich in mercy sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for their sins, that all who believe in Him may have life and fellowship with Him, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. We once were separated from our Heavenly Father because of our innate, sinful nature but because of His steadfast love and faithfulness demonstrated through Jesus we can have life with Him and have it to the fullest. Let us recount the wondrous work that Jesus did on the cross. Let us thank God for His steadfast love!

"Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; 
let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD."
- Psalm 107:43; ESV

Only fools deny the steadfast love of God. His steadfastness towards us is the only reason blessings may come to us. Fools deny this. Fools say their own effort has achieved their place for them. Fools accuse God when trouble befalls them and forget God when prosperity comes there way. But the LORD is righteous in all His ways. He is both judge and defender and His steadfast love and faithfulness is toward those who fear Him. Let us be wise and consider how God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is being shown to us right now. On the day of judgement, I want to be acknowledged as a wise man who feared the LORD.

"I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples; 
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
Your faithfulness teaches to the clouds."
- Psalm 108:2b-4; ESV

The psalmist paints a beautiful picture here of waking up before the rising of the Sun to praise the LORD. Rather than the light of the Sun awakening him, he awakes the Sun. If you’re like me, waking up early can be hard. I often need an obligation or some exciting adventure in my day to get up before the sunrise. But, for the psalmist, God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is enough reason to rise early and praise Him. May God’s steadfast love and faithfulness excite us as much as it did King David.

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory,
for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness!"
- Psalm 115:1; ESV

This is one of my all time favorites and there is so much to breakdown within this two-line verse. In most occurrences, the writers use the phrase, steadfast love and faithfulness, to describe God’s attitude towards us. But in this verse we see the writer asking God to give glory to Himself for the purpose of His steadfast love. This implies 1) that we are incapable of bringing glory to God outside of the work of His love within us and 2) that His glorification is an act of love toward us. God’s glory maximizes our enjoyment of Him and there is no joy found apart from Him. May our prayer be “give Your name glory, O God, that Your steadfast love and faithfulness may abound in our lives!” 

"For great is His steadfast love toward us, 
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!"
- Psalm 117:2; ESV

Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible. The message hear is clear and simple, yet, so profound. If we are to say anything, may it be of the steadfast love and faithfulness of the LORD. May people know us by our praise. 

"Consider how I love Your precepts!
Give me life according to Your steadfast love."
- Psalm 119:159; ESV

Psalm 119 repeatedly talks about how lovely God’s words and commandments are (it took writing the longest chapter in the Bible to only begin describing this). The psalmists feeds on them for life as he would food. Life is given according to God’s steadfast love. Apart from His love, there is no life. 

"Hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love, 
and with Him is plentiful redemption."
- Psalm 130:7; ESV

What greater thing is there to hope in? If God is truly who the Bible claims Him to be—the awesome Creator God who has authority and power over everything and judges the living and the dead—then we ought to have hope that God is abounding in steadfast love and is faithful to His nature. We ought to hope that He holds redemption for our souls. The good news is that Jesus has already proven this, God is faithful to His word, and He is coming back again. 

"The LORD will fulfil His purpose for me; 
Your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. 
Do not forsake the work of Your hands."
- Psalm 139:8; ESV

THE LORD CREATED YOU! He has a purpose for you! He will NOT forget His own work! Patiently hope in the purpose of the LORD. He loves you and He has never forgotten you. 

"Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love,
for in You I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to You I lift up my soul."
- Psalm 143:8; ESV

This prayer is a beautiful acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty. For the psalmist, if God is loving, then he could trust Him with what the day holds. No matter the mistakes he made the day before, if God’s love was steadfast each morning then he would not need to fear that God would forsake him on his way today. No matter what mistakes you have made, know this: God’s love is steadfast. He has not forgotten you and He will not forsake you on your way if you lift your soul up to Him and trust that He will lead you in the way you should go.

It really is amazing that God should be all-knowing and see every part of our lives, yet, have incredibly steadfast love for us. He not only sees what we do in every moment but He also knows our heart’s motive behind each action. It doesn’t take long to realize that we should have no place with our perfect God and Creator. But according to God’s steadfast love He sees our sin, yet freely gives grace. He redeems us in Christ that we may be “hidden in Christ with God” (Colossians 3:3). “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence (Psalm 90:8). “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:3, 4, 7).

My prayer for you is that you may make the LORD your steadfast love. That you may hope in His steadfast love and cling to His faithfulness as you would cling to your most treasured possession. In the morning, awake the dawn by singing of His steadfast love. Encourage your soul by delighting in it. Go through your day proclaiming it. Smile because of it. Trust that because of His steadfast love and faithfulness He has a plan and a purpose for you and nothing that happens is outside of His hand. Rest in His grace, know you are loved, and rely on His faithfulness. No matter how far gone you feel or how long it has been since you have acknowledged Him in prayer know that He is standing with arms open wide as He was from the very start.

"For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
    or grieve the children of men."
- Lamentations 3:31-33