March 14, 2011

Some Things Never Change

Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever!” (Psalm 136:1, NIV)

Friend to Friend
2002 was a year of transition for me.  I changed positions at the ministry where I served, my son packed up to go away to college, my thyroid went out of control and had to be purposely destroyed with radioactive iodide, my first book went out of print, the grocery store quit carrying my favorite coffee, and Revlon discontinued the eyeliner that I’d been using for ten years.  Like a little girl having a hissy fit, I whined, “Doesn’t anything ever stay the same?  Isn’t there one thing I can count on being the same tomorrow as it is today!

Then I heard that gentle whisper I’ve grown to love: “’Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).

Yes, there is one thing that will never change, God’s unfailing love and care for His children.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and on that we can always depend.  Solomon tells us the one thing each of us longs for is unfailing love (Proverbs 19:22). And that is exactly what we have in the love of our heavenly Father.

The word compassion in Isaiah 54:10 is the Hebrew word racham, which means “to soothe; to cherish; to love deeply like parents; to be compassionate, be tender…This verb usually refers to a strong love which is rooted in some kind of natural bond, often from a superior one to an inferior. (Now here’s the best part.) Small babies evoke this feeling.” (Beth Moore, Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life (Nashville, Tenn.: Lifeway, 1999), 160.)

When my son, Steven, came into the world, a love was birthed in my heart that I never thought possible.  Elizabeth Stone said it well: “To make a decision to have a child, it’s momentous.  It is to decide to have your heart go walking around outside of your body for the rest of your life.”  That is how our Heavenly Father feels about His children!

The beautiful Hebrew word, hesed, is translated unfailing love in Isaiah 54:10.  It is often translated loving-kindness, steadfast love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness, and devotion.  This word is used 240 times in the Old Testament and is considered one of the most important in the vocabulary of the Old Testament.  Why?  Because God’s unfailing love is one of the most important themes of the entire Bible.  It is who He is and what He does (1 John 4:8).

How would you like to memorize half of a psalm in the next sixty seconds?  Want to give it a try?  Turn to Psalm 136.  After each sentence, there is an echo, “His love endures forever.”  Just say that sentence twenty-six times and you’ve quoted half of the Psalm! The Psalmist begins by reminding us of how God created the universe and all it contains. Then he continues by reminiscing how God led the captive Israelites out of Egypt, across the parted Red Sea, through the arid desert, and into the lush Promised Land conquering enemies at every turn.  And through it all, one thing remained the same – “His love endures forever!”

There may be times in our lives when we cry, “Where are you God?  Don’t you care what is happening to me?  I can’t hear You.  I can’t see Your hand working in my life.”  But be assured of this.  Even when we can’t sense God’s presence, He is always there.  Always.  And through it all, one thing remains the same – “His love endures forever!”

Let’s Pray
LORD, today I am rejoicing over the truth that Your love endures forever.  Even though everything around me may be falling apart and changing, You will always remain the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! 

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Now It’s Your Turn
Just for fun, list all the things that changed in your life in 2010.  This might take a while.

Now after each of those entries, go back and write the phrase: His love endures forever.

I know some GiGs do these devotions with their gal pals.  This would be a great exercise to do together.  Have fun!

I’d love to see your list.  You can share them with me at www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.

More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s new book, 5 Dreams of Every Woman and How God Wants to Fulfill Them(a new revised version of her previous book, Dreams of a Woman). Can you risk the hope that God still has dreams for your life? That He hasn’t forgotten you?  Place your hand firmly in His-take a deep breath and begin the exciting journey to a place you thought you’d never find: the dream God planned for you all along. Let’s dare to dream again!

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