His Love Endures Forever
by Ryan Duncan
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! - 1 Chronicles 16:34
Last December I had the privilege to be part of a short-term mission trip to Vladimir, Russia, where I worked alongside Russian Christians in the city’s orphanage. The trip was incredibly challenging, but the opportunity did help me learn a lot about God and about myself. In particular, I remember the Sunday morning where our interpreters invited us to attend their Church. The building they met in was small, and as I took my seat with the rest of the team, I realized there couldn’t be more than thirty people in the congregation.
I found that number rather depressing. My own Church here in the states wasn’t what I’d call big, but it certainly had more than thirty people in it. A small voice in the dark part of my mind wondered if this was a sign of change in our world, that maybe Christianity was beginning to die out. I was still in this dismal frame of mind when the congregation stood for the first song, and it was at that point something extraordinary happened. The people of that small Church began to sing together, and I was amazed at the passion they displayed toward God as they worshiped.
Afterward, my interpreter took me aside and began to tell me about the history of the Church. Apparently, this little Church had been in the community for ten years, and it wasn’t shrinking, it was growing. My interpreter told me how it was through this Church that he had first come to know Christ. He was the only Christian in his family and was doing his best to witness to them, but in the meantime, he considered the people here just as close as any brother or sister. Nearly everyone in the Church was involved in some kind of outreach, some even worked with the orphanages full time.
All of this from a Church of thirty people. Sometimes I lose sight of who God really is, and what he can do with the smallest of offerings. God will never be threatened or hindered by our world. He will always be there for us no matter how far we stray or how hard mankind tries to remove him. Through the rise and fall of countless empires, all the advancements of science, through war and pain, the spirit of God has endured.
I guess the writer of Psalms knew what he was talking about when he wrote,
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;” – Psalm 136:1-4
Intersecting Faith and Life: Try to find ways to live your faith, consider getting involved in your church outreach.
Further Reading: Psalm 100:5
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."