His Love Endures Forever

Bible Reading: Psalm 102; 106; 123; 137
Listen to Psalm 102
Listen to Psalm 106
Listen to Psalm 123
Listen to Psalm 137

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever" (106:1).

I taught this verse, with its rhythmic beat, to my children when they were young. We would clap our hands to the beat and shout, "Give THANKS to the LORD, for HE is GOOD; his LOVE enDURES forEVer." Those words now chant repeatedly in my mind. They are also chanted repeatedly throughout the Old Testament. "His love endures forever" is declared 41 times and repeated in every verse in Psalm 136.

I am intrigued with the word, "endures." The use of the word suggests that loving us involves hardship and stubborn persistence -- that it isn't always easy. God's love for us endures our doubt, our anger, our disobedience, our disrespect, our rebellion, our unbelief. His love persistently and empathetically reaches out to us in our pain and grief, offering comfort and strength. His love suffers many tears, disappointments and heartaches when we fail to trust him and obey him. He loves us without yielding, even when we are unlovely and undeserving... even when we fail to love him in return. Still, his love remains -- in sickness and in health, in prosperity and poverty, in good times and bad times.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me with a love that endures -- forever! Fill my heart with that kind of love towards others. Give me a strong, steadfast love that doesn't give up when loving becomes difficult or one-sided, that bears affliction and adversity patiently, that suffers inequities and disappointments, that gives without expectation, that shoulders another's pain, that shares in sorrows and joys alike. Give me a love that "never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" (1 Cor. 13:7 NLT).