Psalm 119:89-96 – Relying on the Eternal

Your word, O Lord, will last forever;
    it is eternal in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures through all the ages;
    you have set the earth in place, and it remains.
All things remain to this day because of your command,
    because they are all your servants.
If your law had not been the source of my joy,
    I would have died from my sufferings.
I will never neglect your instructions,
    because by them you have kept me alive.
I am yours—save me!
    I have tried to obey your commands.
The wicked are waiting to kill me,
    but I will meditate on your laws.
I have learned that everything has limits;
    but your commandment is perfect. (Good News Translation)

Our present life, currently in the here and now, is characterized by limitations and continual change. Whatever is up today can be down tomorrow, and vice versa. The people around us, as well as our own emotions, can be often frustratingly fickle. And our circumstances are constantly changing, not to mention our bodies and minds. For some, even their very life hangs in the balance due to either a personal enemy or the enemy of disease, disaster, or death.

In this orbit of revolving change, we are limited in our choices. We can make changes to our lifestyle that will hopefully extend the quality and quantity of life, yet every one of us will eventually die. There is decision-making we can make with our resources and finances, yet if a company closes and jobs are lost, or the market plunges and our investments tank, there is no nice seamless transition to getting back on our feet.

It might be easy to slide into discouragement, if we all we know is a domino effect of change, revolving circumstances, and an inability to influence very little of it all. Yet, there is hope because there is another side to the coin.

Although life situations change, and we experience limitations in both our choices and our abilities, there are some bedrock realities which will never change that we can bank and build our lives upon. God’s Word and God’s faithfulness are eternal; they will last forever.

Whenever it feels as if nothing is on solid ground, it is necessary to come back to the things we know which are permanent and reliable. Notice some of the unchangeable elements of God’s Word….

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears, and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:8-13, MSG)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever! (Hebrews 13:8, CEB)

Notice the unchangeable nature of God’s faithfulness….

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. (Psalm 35:5-6, NRSV)

This saying is reliable:

“If we have died together, we will also live together.
        If we endure, we will also rule together.
        If we deny him, he will also deny us.
If we are disloyal, he stays faithful”
    because he can’t be anything else than what he is. (2 Timothy 2:11-13, CEB)

It is possible to have peace smack in the middle of hardship and adversity. Racing thoughts do not need to be a given experience whenever there are those who oppose us or give us grief. Relying upon God’s Holy Word is the very ballast and rock we need. It will never fail nor pass away….

Just thinking of my troubles
and my lonely wandering
    makes me miserable.
That’s all I ever think about,
    and I am depressed.
Then I remember something
    that fills me with hope.
The Lord’s kindness never fails!
If he had not been merciful,
    we would have been destroyed.
The Lord can always be trusted
    to show mercy each morning.
Deep in my heart I say,
“The Lord is all I need;
    I can depend on him!”

The Lord is kind to everyone
    who trusts and obeys him.
It is good to wait patiently
    for the Lord to save us. (Lamentations 3:19-26, CEV)

This present life with all its change, limitations, and transience can and will give way to that which is permanent, unending, timeless, immortal, imperishable, and indestructible.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. (1 Peter 1:3-4, NIV)

May you know the joy and peace of relying upon the eternal and changeless reality of God.

Our God and Father, thank you that in a world of despair that you are our hope. In a world of darkness, you are our light. In a world of sorrow, you are our joy. Help us to strengthen and encourage one another with your eternal faithfulness and steadfast love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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