20 March 2020 – Faithful One

One of my favourite short worship songs is ‘Faithful One, so unchanging’, a beautiful reflective song extolling the faithfulness of God. Take a few moments to go through these inspirational words:

Faithful one, so unchanging
Ageless one, you’re my rock of peace
Lord of all I depend on you
I call out to you, again and again
I call out to you, again and again

You are my rock in times of trouble
You lift me up when I fall down
All through the storm, Your love is
The anchor, My hope is in You alone.

It reminds us of the wonderful testimony of Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:22-23: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!”

What is the context here? Jerusalem the city he loved and lived in was in ruins. He would never see it as a functioning city again in his lifetime. The past was a closed chapter with the door slammed shut in his face. Many of the people he knew and loved were dead or taken to be sold as enslaved people. He would never see then again. What had he got left? The work he had done was finished, he thought. Now his perception of the future was wrong, but the dark clouds of trouble and future calamity had swept over him like a tsunami in his mind. Everything appeared to be hopeless.

Our situation is not the same as his, though many people are afraid they might lose their employment income in the coming months. There are others afraid that precious relatives might catch the virus and not survive because they have underlying health conditions. It appears that others fear the supermarkets will run out of food supplies and they will go hungry. I can see no other explanation for the extraordinary spike in sales of many basic items on the shelves.

As Christians we must first acknowledge that the fears are genuine concerns about real possibilities for the future. However, having said that, something causes the gloomy clouds in Jeremiah’s mind to disperse. What was it?  The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is His faithfulness. God does not run out of love or have compassion fatigue on a busy day. His consistency is amazing day by day. Is that not worth a ‘Hallelujah’? Jeremiah continues: His mercies begin afresh each morning.

When you wake up each new day begin with thankfulness to God for something He has blessed you with – even if it is ‘only’ an excellent night’s sleep. Then the crucial last line we often overlook in Lamentations 3:24:  I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” To inherit something requires a change of circumstances for us, or for another person or people. It requires a step of action to determine what our highest priorities in life are; the very hard time Jeremiah was passing through reordered his priorities – will it bring the same response from any of us?

Most important of all God was acknowledged as Lord of His life. It enabled him to have a fresh hope for the future. I hope each one of us, in our own words can say something similar as we express our commitment to God for all His kindness to us.

Brian Talbot