This Psalm is a small one isn’t it? One of those ones you can actually memorise, the small child to the big daddy of Psalm 119 ever looming on the horizon as I wonder how to summerise that into a pithy blog post. This one is tiny and it’s simple. There is no messing around. No long list of complaints to the Lord, no pouring out of fear, grief or pain. There’s not much story here, not much we learn about the Psalmist, no talk of running from enemies or details as to how God has been at work. Just 2 verses so small I’m going to quote them here:
“Praise the Lord all you nations, Extol him all you peoples. For great is his love towards us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord”.
That’s it. And that is enough. Whatever we are faced with in this life. Whatever rubbish happens. Whatever we think we can’t deal with one more time. Whatever joys come our way. Whatever amazing things happen to us. Whatever the months and years ahead are full of. This is the bedrock of our lives. If we belong to God, this is the reality of our lives.
I don’t meant to say that life is this simple, that this is a sticking plaster that we all have to go around repeating 5 times a day and everything will be ok, that this is one of those truths that doesn’t seem to fit over the gapping hole of our doubt, fears and unbelief. Nope. This is really the bedrock of it all. This is the Truth that wraps around us in the dark, this is the Truth that holds us on nights where we can’t cry anymore. This is the Truth that enables us to dance on mountains and sing deeply and with real joy. This is the Truth that keeps us walking home when every other trace of Him who holds the universe together has gone. This is the Truth about the One who really is in this world.
What is this truth?
His love is great, towards us and His faithfulness endures forever.
His love is great towards us. That doesn’t mean we have an easy life, that doesn’t mean crap doesn’t happen but it does mean that in all of the crazy stuff we face, we are loved. Whether everyone else abandons us, whether we have all the friends in the world, we are loved by the One who could choose to blow us over with a single breath. We are loved through the storms, through the easy waters, through the highs and lows of this world. We are loved. I don’t know about you but that makes me want to cry with relief. I spend so much time trying to prove my worth, earn love from those around me and worrying if I do something awkward or weird in front of people in case they run away. But I am loved. Great is His love towards Me. Towards You. You are loved. That’s the only truth I’ve ever known that has really set me free to love others. I can beat myself up for being selfish, I can worry about my narcissistic outlook but then He creeps in the back door and bundles me up in his arms and tells me that he loves me, tells me that he came, tells me that He died so this could be possible, tells me that I am forgiven because of a Cup, a Cross, a Tomb and an empty grave one sunny morning. Then I want to run and dance freely and bring others to His love. Then I want to dare to whisper his name, then I want Jesus to really be known around this messed up world.
His love is great towards us and His faithfulness endures forever. We struggle to know we are loved, we struggle to keep remembering that the cross works for all our sin and shame. We struggle to believe and we struggle to keep fighting to be dependant rather than running out in the rain and thinking we can do this life better ourselves. We are deeply rebellious and we daily act as if there is no God. Yet His faithfulness endures forever. He remains faithful to us. When we are faithless and our love grows as cold as the morning frost he remains faithful. He sticks with us, he will not be moved, he does not grow weary of loving us. He does not grow tired of forgiving us. His faithfulness endures forever. When everything else has gone He will not let go. Faithfulness is what we need in the face of the amount of times we forget who He is and the amount of times we get it wrong. If his faithfulness did not endure forever I would not be sitting in this cafe typing these words. He doesn’t give up on his people, he will not give up on me or on you.
Want to praise the Lord yet?
That’s the point of this Psalm after all. Here we have the bedrock of our lives. Here we have the two great truths that will hold us to this road home. Go on. Join me in some thanks. Join me in knowing that these truths aren’t plasters over the mess of our lives but deep reality that holds us in the mess of our lives, they are deeper than our mess, they remain even as we fall apart. God’s love is great towards us and his faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord O my soul, O my friends, Praise the Lord.