Friday, May 13, 2016

Hope in His Love

I noticed an interesting thing, typical of poetry, in Psalm 33 this week. Verse 18 says this, Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love. This psalm is a song of praise displaying God's attributes and telling how nature and humanity bow to His supreme authority. We're to be joyful in His
power and providence over history and and creation. He created the heavens and the earth just by the breath of His mouth. His Word is upright and faithful. The earth is full of His steadfast love. He moves the seasons and oceans and times of man. He abolishes human counsel, but His counsel stands forever. The king and warrior aren't delivered by their army or strength, but rather it's those who fear and hope in His steadfast love that have His watchful eye protecting and providing for them.

The fear of the Lord is our wisdom and understanding, and the hope of eternal life and a Savior who remains with us always is our responsibility if we desire the Lord's deliverance. We must actively known His character in order to fear Him. We must read His word to have hope in His love. Our works demonstrate our salvation (but they don't save us), and God seeks out those who fear and hope in Him. To fear God is, first of all, to have faith in His saving power to deliver from sin. To fear Him as a believer then, is to love Him and obey His commands.

To hope in His love is to know His presence with us in a real and tangible way. It's to know and cling to the promises that His love remains despite our faults. That His forgiveness is certain when we repent. That He takes our weaknesses and makes them our strengths, and that His love is the binding factor between fellow believers.

Verse 22 gives us a slightly different angle on the same thought: Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Though we might hope and fear in God, ultimately, it's His work to place that His overwhelming love in, on, and through us. It's a plea that God would and continue to have His love flow through us as we live. It's God's work in us that produces the hope and fear. It's our responsibility, yes, but it's God's work. That love stems from a hope in God. We hope in a God who is love, and if we are being conformed to His image (as all believers are), then we will become more and more the instruments and ambassadors of that love. May we also pray that His steadfast love would be on us as we continue to hope in Him.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from His sin.

When years of time shall pass away
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God's love so sure shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam's race--
The saints' and angels' song.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure--
The saints' and angels' song!
"The Love of God"

From my mother's womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

You split the sea, so I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love 
You rescued me, so I could stand and sing 
I am a child of God
"No Longer Slaves"

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