The Great Loyal Love of God

Dust-articleInlineOne of the sections of the Psalms that I enjoy is Psalm 103.  The Psalmist describes the Lord as being compassionate, merciful, patient, and demonstrative with His “great loyal love.”

As you read the verses below, notice the ebb and flow as the author builds on the foundation he’s laid:

The Lord is compassionate and merciful; He is patient and demonstrates great loyal love. He does not always accuse, and does not stay angry. He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; He does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve. For as the skies are high above the earth, so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers. As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers. For he knows what we are made of; He realizes we are made of dust.

Because the Lord is compassionate, merciful, patient, and He has a “great loyal love:

  • He does not always accuse.
  • He doesn’t stay angry.
  • He doesn’t deal with us as our sins deserve.
  • He doesn’t repay us as our misdeeds deserve.
  • He removes the guilt of our sin.

Why does God do this?  It’s because it’s His character to do so, but there is another reason:  He knows who you are—a fragile pile of dust.   When you fail, God could sweep you up and toss you aside, but He is compassionate, merciful, patient, and He has a “great loyal love” for you.

On your own; in your frail strength; and in your confused wisdom, the best you can do is to make a mud pie out of your life.  Then, when the storms of life come, you’re just a muddy mess.  You’re like the prodigal son who wallowed in the pig pen of life and ate the swill and hog slop with the rest of the pigs.

But, like the prodigal,  something wonderful can happen that will change your life.  You can remember that the Father is compassionate, merciful, patient, and He has a “great loyal love” for you, and you can go home to the Father’s house:  “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers. For he knows what we are made of; He realizes we are made of dust.”

The Day and the Hour

Before you get started reading, I want to ask you to do three things.  First, look at your calendar and see what the date is.  Second, look at your watch or a clock to see what time it is.  Third, answer this question:  What were you worrying about in 2011 at this exact date and time?

Most people have a little trouble answering my question.  If you can remember what you were worrying about, I hope you discovered that all that worrying didn’t really change the outcome of your situation.

People worry about all sorts of things.  Some people get depressed because they worry about what they perceive to be impending doom.  I know some people who worry themselves into anxiety attacks because they are focused on what might potentially happen.   Anger, shame and guilt can also be the results of thoughts that focus on catastrophic thinking (thinking in terms of always, never, should have and oughts).

The truth is, sometimes people worry themselves sick.  Worry and stress have been linked to a higher risk for illness, including conditions such as obesity and hypertension.  Some people attempt to manage their proclivity to worry through self-help techniques.

While self-help measures can be very beneficial, I put a priority on the principles of Scripture.  In the case of worry, I like Philippians 4:6-7:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I hope  the words of Charles Mayo are thoughts that will keep you thinking:  Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the health. I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt.