An unfailing love is a love so freely given with no strings attached. A love we do not deserve, a love of purest form. A love that testifies with time, a love that redeems and transforms. This unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him (Psalm chapter 32, verse 10).
I was recently speaking to a group of teenagers, encouraging them to realise that they are loved and to live from a place of knowing that they are loved. As I am speaking, I realise that if they grasp a hold of this at their age it will change the course of their lives, and hopefully prevent them from a lot of heartache and harm.
Living loved—looks like placing our trust in Jesus. With all that is going on in the world right now because of COVID-19 there is much fear and angst. Naturally, people are scared and just seem slightly more on edge than usual. Perhaps it is because they are worried, scared, afraid? This is a normal response when going through anything. People are desperate, yearning for something more.
1 Corinthians chapter 1, verses 4-8 NIV says:
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’
Amazingly, when David penned Psalm 32, he did so after seducing Bathsheba—the wife of his most loyal soldier. Then in order to hide Bathsheba’s pregnancy he orders the death of his most loyal soldier—Uriah the Hittite. Disgraced with shame, David finds forgiveness in God’s mercy, meaning that despite his own wrong-doing and failures, he continues to try and please God by placing his trust in Him.
David, the man known for being after God’s own heart, recognises the sorrow, the distress, unhappiness and sadness we can all face at times and yet he still accepts this unfailing love.
A restorer of time
‘So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.’ (Joel 2:25-32 NKJV)
We can be assured that the years the locust has stolen will be restored. There is much that is being taken right now, but we can be rest assured that these years, this time, it will be restored. This is what unfailing love looks like—trusting in a God who can, and standing your ground, knowing that God will restore all that has been taken.
He knows the end from the beginning
Psalm 126:5 NLT: ‘Those who plant in tears will reap with shouts of joy.’
In a world struck with its fair share of grief and despair, we can also be rest-assured that those who are planting in tears right now will harvest with shouts of joy. Those that are struggling to see a way up or a way out right now will reap in due time because of what they have faithfully sown today.
Almost two years ago years today, I woke up with a vision of a double rainbow. And I just ‘knew’ we were pregnant with our promised child—Sophie. I remember shortly after my pregnancy was confirmed, falling asleep smiling. I couldn’t remember the last time I had caught myself smiling as I was drifting off to sleep.
God had replaced the years that I had spent struck with grief and despair with utter joy and amazement. I didn’t, and still do not, deserve it, but yet isn’t that the heart of our Father?
Accepting an unfailing love looks like continuing to place our trust in Jesus despite our own fears and failures. It looks like continuing to try and please God even amongst all that is going on in the world right now.
Elise Pappas is a Pastor and together with her husband pastor a church on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. They have a son, Jonathan and a daughter, Sophie. Elise is a former clinical drug trial research coordinator and business owner. She writes about life and ministry experiences.