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His Lovingkindness is Everlasting

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Psalm 136 proclaims that God’s lovingkindness is everlasting verse-after-verse for twenty-six verses. As I read each verse I became overwhelmed with His goodness and everlasting lovingkindness because I know it all to be true in my own life. Though, when you read some of the verses you are tempted to think, “Why does that prove His lovingkindness is everlasting?”

Surely, Lord, suffering does not prove Your lovingkindness is everlasting…does it? Did He answer me??? Yes, He did — quite profoundly through this Psalm. And, as I looked back over my life and recount the joys and the sorrows, I see Him. Why, is it easier to see Him in the joys? But, what about our sorrows and our sufferings?? Well, we needn’t look harder, just more deliberately.

Throughout 70 hospitalizations, I can see His footsteps, His love, and yes, His lovingkindness. I can see how He sent people to care for me and for my family whilst I was there…sometimes for a month at a time. One of my fondest memories is of my son…only three years old sitting on the floor in my hospital room playing with his Hot Wheels. The nurses would come in and say they are going on break and could they take him down to the cafeteria with them and buy him an ice cream. His lovingkindness is everlasting. Another fond memory is when my son was around nine-years old and it was Resurrection Sunday…but here I lay in the hospital again. Our chaplain friend, Mark, came up to visit me and we shared that we were disappointed to be here on this particular Sunday because it would have been our son’s first time partaking in the Lord’s Supper. He said that he would be back and he went down to his office and came back with the elements so that our little family could celebrate our son’s first communion. It was such a sweet time to spend it, and with our friend, Mark. His lovingkindness is everlasting.

We are adept at celebrating joy and praising Him for those joyful moments, but how do we become more inclined to celebrate suffering or sorrow? Dr. Helen Roseaver, a missionary to Africa, who suffered greatly for Christ said in her book, “A Living Sacrifice“, “Steward well the suffering He has given us.” The apostle Peter said, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

I honestly have never thought much about “stewarding well my suffering.” Yet, I see clearly that it is a fellowship with Christ’s suffering. What a privilege that God would so entrust me with pain, sorrow, and suffering. So, I think in order to steward it well, we must rejoice in it…and keep on rejoicing, as Peter said. To steward it well is to be an image-bearer of Christ Jesus. In doing this, in trusting Him, our burden grows lighter…we are better able to bear-up under it…easily, then, stewarded for His glory. His lovingkindness is everlasting.

(Psalms 136:1)  Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:2)  Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:3)  Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:4)  To Him who alone does great wonders, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
(Psalms 136:5)  To Him who made the heavens with skill, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
(Psalms 136:6)  To Him who spread out the earth above the waters, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
(Psalms 136:7)  To Him who made the great lights, For His lovingkindness is everlasting:
(Psalms 136:8)  The sun to rule by day, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:9)  The moon and stars to rule by night, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:10)  To Him who smote the Egyptians in their firstborn, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:11)  And brought Israel out from their midst, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:12)  With a strong hand and an outstretched arm, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:13)  To Him who divided the Red Sea asunder, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:14)  And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
(Psalms 136:15)  But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:16)  To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
(Psalms 136:17)  To Him who smote great kings, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:18)  And slew mighty kings, For His lovingkindness is everlasting:
(Psalms 136:19)  Sihon, king of the Amorites, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:20)  And Og, king of Bashan, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:21)  And gave their land as a heritage, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:22)  Even a heritage to Israel His servant, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:23)  Who remembered us in our low estate, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(Psalms 136:24)  And has rescued us from our adversaries, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
(Psalms 136:25)  Who gives food to all flesh, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalms 136:26)  Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

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