Tuesday March 9 – Day 21 – IN HOPE: UNFAILING LOVE

 In Lenten Devotional

Tuesday March 9 – Day 21 – IN HOPE:  UNFAILING LOVE

“20We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.” – Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)

As we walk from the wilderness to the cross over this season of Lent, one of my prayers is this:  that we would all experience God’s unfailing love.

Because, really, isn’t that all we need?

When we get down to it, the one thing that has affected all of us in our spiritual lives is when we have experienced God’s love firsthand.  When we fall away from Him from time to time, we want to experience that love again as if it were the first time.

There are those who have never experienced that love before.  Why does this happen?  Why is God’s unfailing love not attainable for everyone?  It doesn’t seem fair.  I wish I could give a calculated step-by-step instruction for those who have never experienced the unfailing love of God.  Evangelism would be pretty easy and risk free.

But it wouldn’t be meaningless.

How can love be meaningless, you ask?  Good question, however to understand love you have to understand one very simple human action beforehand:  The Art of Waiting.

We have all experienced waiting.  Some of us are very good at it and others, like me, are not.  I used to think I was a delayed gratification kinda guy but that is not the case.  Mind you, I will leave the last thing that I enjoy the most on my dinner place as my last bite or morsel just to savour it.  But lately, and especially during COVID-19, all we have been doing is waiting.


And in the waiting it has either allowed us to deepen patience and grace, or it has made us angry and unreasonable.

As we wait in hope for the Lord, something happens in the process.  We begin to value the people in our lives who are waiting WITH us.  We begin to value the thing we are waiting for.

Waiting is an art.  For some of us, we keep busy doing other things in order to make the time fly by.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I would like to suggest that as we wait, we praise:

Give worship to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph.

Give worship to the King of all Kings.

As we inhale each breath that we remember Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us.

As we exhale each breath, we let go of the circumstances that cause us to sin.

As we breathe in again, we ask God to fill us with His Spirit.

As we breathe out again, we release the negative thoughts we have and lay them at the foot of the Cross.

One of the websites we would look at when the kids were younger on the night of December 24 was www.noradsanta.org.  We wanted to track Santa’s whereabouts and see if he was getting close, so that the kids could go to bed.  Even after they knew that Santa was a real person a long time ago but that he wouldn’t be coming down the chimney, Riley would still look at the site.  He was waiting and it helped him to be content in the waiting.

How many of us have waited for a package, only for it to be detained due to Covid-19 delays?  One package I was looking for was the new McCartney III album on red vinyl (it came with a limited edition poster too, which is always fun).  Delay after delay after delay from McCartney’s US store.  Then, one day, when I checked the tracking information, it said it was on it’s way from the Hamilton processing centre!  What joy it brought to know that the album was almost here!

When we wait on the Lord, the knowledge of knowing that we will experience His presence soon is overwhelming.  That is why I love worshipping in a community so much (and why I miss it so much): when the Holy Spirit is in the same room with us all, hearts change.  Minds refocus.  We sense the calling of the Spirit to draw closer to each other and to Jesus, “the perfecter of our faith”.  Waiting for us to be able to worship together again has been extremely difficult, but I continue to wait.

But we simply just don’t WAIT – we wait in HOPE:

HOPE that God has heard my prayers of asking for His forgiveness and that He will reassure me that I am truly forgiven.

HOPE that His unfailing love will never leave us, and that we can experience that love every day of our lives.

HOPE that God will not leave us where we are today, but that He will motivate and inspire us to take one more step closer to the Cross, and to the world that is struggling without Him.

HOPE that God will soften our hearts so that we can forgive others and let go of the pain and hurt we have been holding on to for so long.

So church, as we wait in hope for the Lord, may His unfailing love be with us as we put our forever hope in Him.  Rest in His love and know that you are so worthy to experience it today.

Do not hesitate, but continue to wait.  May His unfailing love get you through your challenges today, tomorrow and for the rest of your earthly days.

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