February 28, 2010

Faith and Love Firmly Fixed


“. . . keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21).

Stability in our attitude toward God is one of our greatest spiritual needs. Most of us have some degree of love for God, and we're willing to follow God’s lead in at least some circumstances. But our devotion to God is too variable; it is too much at the mercy of up-and-down external circumstances. We need to appropriate the hope that the Hebrew writer described as an “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19), so that at least the more extreme fluctuations are taken out of our devotion.

It is interesting, and maybe even embarrassing, to consider the kinds of things that cause our love for God to diminish. It is somewhat understandable that we lose our spiritual focus during times of stress, sickness, and so forth. But isn't it a fact that we also tend to forget God during times of ease and comfort? It almost seems that the more we have to be thankful for, the more we forget to be thankful. One reason for this is probably that when our earthly goals are being met and we're enjoying the kind of lives we want to have, we tend to attribute this to the effectiveness of our own efforts. We don't recognize our need for God's help as long as we're getting along comfortably “without” God. In any case, however, we need to be aware of the danger posed to our devotion by both the good times and the bad. Whether a particular day is good or bad, we do not need God any more or less on that day than on any other. And the constancy of our need for God should be reflected in the constancy of our love for God.

Without any doubt, the single greatest thing that can stabilize our attitude toward God is meditation on the constancy with which God loves us. God’s faithfulness to us does not wax and wane. God continues to love us faithfully even on our worst days. By rebellious choices we may remove ourselves from the benefits of God’s love, to be sure, but when we turn back toward God penitently, God is there waiting for us with a love that is no less than it ever was before. How can we not be moved by God’s faithfulness to be firmly fixed in our faith and love for God who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)?


"Write Thy blessed name, O Lord, upon my heart, there to remain so indelibly engraven that no prosperity, no adversity shall ever move me from Thy love” (Thomas a Kempis).