Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
God is Love
1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Love is one of God’s personalty traits along with His wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. Love saturates the Lord’s essence in all He is and all He does. Love flows out from God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to us like water gushing from a fire hydrant. Stronger even than the waters of Niagara Falls. Today’s news mentions poverty and racial antagonism; cyber-attacks and impending wars; lawsuits, arrests and scandals; a ship wreck and killings. Praise the Lord, Christ’s followers are promised that nothing can separate us from God’s love!
The Lamentations passage above encourages me and helps me to embolden others. It was written by Jeremiah in very painful times connected with the destruction of God’s temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC and the Jews being taken into exile. Yet Jeremiah cheered himself and God’s people to look up to the Lord again and again for His love, compassion, faithfulness, and provision. They were also to pass on the blessings they received from God’s hand to others.
This section of Lamentations reminds me of John Keble (1792–1866), an English pastor and poet. He began writing poems for Sundays and other days of worship. These were gathered into a book called “The Christian Year,” first published anonymously in 1827. Keble’s authorship soon became known. One of his poems was made into a hymn called “New Every Morning Is God’s Love.”1 Here are two stanzas from the hymn with comment.
Hymn: New every morning is God’s love Our wakening and uprising prove.
Through sleep and darkness safely brought, Restored to life and power and thought.
Comment: Keble reminds us that each day is a precious gift from God. We are not entitled and don’t deserve anything, but God gives generously! The Psalmist says: “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it….Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”2 God the Spirit sustains us through each night and wakes us. It’s not automatic. He lovingly acts, restoring us to life, power, and thought to serve Him each brand new day.
The Bible says that God’s special help often arrives in the morning. Jesus’ Easter morning resurrection changed history and brought the dawning of a new day for all who trust in Him. And a brand new era of acceptance, adoption, fellowship with God, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, and eternal life that begins now. The nights of weeping give way to new sunrises of blessing. What great thoughts these are to begin any day!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes the Christ-like love Christians are to demonstrate. Since God is love, His people have been filled to the Spirit to imitate the Lord. If we are not loving people, 1 John 4:8 says that we don’t know God at all, however much we know about Him. 1 Corinthians reminds us that God is patient and kind with us. He respects and honors us. He is not easily angered and because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for us, He keeps no record of our wrongs. The Lord does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres with us. His love never fails.
This is what Keble’s hymn calls us to remember each morning and night and in all the hours in between.
Hymn: New mercies, each returning day, Hover around us while we pray.
New perils past, new sins forgiven, New thoughts of God, new hopes of Heaven.
Comment: James promises, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”3 And the Psalmist says: “As for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.”4 Christians come near to the Lord to receive new mercies, new pardons, new insights from God, and new foretastes of Heaven, as we mix Bible study with prayer. We must not forget that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love Him.5 We also give thanks that through many dangers, toils and snares, we have already come. Jesus’ grace has brought us safe thus far, And His grace will lead us home.6
All Jesus’ followers are headed for Heaven, even as we continue through this fallen world. We are citizens of Heaven now, still in the land of the dying, but soon we will be in the land of the living!7 Soon, at any moment, we can be snatched away from all we’ve known here up to paradise with Christ.8 Jesus will take us to a better country, the city with foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.9 Gladness and joy will overtake us, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.10 We will see Jesus face to face and be home with Him forever.11 Remembering these truths helps us to press on with our loving Savior and serve His kingdom.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, helps us to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Help us to run with perseverance the race marked out for us and to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith. He endured the cross for us, was raised, and is now enthroned. Keep us Christ-centered and Heavenly-minded so that we will not grow weary and lose heart. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.12
To be continued.
Notes (various translations): 1 Keble’s original title and first stanza read, “New every morning is the love.” But I have changed it to God’s love when I sing the hymn or use it with others. God’s love is the theme of the hymn throughout and Keble directly states that in stanza 8. 2 Psalm 118:24,29. 3 James 4:8. 4 Psalm 73:8. 5 1 Cor 2:9. 6 from John Newton’s hymn, “Amazing Grace.” 7 Phil 3:20. 8 Luke 23:43. 9 Heb 11:10,16. 10 Isaiah 51:11. 11 1 Cor 13:12; 2 Cor 5:8. 12 Prayer based on Hebrews 12:1-3.