“but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
This is why I have no need to fear. My future is not determined by my strength or my ability to get it all right. It is determined by my God who takes pleasure in those who fear Him (fixing their eyes on Him, following Him as their authority and guide) and who hope in His steadfast love. Because He will fulfill His purposes for me (Psalm 138:8). And those purposes will be fulfilled in perfect love that drives out fear (1 John 4:18).
There’s a statement made by Job that I love. In Job 23:14, he says of the Lord, “For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind.” But while this decisive statement stirs hope within me, it had the opposite effect on the man who spoke the words. In the midst of wrestling with why God would allow such catastrophic loss in his life, Job voices that statement of God’s sovereignty to do what He purposes, then says, “Therefore I am terrified in his presence” (Job 23:15).
Not hopeful. Terrified.
Because his pain is great and he can’t see God’s love in his circumstances. He has lost everything, and it seems his thought process has become that if God appointed those losses in his life, what more losses might be in store? Essentially, when is the next shoe going to drop?
Even if our outlook doesn’t reach the point of terror, how easily do we slip into a similar mindset? Almost expecting things to go wrong. For the worst to happen. For things to fall apart. For our dreams to go unfulfilled.
But the Lord delights in our hope. Our hope in His love for us, because it is steadfast.
In those moments when fear and doubt threaten to steal our hope and the foundation of our joy, let us look to the Word of God to guide us. To remind us of God’s character. To assure us that He is good and He does not leave us, forsake us, or forget us. His Word that tells us, “All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 25:10). All of them. Because He is love and will not act contrary. And His love is more perfect, pure, and steadfast than any we’ve experienced on this earth.
It is this steadfast love that does not overlook or abandon us when our footsteps falter; it holds us up (Psalm 94:18). And it is this steadfast love that covers us with grace, filling in the gaps we will inevitably leave between what we should have done and what we actually did successfully. Because He knows we need Him. And really, isn’t that the point the psalmist is making in Psalm 138:8? “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
The Lord does it. Our God outlines His purposes, plans that are better and higher than ours, and accomplishes them in perfect timing and detail.
We can rejoice in that. We can rest in that. Because our life and our path are defined by His steadfast, perfect love that covers us.