As I studied on God’s attribute of lovingkindness for a couple of hours, I realized that I could study for hours and not totally grasp everything there is to grasp. So I’m going to keep it simple, and just share with you how I am so thankful for God’s lovingkindness to me.
First of all, here is a more technical definition of lovingkindness. I like to use this post when we discuss this attribute of God from my thankgiving printables in our family devotions.
Lovingkindness (02617)(Hesed/Chesed/Heced) is the idea of faithful love in action and often in the Old Testament refers to God’s lovingkindness expressed in His covenant relationship with Israel. This denotes persistent and unconditional tenderness, kindness, and mercy, a relationship in which He seeks after man with love and mercy (ex.: God immediately seeking man Genesis 3:9, who was immediately hiding Genesis 3:8 trying to cover their shame Genesis 3:7 – contrast God’s lovingkindness manifest by spilling blood to provide skins to cover their shame! Genesis 3:21). Hesed expresses both God’s loyalty to His covenant and His love for His people along with a faithfulness to keep His promises.
The verse that was used in the printables for lovingkindness was Psalm 63:3:
This is an incredible statement when you think about it! The psalmist is saying that God’s lovingkindness is more precious to him than his own life! When you think of the eternality of God’s lovingkindness, and that because He loves us so much that He sent His Son for us, we can agree His love is more precious than our physical life as it is only through His love that we can have eternal life. I love what Spurgeon says about this verse:
Life is dear, but God’s love is dearer. To dwell with God is better than life at its best; life at ease, in a palace, in health, in honour, in wealth, in pleasure; yea, a thousand lives are not equal to the eternal life which abides in Jehovah’s smile. In him we truly live, and move, and have our being; the withdrawal of the light of His countenance is as the shadow of death to us: hence we cannot but long after the Lord’s gracious appearing.
This is an attribute of God that we can claim and hold on to when life is hard. I know that some people are struggling this Thanksgiving. There are people hurting and feeling like God has not been good to them. Or even if they know that God has been good, it does not make this Thanksgiving any easier for them as they struggle with loss, hurt, rejection, pain, sickness, and many other circumstances that may be plaguing them. But this attribute of God has three basic meanings that always interact: the strength, steadfastness, and love of God!
God’s strength can sustain us through any trial; He will be with us through the entire trial; and He loves us with an everlasting love!
If you are going through a hard time right now, Spurgeon threw out a challenge in his writings that I thought was great:
What deep depression some of us have had! We have gone to the bottom of the mountains, and the bars of the earth seemed to hold us there. We feel as John Fawcett’s hymn puts it:
My soul, with various tempests tossed,
Her hopes overturned, her projects crossed,
Sees every day new straits attend,
And wonders where the scene will end.
But after just one glimpse of God’s everlasting love, we are near God’s right hand.
Pray for this experience: “Show Your marvelous lovingkindness” (Ps. 17:7). He will do it! He will bring you up, out, and through—not necessarily in the way you would like to come, but in the best way. (Spurgeon’s sermon: Marvelous Lovingkindness – Psalm 17:7 – Mp3; If you’d rather just read the sermon = Marvelous Loving-Kindness – Psalm 17:7)
Here a few verses that after reading will cause you to praise God for His lovingkindness!
One of my favorite hymns is “Here is Love.” Here are the words to the hymn:
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.
Here Is Love
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.
Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.
In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.
I listened to this song so many times today as I was meditating on God’s lovingkindness towards me, a sinner! I am not worthy of it! There is nothing in me that deserves it! Yet He loves me just the same and bestows this strength, steadfastness, and love upon me!
My favorite version of this song is on a CD I have from Soundforth Singers called Depths of Mercy. They change the song a little and incorporate a chorus singing “Oh how marvellous, Oh how glorious, is my Savior’s love to me!” And after hearing these powerful words of what Christ has done for me, my heart is bursting with thanksgiving of how glorious and marvellous His love fore me. I found a site where you can go listen to it. I looked up whether it is legal for me to share it in this manner, and the answer I found was that it is legal to listen to it, but not legal to copy.
Here is the traditional hymn on youtube if you would rather watch it:
To finish thanking the Lord for His lovingkindness, I loved this admonition to stay focused on what God has done for us when we are going through the dark times.
Spurgeon on Isaiah 63:7 “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of Jehovah”…
And canst thou not do this? Are there no mercies (lovingkindnesses) which thou hast experienced? What though thou art gloomy now, canst thou forget that blessed hour when Jesus met thee, and said, “Come unto me”? Canst thou not remember that rapturous moment when he snapped thy fetters, dashed thy chains to the earth, and said, “I came to break thy bonds and set thee free”? Or if the love of thine espousals be forgotten, there must surely be some precious milestone along the road of life not quite grown over with moss, on which thou canst read a happy memorial of his mercy (lovingkindness) towards thee? What, didst thou never have a sickness like that which thou art suffering now, and did he not restore thee? Were you never poor before, and did He not supply thy wants? Were you never in straits before, and did He not deliver thee? Arise, go to the river of thine experience, and pull up a few bulrushes, and plait them into an ark, wherein thine infant-faith may float safely on the stream. Forget not what thy God has done for thee; turn over the book of thy remembrance, and consider the days of old. Canst thou not remember the hill Mizar? Did the Lord never meet with thee at Hermon? Hast thou never climbed the Delectable Mountains? Hast thou never been helped in time of need? Nay, I know thou hast. Go back, then, a little way to the choice mercies of yesterday, and though all may be dark now, light up the lamps of the past, they shall glitter through the darkness, and thou shalt trust in the Lord till the day break and the shadows flee away. “Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thylovingkindnesses, for they have been ever of old.” (Ps 25:6)
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Many other bloggers wrote what they are thankful for! Please go read some other Thankful Thursday posts!
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