When I look at the actions of God, his ways start to make more sense to me. I was reflecting on a word from the prophet Jeremiah in Lamentations this morning.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
I used to think of this passage as literal. I thought something along the lines of, “God renews his mercies every morning.” However, that is not what this passage is saying. Jeremiah is not telling us that God is renewing. Jeremiah is saying that God is loving. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,” and because the Lord is loving us right now, “his mercies never come to an end.” The description of God’s love that Jeremiah gives us is necessarily a metaphor, because he is trying to describe something God has done. Any description of the acts of God–the nouns that exist in the past, present, or future–is a flawed description. If we are the ones doing the describing, then the description will always be flawed; because, we are flawed.
Jeremiah thwarts this problem from the beginning of the passage, however. He states that the “steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” Cease is a verb that applies to other verbs. For an action to cease, it must first have begun. The action being taken is God’s action in loving us. God is loving us steadfastly, and Jeremiah is telling us that this action never ceases. As God is infinite, so is his love toward us. Therefore, as Jeremiah continues to describe God’s love, he includes God’s mercy. The two cannot be separated, since God cannot be separated. God is loving. God is merciful. God is faithful; not as an attribute of his character, but as an action he is continuously choosing to take. God chooses to love us through his actions. God chooses to be faithful through his actions. God chooses to be merciful…through his actions toward us.
Therefore, we should think of this passage as Jeremiah telling us about the faithful, merciful, loving action of God. Here is the truth about God’s actions toward his people. He loves us and never stops loving us. He will always be merciful to us, and so we can be assured that his mercies are not only new every morning, but every second of the day. In every moment we think about how God will act toward us, we can know that it will be with love, faith, and mercy. And what’s more, he will never get tired of doing so. God is perfect. God has infinite patience. God is steadfast. It’s not about having to worry about whether his love is or not. God is infinite and perfect in all his ways, and so his love and mercy work the same way.
God’s action toward us will always be determined by who he is and not who we are. That’s how God chooses to act toward us. If you found this word meaningful and think someone else might feel the same way, please share.
Jesus loves you.