“The Lord will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-9)
“May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
I confess that I am an achiever. I am constantly trying to be a better husband, father, son, friend, and professional. Most days, I fail to live in light of the knowledge that God loves me regardless of how I am doing in all these individual areas of life. I tend to believe that God’s approval of me fluctuates with my daily performance; when I spend time with my daughter before leaving for work, God approves of me, and when I argue with my wife over something foolish, he doesn’t. Nothing could be further from the truth. God loves me today and has vowed to love me always. While my obedience may be fickle at times and my wisdom lacking, God is always faithful and His wisdom is abundant.
And yet, it’s like I expect God to love me only to the degree that I believe I am worthy of being loved. When I pray, I often approach God as though he’s holding me to the same arbitrary standards that I’ve set for myself. I tend to believe that on days that I feel like I’m doing well, he is pleased, and on days when I feel like I’m not doing well, he is not. But what I forget in those moments is that His standards are infinitely higher than my own and could never be satisfied by anyone other than Jesus. And I forget that his love is steadfast and absolute, that His opinion of me doesn’t change from one moment to the next, and that He called me into His kingdom knowing exactly who and what he was getting. He invited me to know Him, and He has promised to see the process of my sanctification through to the very end, so that I can also be like Him.
“Those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:30)
“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)
When I sing this chorus–that God’s praises will “ever be on my lips,” I am not making a statement about my resolution to be faithful throughout the rest of my life. Rather, I am confessing that while I may not be able to trust my own heart at times, I can always trust in God’s faithfulness. It is an acknowledgment that though I would be lost without God, I am not without God. I can be certain that He has called me–that He has drawn me to Himself. I trust that God will not change His mind about that fact and that He is willing and able to guide even a wretched sinner like myself to the gates of heaven. I believe that Jesus lived a perfect life and died a sinner’s death. And I holdfast to the promise that His sacrifice paid for all of my sins–past, present, and future.
I rejoice that I get to praise God for the rest of eternity. Because we worship a God that loves us, that is patient with us, and whose mercy over us is without end, we can echo the words found in Lamentations 3:23-24.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
And because of His great faithfulness, we can sing the bridge of this song boldly, declaring that God will be praised and that we have been invited to join the song of heaven in worshiping Him.
To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.