Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies…How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings…O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You. (Psalm 36:5, 7, 10)
The best part about this song is that it is true. As those bought with the blood of Christ we can, and we will sing of His love forever. We tend to define reality, including that of our salvation, largely based on the contours of what Galatians 1:4 calls “this present evil age.” Yet these days of mortality and futility comprise just a tiny fraction of our existence, and God had something far greater in mind when He lavished His grace upon us (Eph 1:7-8).
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
So that. You need to catch those two words! Paul says that we were raised up with Jesus so that God would have ages of eternity in order to manifest His lovingkindness to us. His love is so vast, so inexhaustible, that the decades we have in this present age could never suffice for Him to express it toward His people. The simple words of this chorus call us to arise in faith and lay hold of the truth that thousands of years from now we will have a resurrected body and there will be real day when we be singing of new revelations of God’s infinite love towards us. Regardless of our present circumstances or the challenges we might be facing in this season, this is our future and our destiny as the redeemed.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t start now. Long before the eternal Son of God would become enfleshed as his seed, David declared that the lovingkindness of God was better than life itself (Psalm 63:3). The Church is the betrothed bride of Christ, and the love that Jesus has for us is “better than wine” – meaning that the experience of His love exceeds the finest pleasures of this life (Song 1:2). We might hear such lofty statements and the words actually have the opposite effect. Instead of imparting confidence, they cause condemnation because we imagine there is something wrong with us because we don’t know His love in this way. Yet this ignores the important fact that the knowledge of the love of Christ does not come naturally to us. It is not the default condition of our souls to know that we are loved. It is not intuitive, even as believers.
…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Notice that these words are addressed to the church in Ephesus. Paul is not speaking to unbelievers. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul prays for the body of Christ to be strengthened with divine power by the indwelling Holy Spirit in order to be established in the truth that they are loved, and to grasp a measure of what is revealed as incomprehensible. This means that our minds need the renewing work of the Spirit and our hearts need the revealing work of the Spirit to touch the unconditional love of God. His love is constant and unending, but our awareness of that love is drastically conditioned by sin, deception, and the dullness of our hearts. Our prayer is that God will pour His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) more and more until the glorious dawning of the age to come when we will see His face and be immersed in the fullness of His affections.