Photo credits www.switchfly.com

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Psalm 118:1, 4-9, 13, 14, 17, 28-29

1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good and His loyal love endures!  4 Let the loyal followers of the LORD say, “yes, his loyal love endures!” 5 In my distress I cried out to the LORD.  The LORD answered me and put me in a wide open place.  6 The LORD is on my side, I am not afraid!  What can people do to me?  7 The LORD is on my side as my helperI look in triumph on those who hate me.  8 It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in people9 It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in princes.  13You aggressively attacked me and tried to knock me down, but the Lord helped me.  14 The Lord gives me strength and protects me; he has become my deliverer.”  17 I will not die, but liveand I will proclaim what the Lord has done.  28 You are my God and I will give you thanks!  You are my God and I will praise you!  29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his loyal love endures!

Loyalty.  Many profess to have it, but only the LORD is completely loyal.  Human covenants are tossed aside in the name of inconvenience and promises broken with someone to blame.  But God’s loyalty takes the messes we have made and in His faithfulness and never ending loyalty, still uses it for good.  He never gives up on us.  I think perhaps the most painful thing in this life is betrayal.  When you have placed your faith in someone and they do not do what they promised, we wonder, who can be trusted?  These human broken relationships can hinder our walk with God.  If what we can see can break our hearts, how can we trust in One we cannot see?  His presence is all around, palpable to the attentive seeker, but His ways are not our own and his timing might create doubt, unless we know Him and what loyalty really means.

God’s loyalty is unique – He is loyal to me and to my enemy.  He is loyal to all.  His loyalty is righteous.  He does not express it in a dysfunctional manner as we humans can tend to do.  He knows what we need when we need it.  He permits painful consequences in His love.  Sometimes we will wonder if we are forgotten, but God’s character is a bedrock, reminding us that it is impossible for Him to not be loyal.  It is just against His very core and being.  He is good.  Completely pure.  Completely unable to ever lie or fail.  That is Who I place my trust in.  Even when His loyalty does not look like what I think it should in a moment.

Loyalty is not the absence of pain, but the endowment of strength to carry us through it.  Jesus did not promise us a pain-free life, nor is loyalty expressed in being surrounded by comfort, but He did promise to go through it with us.  Not what we are looking for in loyalty?  We want a Savior to deliver us from all hardship, and He is our Savior, too.  But wait until the chips are down and friends leave, not wanting to be encumbered by our issues.  It is then, in the quiet moments of numb pain, when virtually all have left or are weary of our struggles, that we look up to our Creator and cry out.  He never grows weary and is always available.  What loyalty and faithfulness He embodies.  Even more amazing – He is able to make us loyal as He lives through us.  There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother – even unto all eternity!

Thank You, precious LORD, for never leaving or forsaking us.  You are faithful and true.  You are good all the time.  Help us to place our trust in You even when circumstances seem to indicate otherwise.

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