Psalm 118

1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

2 Let Israel say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

3 Let the house of Aaron say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

4 Let those who fear the LORD say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

5 Out of my distress I called on the LORD;

the LORD answered me and set me free.

6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.

What can man do to me?

7 The LORD is on my side as my helper;

I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

The first four verses of this Psalm are a call by the Psalmist for the people of God to say (from their hearts) “the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever”. Four times he calls us to proclaim this. And then the opening words of verse five begin with “Out of my distress…” Distress in the life of a believer is never evidence of a failure of the steadfast love of God. Never.

In this Psalm, the Psalmist is distressed, fearful, hated, surrounded by his enemies, pushed so that he was falling. And in all that the steadfast love of the Lord never fails. If the evidence of God’s love is absence of calamity then God loves no one. But absence of calamity is not the evidence of God’s love.

We see evidence of His love in verses 5 – 7. He answers when we call, sets us free, stays by our side, takes away our fear, helps us and gives us victory. This is steadfast love and it is a love that would not be known if there were not trouble in our lives.

God brings such things into our loves for this very purpose – to feel the power of His steadfast love. I would not give any of the troubles up if giving them up meant not experiencing the steadfast love of the Lord for me. And neither should you.

“The steadfast love of the Lord” takes us right to the cross. The love of this Psalm is the love that took Jesus to the cross. The love that took Him there is a love that began before the world was formed (Ephesians 1:3-5). That love, demonstrated in a plan which came to fruition at the cross, lasts forever. The song of heaven is “worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Revelation5:9-10). Even in eternity we will look back on one event from the old earth – the cross and the eternal love demonstrated there. The time to begin proclaiming such an awe inspiring love is now.

In verse 17 the Psalmist says that he knows he will live through his present trouble and not die. Why will he not die? So that he can recount the deeds of the Lord. All that God gets you through; all that He did for you at the cross – is meant to bring you to tell others what a God He is for you. The reason you have not died yet is to recount the deeds of the Lord to whomever He gives you the opportunity to do so. Go, and fulfill your purpose.