The Gift of God’s Steadfast Love

Every time I pass Olive Street, I’m reminded of the resiliency of the olive tree. Olive trees are extraordinarily tough, equipped to handle subzero temperatures, drought, frost, and even fire. Their roots are so strong they can regrow even when it seems there is no visible hope. In a way, God’s love for us is a lot like an olive tree; it endures.

There’s a trend I’ve noticed in studying the Bible, and that is the emphasis on God’s steadfast love. “Steadfast love” is mentioned 196 times in the Old Testament and 127 times in Psalms alone. God wants to be clear on something: He doesn’t love us the way most of us think when we hear the word “love”. His love for us is unique in the sense that it is steadfast.

Steadfastness by definition means firm and unwavering. God is firm and unwavering in His love for us. Why is it so important to God for us to know His love is firm and unwavering? Well, I believe there are a few different reasons, the first being mankind’s sin nature.

God wants us to come to Him knowing we are forgiven and washed clean by the blood of Jesus. He wants us to know we are loved with an undying and unstoppable love no matter how bad we mess up. When you were a child, and you got yourself into trouble, remember how hard it was to go and ask your parents for help when you knowingly disobeyed them? You probably felt guilt and shame; maybe you even decided not to confess at all and just tried to figure it all out yourself. As an adult, you realize your parents would have wanted you to come to them no matter what because their love for you could not be taken away no matter how much trouble you got into, no matter how much of it was your own fault. God’s love for us is greater than any human, even our own parents. It cannot, will not be moved because God is love.

God wants us to know we always have something stable, something constant, in a chaotic and often unpredictable world. When we face hardships and uncertainty, we need something, someone, to cling to, someone who loves us unconditionally and can see the bigger picture.

Because of His steadfast love, we as believers should be firm and unwavering in our steadfast faith, not being moved in times of trouble. God’s steadfast love in Scripture is a template of sorts for us as believers to adopt. God wants us to model ourselves after Him; He wants us to see the importance of steadfastness and adopt that same characteristic. It’s our steadfastness of faith that saves us, not only in a spiritual sense—a salvation sense, but a mental and emotional sense too. Faith is a choice as much as love is a choice. When we choose to mirror back to God steadfastness, we can have peace in times of trouble.

When it really comes down to it, steadfastness is another way of saying unconditional. God loves us unconditionally. It’s what we all want isn’t it? Unconditional love. No matter how long we search, we will never find unconditional, unbreakable, undying love in anyone or anything except God. Nothing can separate us from His love, not even death.

Today I’m inspired to become like the olive tree—strong, immovable, resilient. I pray for a faith that can endure, a faith that cannot be moved even in the midst of hardships, drought, frost, or fire. Lastly, I pray I can give back to God a token of exchange—a gift if you will, a firm and unwavering faith for an undying, unstoppable, steadfast love.

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