Hazael king of Aram badgered and bedeviled Israel all through the reign of Jehoahaz.
But God was gracious and showed mercy to them.
He stuck with them out of respect for his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
He never gave up on them, never even considered discarding them, to this day.
2 Kings 13:22-23 THE MESSAGE
My unchanging love sustains you through all life’s vicissitudes. All around you in the world there is change and decay—nevertheless, My unfathomable love never varies, and My unfailing love never dies. My heart is wider than rebellious tangents, longer than earthly existence, higher than fondest hopes, and deeper than your despair.
I love you—not because you are good, since you deserve it; not because you behave well, and have earned it—I love you in spite of your sin. Nothing you do lessens My concern. Evil cannot stifle My love. The king of the world attacks you, but I tenderly embrace you. The evil one pesters you, but I bolster you. Satan worries you with his “if nothing happens,” but I promise to stay whatever happens. My compassion enhances your happiness. Mercy and grace enrich your life with goodness. My heart goes out to you with kindness.
I love you—not because you merit it, but because of My nature. My concern ensures your help. Idolatry leads to defeat, but prayer brings victory. My aim in chastising is to turn your heart home.
I love you—not because you are good, but because I am God. My covenant enforces your hope. I moved with Abraham, laughed with Isaac, and struggled with Jacob. I am with you in transitions, celebrations, and hard times. Depend on the Unchanging One.
I love you—not because you are faithful, but because I am. My clemency encourages your humility. I will never reject you.
I love you—not because of who you are, but because of who I am. My companionship excites your heart. My heart will not let Me destroy or reject you. I will never give up on you. I will never lose faith in your potential. My heart always hopes for the best for you.
I love you—not because you are flawless, but because I am your Friend. My love for you will endure through all time and into eternity. Whatever your condition, My love is unconditional.
© 2013 Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity