But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!
What does it mean to be steadfast? The dictionary defines it as, “resolute or dutifully firm and unwavering.” Some people see God as resolute or dutifully firm and unwavering in His wrath or judgment. These people have a very legalistic view of what it means to relate to God. They think that they have to live up to the standard in order to be acceptable to God. But, the Bible never talks about God’s steadfast judgment--it talks about His steadfast love all the time.
Within Psalm 31, David cries out to God because he is not in a good place. He is being pursued vigilantly by enemies who are seeking to destroy him. When you read the entire psalm you see that David describes himself as distressed, grieved, sorrowful, wasting away, a reproach, an object of dread, and like a broken vessel. In the midst of all of these David goes to the reality of God’s steadfast love--His resolute or dutifully firm and unwavering love!
Some ask, how can that be? David admits that his “strength fails because of (his) iniquity, and (his) bones waste away (v. 10). How can God be so resolute and unwavering in His love of unworthy men? It’s at this point when all of us have to examine our understanding of love. From our world’s perspective, love is something that is a response to someone’s character or someone’s actions. Love that must be earned this way is not steadfast love, but conditional love.
Love is not a response to the attributes of the person being loved. Love is a reflection of the one who is loving--the one choosing to demonstrate character by loving others. God’s steadfast love is not unwavering because of who we are. It is unwavering because of who He is!! David understands this and trusts God because of the resolute and unwavering nature of His love.
You are secure in God’s love merely because God loves you!! You cannot earn that love. However, you can respond to that love through trust! That love needs to be the primary motivator for all your actions for all of your life. What would that look like in the classroom, the dorm, the football field, the weight room, with your family, or with your enemies? Diligently ask God, as David did, to save you in His steadfast love--to allow you to experience that love and trust Him in ways that will change your actions forever!