Forever

Time is God’s invention.
We cannot understand time. It is linked with existence itself. If something is—then it may not have always been and it may not always exist forever. I’m not sure about eternity—that particular time of “forever.” Will it be a single moment that simply never passes or will it be an endless passage of time that never wears on us? Either way it will be good for those who have heard and responded to the Lord’s call. For others? Not so much.

I lean toward the endless passage of some sort of measure of time because the book of The Revelation describes the worship of heavenly creatures as ceaseless: “Day and night they never stop saying: ‘”Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”’

Locked into Time
There is no doubt that we are locked into time, this thing that God created. We may not know what “day and night” means in heaven, but we are certain of what it means here on earth. It means we will each live a certain number of days and nights and then we will make our exit. For those of us who want to accomplish something in this life, it is a race between our skills and opportunities and the relentless calendar.

We deal with this truth with a number of sayings:

  • Time waits for no one.
  • All we have is today.
  • Tomorrow will take care of itself.
  • Let go of the past.
  • I won’t think about that right now; tomorrow is another day.

These platitudes are of little help to us. They neither speed up the clock nor slow down the calendar. They are also more easily spoken than accomplished.

Where can we go for some “forever” help?

A Timeless Book
The Creator who invented time also speaks to us from a supernatural—a timeless—book. God can speak with authority about forever—he is already there! The Bible tells us that before our personal clock started ticking, the Lord knew who we were and what He had planned for us. Our times are in His gentle hands.

The theme song of the Old Covenant was “For the Lord is good and His love (mercy) endures to all generations.” This is the chosen anthem of the great moments in Old Testament history from the giving of the Law to the dedication of Solomon’s Temple to the army of musicians King Jehoshaphat sent into victorious battle.

This central truth is fulfilled in Jesus.

“The Lord is good!”
We must not entertain theories from the culture which question the character of God saying that if He exists at all He must be either evil or indifferent.

“His mercy endures forever.”
The passage of time so destructive to us, never wears God down. A day will never dawn when His mercies aren’t fresh and new. God is the God of Covenant—binding promises to those in covenant with Him.

Today, just as in Psalm 136, let us make every statement end with a statement of faith—“The Lord is good and His love endures forever!”

Scriptures:
Psalm 90 NKJV
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.  You turn man to destruction, And say, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. … The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. …Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.
1 Chronicles 16:34; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 20:21 NIV

  • Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
  • The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in raise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.”
  • After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

Revelation 4:8 NIV
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

Prayer:
Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
who made the great lights — His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.
…to the One who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever.
and who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever. Amen.

Song:
Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand
Words: Jennie Wilson; Music: F.L. Eiland

1 Time is filled with swift transition.
Naught of earth unmoved can stand.
Build your hopes on things eternal.
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Refrain:
Hold to His hand, to God’s unchanging hand.
Hold to His hand, to God’s unchanging hand.
Build your hopes on things eternal.
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

2 Trust in Him who will not leave you.
Whatsoever years may bring.
If by earthly friends forsaken,
Still more closely to Him cling.

Refrain

3 Covet not this world’s vain riches
That so rapidly decay.
Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures.
They will never pass away.

Refrain

4 When your journey is completed,
If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in Glory
Your enraptured soul will view.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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