“I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1)
John Wesley was raised by his mother to love the Lord with all his heart and to sing praises to God. When Wesley was 21 years of age, he met a humble man who owned only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even own a bed. Although having nothing, this man was incredibly happy and filled with gratitude to God. Wesley, a brash and proud 21 year old, quipped about the man’s poverty, “And what else do you thank God for?”
The man smiled and with a humble joyful spirit responded, “I thank Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!” Wesley realized that this man knew the true meaning of thankfulness that he had not fully understood. Many years later Wesley himself was experiencing his own impoverished condition as he lay on his deathbed at 88 years old. Even though Wesley had nothing and was gasping for each breath, he began to sing, “I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath.” Wesley understood that he could sing of the steadfast love of the Lord forever.
Everyone will encounter an impoverished condition at some point during their lives. It may be financial loss, relational emptiness or the physical breakdown of our bodies, but regardless of our conditions, we can and should sing of the steadfast love of the Lord. God’s steadfast love has been proven time and time again. His unconditional love was ultimately seen in how while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We must learn to rejoice in the gift of God’s salvation which does not depend on prosperity, but was offered to us because of our impoverished condition. We were impoverished, but Christ has come to give us live and life more abundantly.
Therefore let us sing of the steadfast love of the Lord forever. I love the words written by William Cowper, a man familiar with suffering, “When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave. Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sign thy power to save.” Beloved, we will always have a reason to sing!!