God has strength of character.
That's the wonderful impression I gained this morning during my prayer time as I read two seemingly independent verses.
First I landed on Psalm 117:2: "... great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever." (NRSV)
Great is his love. It's not stingy. It's not merely adequate or satisfactory. It's abundant! It's lavish! It's overflowing!
His great love is directed toward us. Because of that love, I flourish. Because that love is great, I flourish greatly (and will increasingly do so the more I remain in his love).
His love is steadfast. It doesn't lack endurance. It doesn't lack foundation. It doesn't lack sustainability or resource. It's not characterized by fluctuations or wavering or dips.
His faithfulness endures forever. He will never leave me. He will never forsake me. He will never tire of me. He will never ignore me. His faithfulness is unconquerable, undiminishing.
Then I moved over to Ephesians 2:4: "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us" (NRSV).
Again, the great love.
The new element here is his mercy is rich. Again, not stingy in his mercy, not merely adequate, not merely to get us to a point and then go on its merry way. But it is lavish and inundating. It's not like a rain where you're debating about whether to take an umbrella. It's like a rain where you are willing to be late because you are staying right where you are, umbrella or no, because within seconds you will be drenched. His mercy is rich and abundant.
Does God do anything halfway?! What strength of character! How can we lose? How can we be lost? Even though we deserve to; even though we deserve to be. His love toward us is great and steadfast. His faithfulness toward us endures forever. His mercy toward us is rich. This does not sound like the picture of God as someone waiting to zap us every time we sin, taking great delight in making our lives miserable.
Praise the Lord!