Psalm 117

Praise the lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm and the shortest chapter in the Bible, though it tells a Gospel story that is timeless. Charles Spurgeon said of Psalm 117 “it is very little in its letter, is exceedingly large in its spirit.” While the beginning and end of the Psalm has the same line, it is the middle of the psalm that has the Gospel reminder for us this Christmas. This holiday season has undeniable losses for all of us, in every nation. Living through a global pandemic has made suffering a constant struggle for every person. It’s inescapable! Just watching the news is disheartening as you listen to statistics and chaos that all the nations are experiencing. The wide chasm in opinions and the hostility is rampant. But the Lord reminds us in this Psalm that even in the midst of our heartache, he loves us and is faithful. The Lord’s stature towards his children has not and will not change. These two little verses promise us an exceedingly abundant grace. His love for us and his faithfulness will endure forever. It will endure empty seats at our Christmas tables. It will endure less presents under the tree. It will endure family dysfunction over conflicting opinions of the state of the world. It will endure the lack of Christmas festivities. It will endure the death of loved ones and it will endure a year of disappointments, too many to list. It will endure my little faith in the midst of long days where it just seems like the world is asking too much. The Lord’s love and faith endures, because Christ endured. He endured the betrayal of a close friend. He endured the trauma of abuse. He endured public humiliation and misrepresentation. He endured separation from his Father. He endured Calvary. He endured so that the Lord’s comfort of love and faithfulness will endure with us through every season, even a world pandemic. May our days start and end with “praise the Lord” and in between may we trust that his love is steadfast, and his faithfulness will not disappoint. Merry Christmas!!

Lord, create in us a heart that rests in your steadfastness and rejoices in your faithfulness. Give us the grace to endure because YOU endured and YOU equip us to endure, out of the abundance of your unfailing love and immeasurable grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Jill Butler