“Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.” - Psalm 111:1-3
What do you think of when you hear the word, “forever”? How do you imagine it feels? What does it look like?
Often when we use the word, forever means something negative. You might say to a friend, “I haven’t seen you in forever.” Or possibly, “He’s been gone for forever.” Or even, “I had to wait at the DMV forever!” Sometimes, we use it positively. We might hear of a child being adopted and joining their “forever family.” Or someone you know might buy a home they plan to live in until they die and call it their “forever home.” The problem is none of those uses truly captures the meaning of the word.
We live in an ever-shifting world full of changes, disappointments, and uncertainty. Something difficult we all have to come to terms with is that nothing in this life lasts forever. Empires rise and fall. People are born and pass away. Relationships change, break, and fade.
So, if our use of the word falls short, what does forever mean? The psalmist uses it repeatedly throughout Psalm 111. In today’s verses, we’re called to join into whole-hearted, congregational worship of the Lord, remembering his good works. The psalmist says that God’s works are great, full of splendor and majesty. Finally, we see him refer to God’s righteousness enduring forever.
Forever is similar in meaning to eternity. Something that is forever has no end. In some ways, this is impossible for us to comprehend because nothing in our world is forever. Even the world itself, according to Scripture, will end. However, God’s righteousness will never be defeated or diminished. It has no end, no final day; it is not confined to a specific timeline. Nothing can mar it, and no amount of sin can detract from it.
It’s a captivating thought. His righteousness, just like God himself, endures forever. Our world, sin, bodies, lives – everything we see and know – will cease to exist. But God’s righteousness will endure forever. Whenever we feel our sin is insurmountable or our world is too far gone and corrupt, may we remember the call to give thanks to God with our whole hearts for the wondrous and majestic things he has done – especially for the gift of unending righteousness that he has bestowed upon us through saving faith in Jesus Christ.
How does it encourage or challenge you in your worship to remember that God’s righteousness is forever? Take a few moments to pray and thank God for this, the most wonderful of God’s works: that he has given you forever righteousness through Christ.