I’m not a fan of the way my memory works.
If you were to ask me to give you a list of my personal successes I’d have a hard time remembering more than a few in a reasonable amount of time. “I’m sure I’ve done something worthwhile at some point…” On the other hand, if you asked for a list of my personal failures, I’d probably think you were a little strange, but could fairly quickly and easily give you a mile-long list dating back to my childhood. Failures are memorable. Too memorable unfortunately, and they seem to often carry pain and shame with them.
As my personal list of failures over the years has grown longer, I think I’ve often internally believed I was becoming less and less worthy of love and acceptance. I’ve almost felt like a character in a video game that has used up all their lives and knows the words “GAME OVER” are coming. Or maybe at times like a baseball player who’s close to striking out on too many missed swings. In every place in this world, there is a clear cap on mistakes, and clear consequences for breaching that cap. Fail too many times and you lose relationships, jobs, opportunities, respect, and even love. The world can be an unforgiving place.
But if you’ve been in Christian circles long enough, you’ve heard about the love of God, and how it works so differently than what we see in the world. In Scripture it’s described as constant, unfailing, deep, and is absolutely unswayed by our personal successes and failures. But in a world that provides no similar examples it’s no wonder we can have a difficult time trying to understand a love like that, much less let it sink into our hearts and identities. I can say out loud that God’s love will never fail me, but it’s an entirely different thing to believe that in my heart.
So what can we do to help ourselves understand, believe, and experience the unfailing love of God? Well, there are quite a few ways, like Scripture, prayer, and loving community. But one of my favorite ways is through worship, or what I sometimes describe as praying through songs. There’s something special about music and singing that takes things I know in my head and helps connect them to my heart.
A while back I was feeling like I was in an especially distant place with God, hyper aware of those shortcomings and failures, and honestly feeling a bit unlovable. In that place I began to write down the truth that I knew in my head, but certainly wasn’t feeling in the moment.
“You are not a God who breaks his promises
You are not a God who won’t come through
You are not a God that ever fails me
Though a thousand times have I failed you.”
It was the truth I needed to believe again, and over time that truth turned into a song that I would sing as a prayer to God and as a reminder to my heart. Thankfully, my friends Ryan Hall and Mckendree Tucker recorded a beautiful version of it that I hope that it can be a reminder for you as well today, that no matter how long your list of failures is, God’s love will never ever fail you.
Your Love Never Fails Me | First15 Worship feat. Ryan Hall