Christ Is Mine Forevermore
Have you ever had an “earworm”? Those are snippets of songs that get into our heads and play on repeat. It can be maddening or wonderful. I think King David had them because he writes about “songs in the night” (Ps. 42:8; see also 77:6; Job. 35:10). Quite often, when I awaken at night, the same song is playing in my mind over and over. In fact, these earworms are often more vivid at night because there are no distractions to mute or interrupt their flow. I personally find it a blessing, because it feels like my spirit is worshiping, even when my body is sleeping.
Such has been the case for the past two days and nights for me, and the wonderful earworm is, “Come rejoice now, O my soul, for His love is my reward. Fear is gone and hope is sure; Christ is mine forevermore.” What a glorious promise and truth to be running through one’s mind! Oh, that we would each possess the full impact of what these words mean! Indeed, the whole of this song is brimming full of blessed truths for our souls to hold onto in faith and rejoicing.
How much do we really rejoice over all we have been giving in Christ? First of all, I don’t think we are fully aware of all we have in Him. We would do well to pray that the Spirit will open our eyes to more of what is ours in Christ as we read the Scriptures, because the bounties of these wonderful realities are only discerned through spiritual eyes. Secondly, I don’t believe, even if we could list them all, that we dwell upon them enough in our minds for them to take root with deep experience and understanding. It is as if we know vaguely that we possess a hoard of treasure, but we never pull it out to revel in it and enjoy its beauty or count its worth. We need to regularly ruminate on the vast deposit of wealth, for this alone will awaken us to rejoice in the abundance of blessings that are ours through our relationship with the Lord.
Do you think of God’s love for you as your reward? Psalm 103:4 tells us that God “redeems [our lives] from the pit and crowns [us] with love and compassion.” Those victors’ crowns we are to be given in Heaven will be crowns made of and through the His love. When we are there in His presence we will finally know in full the glories of how much we have been loved. Here, even in our best moments of such knowledge, we have only the slightest glimmer and foretaste of the banquet of love God has for us. And we only gain those glimpses of His love here as we, like Paul, pray that the eyes of our hearts will be opened so we can know a love that is beyond our comprehension (Eph. 1:18; 3:14-20). It will, indeed, be our true reward to experience the treasures of His love stored up for us throughout all eternity.
As we dwell upon the truth of God’s many declarations of His love for us, and they become rooted in our souls, we find what John meant when he said that God’s “perfect love casts our fear” (1 Jn.4:18). When we grow in our understanding of how perfect (both flawless and complete) God’s love is for us, fear flees. We don’t have to be afraid of God’s justified wrath against our sins, because we have trusted that Christ’s loving sacrifice has covered them all. Even as professing Christians, we can often find that when we stumble we tend to pull away from God in our shame. But that is not what He wants. His love for us does not fluctuate with our behavior. What He desires is not that we step back when we sin, out of some fear of His displeasure, but fearlessly step forward into His ever-loving arms, knowing that He gladly receives His repentant wayward children.
Our hope in the Lord is sure. It is even more certain than that the sun will rise and set every day, for long after the sun passes away we will have the fulfillment of our glorious hope in Christ. The hope that the world experiences is a much different hope than we possess. They buy a lottery ticket and “hope” to win, but that “hope” is dashed for all but a tiny fraction. They are more likely to be struck by lightning than see that “hope” fulfilled. But our hope is based on the promises of God—promises that never fail because we have a faithful God who never goes back on His word. Therefore, there is a dynamic tension in our hope, for we hope because we are looking for what we do not yet have in hand, however, in truth, we do possess what we hope for because that is just how certain and sure God’s promises to us are. Our hope is just a nuance of our faith, and faith takes God at His word and acts upon it. When we have hope in His promises, we are trusting that they are as true as if we were experiencing them right now, and we rejoice.
A great part of our security in all of this is our knowledge that Christ is ours forevermore. Say that phrase over a few times aloud: “Christ is mine forevermore…Christ is mine forevermore…” How much do you feel that assurance? What does that truth do to your soul? Despite our sin, “Christ is mine forever more.” Despite our stumbling, “Christ is mine forevermore.” Despite our doubts, “Christ is mine forevermore.” Despite the circumstances in our lives that make us wonder if He is actually for us or against us, we can hold unswervingly to the sure and certain hope that “Christ is mine forevermore.”
He will not ever relinquish His loving grasp upon us. As we hold these truths in the depths of our hearts, and bring them out into the light to savor their beauty, we will find it easy to ignite that joy in our souls. Our joy, our reward, our hopes are all found in the blessed assurance that Christ in ours forevermore.