“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
The reality that God loves us unconditionally is often described in the Bible by one word: “mercy.” This word is found 366 times in the Bible – that’s one for every day of the year, and it even includes leap year – because God knows we need His mercy every day. 280 of these references to the mercy of God are found in the Old Testament.
My favorite is the last verse of the 23rd Psalm where David wrote: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Hebrew scholars tell us that the word “follow” could be translated “pursue.” This means that David believed the unconditional love of God pursued him all the days of his life. What a dynamic truth. God not only loves us unconditionally, He pursues us with His unconditional love all the days of our lives.
Does that mean He loves us when He is cutting us back or chastening us? Absolutely! The author of the book of Hebrews tells us that if He did not chasten us we would be like illegitimate children and not His sons and daughters. Chastening confirms the reality that He loves us.
When we are experiencing one of those cutbacks, rather than thinking that He does not love us anymore – the opposite may be true. He is pursuing us with His unconditional love.