1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary 3 and gathered from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. 4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; they did not find a way to an inhabited city. 5 They were hungry and thirsty; their soul fainted within them. 6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses. 7 He led them also by a straight way, to go to an inhabited city. 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! 9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.
The first type of people who have learned the permanence of God’s love are the redeemed --- those hose who have been trapped in sin and are feeling its consequences. Their guilt in sin had brought them into slavery and serious lack, but God pursued and gathered them from all compass points, and out of a dry desert into an inhabited city.
When their soul was fainting from hunger and thirst, they cried out to the Lord from their trouble and He delivered them out of their distresses. You know we are talking here about people who have been redeemed, that is, purchased with the blood of Christ and born into the family of God, yet experiencing all this trouble. God certainly doesn’t leave them stranded, but why the trouble? How can somebody who knows Jesus get into such entrapment?
The issue is walking in the Spirit and obedience to Christ. You can be saved yet fall into the enemy’s traps and be taken by his devices to where you may wonder if you really are a Christian. That is why the psalmist wrote in Psalm 23:3 “You restore my soul.” Think of Peter when he denied Jesus three times on the eve of His crucifixion. Afterward he went out and wept bitterly with shame and guilt. Yet when Jesus resurrected He left word at the tomb, “Go, tell My disciples and Peter I’m alive. . .” Jesus wanted Peter to know he was forgiven and soon after He gave him the opportunity for full restoration by asking Peter three times in front of everyone, “Peter do you love Me?” Peter got a little frustrated with the questions, but Jesus was just giving him the opportunity to make up for his mistake.
If you’ve ever blown it in your Christian life, please know that God forgives and restores you. You can’t lose your salvation, or be otherwise excluded from God, and He will always forgive you if you ask. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness Satan may come with lies about God’s grace and love, but when he reminds you of your past, just remind him of his future.
The other matter of importance is thanksgiving. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks for His wonders to the sons of men for He has satisfied the thirsty soul and filled the hungry soul with what is good.