Sometimes we just need God to step in and intervene in our situations. A lot of people in my life are struggling with really hard things. As I scratch my head and ponder how God could possibly come through for them, I am reminded:
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
Absolutely nothing is impossible with God. God created our entire world and everything in it, surely He can command even these things to come under His rule.
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. (2 Chronicles 20:6)
When the going gets tough for us or for those we love, we can surely rest in the promise that God rules over all.
Hearts and lives are changing left and right. Dark shackles that once tripped up the lives of people are shattering to the floor. People are placing their trust in the Light of the world and their peace has never been so good.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
The hope and restoration of His Light shining in their dark places is setting them free. Freedom from their past pains and even current struggles. Joy has erupted and bubbled over to areas of their lives that they could not have even imagined.
This is encountering Jesus. This is exactly what surrendering yourself to God does and the peace He brings to your being if you would just say, “yes”.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
And let me tell you, there is absolutely nothing like it! Jesus is the answer to everything, He is the Light that illuminates life.
As she blew her birthday candles out, she made one wish that would alter humanity forever. She gripped her hands on to the table in front of her, closed her eyes with a heart full of hope, and gracefully blew out her twenty seven candles neatly encircling a decadent double chocolate cake.
I recently celebrated my birthday. This year I imagined, “if birthday wishes came true, what would I wish?” … it would be for you.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
There is nothing in this world like following Jesus. He is our fullness of joy. We girls pray for you. We pray that Christ will dwell in your hearts and that you will walk in faith knowing just how much God loves you.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
God’s love is crazy deep for us. My wish, my prayer for you this year, is that you would know this too.
We all have faith in something. Even claiming we do not have faith, takes faith. We often place confidence in things like money, education, relationships or the very chair we sit on. Whatever it is, we surely believe it will hold us up.
However sometimes, the thing we think is providing our security gives us a surprise when it leaves us empty and uncertain. For instance, all the money in the world cannot deflect every kind of pain from touching us. Fickle faith will eventually let us down.
So if all these pursuits are not truly as secure as we think, what is? Paul reminds us it is Jesus Christ.
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35)
Nothing ever can separate us from Jesus Christ, absolutely nothing. A guaranteed assurance is the hope God wants us to say yes to for our souls. This week a lovely lady summed up her new relationship with Jesus with these words,
“God is so good! He’s working miracles in our lives every day, and the power of prayer is amazing! Such an undeniable truth for us!”
This is exactly what faith is.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
True love is a sacrifice. I can love when it is easy to, but what about if it costs me something? If it hurts a little?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
I wish I could say I have nailed these verses on the head with an A+, I have not. I have to remind myself, as difficult as it can be for me to love others like this at times, I too can be hard to love. I need to show others this grace because I need it as well, in my ugly places.
God’s love is this very thing. He loves us in our mess.
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (John 4:9-12).
Since I have understood God’s love for me through His sacrifice of His Son, even when I was not too lovable towards Him, I understand what true love is. It is a sacrifice.
Our neighbors are very dear to us. We often chuckle and say that we could not handpick a better place for our family right now. God gave these people to us. He has remembered us, even in our dwelling place.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion for the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15)
Our home reminds me of the faithfulness of God. Three households link up to our property and all three have intimate ties to us, other than being neighbors. When I think of all of the awesome people on our road, I have no doubt God’s words are true when He says,
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:16)
How impossible it would be to forget an engraving on our palms! God wants us to know the complete security of this kind of love. We gain this when we have a relationship with Him, when we let Him be our God.
As I spend time and think upon my dear neighbors, I can confidently encourage you that God’s children are to be never forgotten by Him.
Some day many tribes and nations will come together, each with their own personal diversity and be completely unified. Goosebumps cover me in captivation every time I think about this. It is hard to fathom this with such animosity everywhere in our world, but there is one thing that will bring all people and groups together…
Jesus came to save all people from their sin. Though many individuals will reject Him, there are people of all languages, ethnicities and contrasts of cultures that are tasting God’s love and seeing it is good.
“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” (Isaiah 61:11)
My imagination is quickly whisked away with thoughts of this in Chris Tomlin’s song, “How Great is Our God”. It beautifully depicts a glimpse of the unity we will be a part of, if we are Christ followers, in heaven through Jesus Christ.
“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” (Psalm 86:9)
I challenge you to look up Chris Tomlin’s song today. Close your eyes and just imagine when all people come together, to praise the One who has glory due.