Our Pain. His Rescue

When we live in a world like ours, it is so easy to be absolutely consumed by the terrible things that surround us.  As prayer requests flood in, as we watch the news, as we navigate the murky waters of our own family dynamics, I am once again convinced that there is only one answer:

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.

Romans 5:8-9

Even if you have been a Christian for most of your life, this truth has the power to calm you in the fiercest turbulence.  To cause you to be still.  The life-changing, life-giving truth of the gospel is the answer for anything you face today.  That you may know and believe that the devastation of what we were going to face was much worse than anything we will come to here on earth.  And that you would believe and trust that God’s great love covers us and frees us.

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9

As you pause and breathe this truth in, everything else pales.  It does not disappear, it pales.  We are still very much surrounded with each of our realities, they just no longer have power over us.  Whenever our circumstances and feelings threaten to take us captive, we must remind ourselves and others of the truth.  God’s great love for us and His plan for our salvation is the only reason we can take the next step.  Make the hard phone call.  Forgive one more time.  Fold one more piece of clothing.  Drive to visit again.  Answer with kindness.  Get out of bed today.

My six-year old absolutely loves Sunday School.  At our church, they have been studying the Fruit of the Spirit, using the Music Machine CD and books.  The other day, my husband was trying as gently as possible to explain to our son that the Music Machine and Agape Land were not real, and he could not really go there.  I was thinking about the problems that I was praying for and what we each face everyday.  As I brought each situation before God’s truth, it kept landing on the fact that the pain and conflict in this world can be traced back to the search for real love and people trying to create their own feelings.  Just like the Music Machine is a picture for our children to learn about God’s love and a place other than a sinful earth, we must too learn that where there is an absence of God, there is no love.  The pain we face, the ungodly laws that are passed, the fear that grips us are results of an absence of real love.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.   

1 John 4:7-8

The evil one would like to convince people that God is either all condemnation or all love.  Both of those are lies, because they are not the complete truth.  God is absolutely holy and perfect, therefore we have to face condemnation if it were not for His great love.  God loves us perfectly.  The moment we confess our sins, our desires to do it our way, our misconceptions that we don’t need Him…His salvation is for us.  We get to experience His perfect love.

His perfect love dims our circumstances, drawing our eyes up to Him.  We are not consumed; we are loved.  We are not fearful; we are loved.  We are not abandoned; we are loved.  Before we were formed, He carefully planned our salvation.

He so absolutely wanted to delight in us.  To have a relationship with us.  In His holiness, He sent Jesus to take our place on the cross, that we may be invited to be forgiven.  He created us, knowing we would stray.  That there would be pain.  He created us, knowing He would rescue us.  That doesn’t minimize His holiness; the gift of salvation magnifies God’s holiness.  It shows us how real His perfection, how deep His love, and how far His forgiveness stretches.  That we might be called children of God.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

1 John 3:1

Sister, I encourage you today to take whatever situation you are facing back to the gospel.  Ask God to wash your feelings and the details of your day in His great love, anew.  Remember this is not the end.

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