Recently a very special woman of God and dear friend sent me a sweet little card. It was just a note to remind me of how much I am loved by her and by our God. It is not uncommon of her to send me little words of encouragement from time to time. She has faithfully sent them to me for some 15 years now. It never ceases to amaze me that when she sends them they are always right on time with a word that I need to hear for a situation that I am facing at that time.
I know it is our Heavenly Father that put it on her heart to send me this little love note because it came on a day that I would totally miss the mark. I mean I messed up big time. That's right I'm am one of those imperfect Christians. I am fully aware that as long as I'm here in this world living in this flesh of mine that I will fall short. I know that I can become a slave to whatever I choose to obey, sin or God. So when I fall short I try to quickly confess my shortcomings to God, repent, and then I try to receive His forgiveness. However often times first I go through an awful battle with a spirit of condemnation, guilt, and shame that attacks my mind. That's where I was at when I felt led to reread her note. Part of my dear friend's note read:
God bless you my Lisa and always keep you safe, full of peace and joy!
The Holy Spirit knew that I would feel down on myself that evening for my shortcomings. My peace and joy were gone. He knew condemnation would try to fling its nasty accusations and put downs at me. He did not want me to sit in a pile of 'woe is me' dung. He made sure that card made it to me right on time. He wanted me to know that NO MATTER WHAT my Heavenly Father loves me. He wanted me to know that He saw and He knew what I would do, but that Jesus is on my side sticking up for me. He loves me regardless of my shortcomings. He believes in me no matter what others have to say. No matter what I do, or don't do, nothing I can ever face in this world will EVER separate me from the love of God, NOTHING.
So He had her send this note to me with Romans 8:35-39 written in it knowing that I would search out His Word. I read it and I have been so encouraged in my heart ever since by these verses that I have read plenty of times. This time though I felt led to read them out of the Message Bible. I would like to share these verse with you now:
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. - Romans 8:35-39 - The Message (MSG) -emphasis mine
Isn't that just beautiful? He loves us!! He loves us NO MATTER WHAT! Thank you Jesus!
I want to encourage whoever is reading this to allow these verses to get down deep in your heart. I pray that the Holy Spirit would give us power to really understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His is love is for us. May we experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to fully understand. Then we will be made complete with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)
We need to remember that God is not some far away being. He is near to us. He cares about every detail of our lives. Even though we will face troubles in this world, that does not mean that He has abandoned us. He has given us His Spirit to help us get through and overcome in any situation, in any circumstance. No problem is too big for Him to solve. He has given us His Spirit to help us to forgive ourselves and others. Yes even our accusers, persecutors, or haters. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us and helps us to love the unlovely, to share the same mercy and grace that we have been given, to continue to do good and believe even when we feel we just can't any more. He helps us not to give up. It is His love that comforts us and gives us hope, confirmation, direction, and encouragement.
He is not mad at us. He hates to see us hurt. He hates to see us fall for the traps that the demonic spirits set for us. He hates to see us being led by our flesh, instead of by His Spirit because He wants to see us walk victoriously. He wants to see us live life abundantly, free from the bondage of our sin nature.
This card confirms to my heart that He loves us and does not give up on us even when we fall short. He does not give us the silent treatment or lose hope in us.
Let us open our eyes and allow even creation to testify to the love of God. Let us look at how He has blessed us today. Look at how we are still alive today because He still has a plan and a purpose for us here. He is NOT done with us yet. Mediate on His love and realize that His love is what has really set us free. We don't have to sit in a pile of condemnation when we fall short. Let us instead be humbly sorry for our sins and run to His throne room for help and mercy. He will be faithful to give it to us. Then let us turn away from what is causing us to stumble. He will help us to overcome whatever it is that is trying to overtake us.
"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." - 1 Corinthians 10:13
Let's choose to endure and let's choose to let him continue the good work that He has started in us. He is not finished with us yet. His love will help us grow and change daily. Allow His love to embrace you.