Encouragement for Today - June 17, 2009
June 17, 2009
The Strength of Love
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, ‘says the Lord, who has compassion on you” Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
When my first husband died I was devastated. Weakened by grief, I ached inside as if someone punched me in the stomach and knocked the breath out of me. Perhaps you know that painful, empty feeling too.
At times, my need for his comforting touch was so strong it would play tricks on my mind. Once, I saw a man with brown, wavy hair driving a red truck just like my husband’s truck and I followed him for miles. As my heart pounded with hope, nothing else mattered more in that moment than me catching that truck. I was willing to drive to the ends of the earth if necessary. When I finally caught up with him at a red light and our eyes met, my fantasy ended with a devastating halt. It felt as if the man in the truck had played a cruel joke on me. Weakened by the truth, I pulled over into a nearby parking lot, laid across the seat of my car and wept for hours. Night began to fall as the sun set in the sky. I was chilled as the temperature inside the car turned cool. Sitting up, I wiped my face, zipped up my coat, and headed for home—alone.
Awful things may happen to us as a result of living in this fallen world, but our hope lies in God’s everlasting and unchanging love. I’m learning that God’s love strengthens us, restores us, and is always available to us.
When darkness surrounds me, I remember that Christ experienced dark days too. Even though Jesus was fully God, He was also fully man. During His early ministry, Jesus experienced times of pain and anxiety just as we do. In the garden of Gethsemane, He endured great pain as He faced His fate—death on a cross. Never once in the garden did Christ thank God for the pain. He didn’t rejoice in His fear, nor was He grateful for His suffering. In the flesh of man, He experienced deep sorrow, desertion, and anxiety. How did Christ manage to press on?
Christ endured because regardless of His circumstances, He trusted in His Father’s love. Christ knew that God’s love was the source of His strength. I imagine Jesus found comfort by quoting Isaiah 54:10 many times during His darkest hour:
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
Hear this and allow the truth of it to warm your heart, soothe your pain, and calm your fears. God knows. He's been there, and He is there still.
Dear Lord, may every hardship we encounter be measured by the cross—Your greatest expression of love for us. Help us to see how great Your love for us truly is. And then, make us instruments of Your love for the healing of others. In Jesus Name, Amen.
by David and Nancy Guthrie
by Micca Campbell
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God’s love is like a healing ointment when we apply it to our wounds. Mediate on the power verses below and allow God’s love to comfort and heal you.
Do you find it difficult to believe God loves you? Why or why not?
Will you let the love of God fill your heart and transform your life today?
Psalm 36:5, “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (NIV)
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105