Enduring Love

Enduring Love

Enduring Love

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Written by Ann Margaret McIntosh.

The last 3 years have been filled with loss…my position at my dream job was eliminated, the ministry where I had invested my heart and soul fell apart, dear friends moved away, I had to move when my heart didn’t want to, diseases ravaged my family leading to physical and emotional death, dreams were shattered, and my own health issues have been quite challenging. Life is hard.  One of my greatest temptations when life is hard is to fall prey to the belief that God isn’t good, that He doesn’t see me, He doesn’t hear me, He doesn’t “really” love me.

There is a pervading belief in today’s American church culture that obedience to Christ means life will work out perfectly as planned. I cannot seem to find this in the gospel. One thing we are promised is difficulty and suffering. (Now, how is that for a promise?) Quite frankly, I like the former belief much more than the latter, but the Bible is full of examples of men and women loved by God who endured hardship.  The Bible is also clear about God’s sovereignty, His Lordship, and His goodness in the midst of the most difficult of circumstances.

We live in a fallen world. Bad things ARE going to happen AND God still loves us. He loves us when it feels like He is not there. He loves us when we’ve made a terrible mistake. He loves us when life is falling apart. Isaiah 63:9 says, “In all their distress, He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In his love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days.” God hurts when we hurt. He wants to lift us up and carry us through the hurt. We will not escape difficulty in this life but Romans 8:28 promises He will work these difficulties out for our good if we love Him.

This morning, I decided to structure my own psalm after that of Psalm 136, which repeats, “His love endures forever” 26 times. I won’t write all of it here, but will allow you to see a small excerpt…

When obedience means sacrificing my own desires for the greater good

His love endures forever

When I am rejected

His love endures forever

When the disease is not cured and results in the death of my loved one

His love endures forever

What would your psalm look like? Some of the greatest examples of Christ’s love on this earth are people who have undergone excruciating circumstances, chosen to give God those circumstances, and have allowed Him to redeem them. Give Him your circumstances and see how He redeems them.

HE STILL LOVES YOU!

HE WILL NOT ABANDON YOU TO THE GRAVE!

 You can read more about Ann Margaret here.

 

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