You are loved. With a love unmatched and unparalleled by anything else. With a love incomprehensible to the human mind. A love so great, so unfathomable that many will never fully comprehend its depth this side of heaven.
In the book of Isaiah, God tell of His love for us. God speaks these words over you, over me, as an affectionate Father whispers I love you in the quiet, intimate moments before lying his child to sleep. He says:
But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you…”
– Isaiah 43:1-4a (emphasis mine)
God says, “I love you.” Receive that. Know that. Let that permeate every part of your being.
God. Loves. YOU.
Rest assured that when tempests rage, floods threaten, and fires encroach, the love of God remains. Secure. A lifeboat to endure the storms of life.
We tend to focus on the storm. To allow our circumstances, weaknesses, shortcomings, pain, sicknesses, anxiety, brokenness, or discouragement occupy our thoughts, but this will never do. It is only by allowing God to be our focal point that we will endure.
Scripture tells us the story of Peter walking on water. Focused intently upon Jesus, Peter did the impossible as he got out of a boat and walked toward Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. “But,” we are told, “when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink…” (Matthew 14:30). Like Peter, the moment we take our eyes off our Savior, we begin to sink. Yet each time, we sink, Jesus takes hold of us––as he did Peter––and says, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” For it is doubt that compels us to look away from God to the ominous circumstances surrounding us. But all the while God lovingly encourages, “Get your eyes on Me! Focus on Me. Be preoccupied with Me. And you will be saved.”
And the moment we fix our eyes upon God once again, the storms of life––though they may rage on––somehow become bearable. They grow smaller in the presence of our mighty God, and we begin to understand that we can, in fact, do all things through Jesus (Philippians 4:13)––that we are loved and protected by the God of the impossible (Luke 18:27). The God who hung planets and stars in the sky (Genesis 1:16). The God who holds all things together by the power of His word (Colossians 1:17).
This is our God.
And our God is for us, not against us.
Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Peace is given, even in the midst of our storms. But we must keep our eyes fixed on God and receive His peace by faith, secure in His love for us.
Jude 1:21 tells us to “keep yourselves in God’s love.” I like that. It’s a call to remain. To stay in the love of God. It reminds me of when Jesus told us to abide in His love (John 15:9-11). But the question, of course, is how? I’m convinced the answer lies in the direction of our occupation. We must be occupied with God. We must let His love encompass us. We must let our thoughts be of Him––of His faithfulness, His love, His mercy, His grace, and His ability to see you through.
For love, truly, conquers all.
Know that God loves you with a love that will not let you go. A love that will not give up on you. A love that relentlessly pursues you despite what your record says. Despite your rebellion. Despite you continual failings. Quite honestly, despite yourself.
Lean into God’s love today and focus your eye on Him.
My prayer for you is this:
…I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
– Ephesians 3:14-21 (emphasis mine)
Any thoughts? Share in the comments.