Many hearts are feeling the lament of the suffering that exists in the world right now. We approach Holy Week, tomorrow is Palm Sunday – most of us are in the experience of home isolation. I don’t believe that anyone could have fathomed that this would be what life looks like a few months ago. Here we are. Our hearts seek the Lordship of Jesus Christ our Lord.
We must bring our hearts to God and trust that He hears every prayer now more than ever before. I am thankful that His Love is always faithful and Near.
In my own life, I have needed the Lord’s Presence countless times in these weeks. Remarkably, I have been witness to many miracles even though there have been times when I felt lost. I have seen bold prayers answered in the lives of many that I know. His Nearness is vivid and palpable.
These are not normal times. I find that there is no way to prepare for life “now”. The only way to live is by putting complete trust in God. To me, that meant for everything, large and small and in-between.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
I needed to pause and step back, to go again to God and ask for His Help. Prayer has been a way of life. Needing the guidance of the Holy Spirit is the most essential protection. Most of all, for my heart- I need to be filled with the Love of God. It is the Bread, the only Bread that will sustain and feed me or any of us throughout this and our lives.
John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Acts 2:46-47 “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
We are in days, unique times- but not the first times in the history of mankind when all have gathered in homes to pray to God and ask for His leadership and favor.
We need to open our hearts with gratitude for what we receive from Him. He offers us daily bread. Help us to see it and receive it. His Love, wisdom and the power of His Lordship is here for us.
God provides all the love in the world. The power of His love is here.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We are in the safe grasp of The Lord. His comfort is near to each of us. Nothing that happens in this world, no matter how grave the crises, or close up the danger feels- can or will ever alter the truth of who God is, and of His Promises to us. This time that we are all in, as difficult as it can be is to walk through, is part of a trial that we each are called to courageously face.
We cannot face it with our own strength alone. We need God’s strength. We need to call upon His Love. It is a remarkable Power.
God’s Love is granted to us as a Treasure to be given out.
Our hearts not only need to be filled by His Love for personal healing and restoration, but we are also His people- His ‘responders’, able to fulfill His will and purpose on behalf of others. We do not have such knowledge but by allowing the treasure of His Love, His pure character to move through our hearts, we become instruments of His Love. In this way, we are equipped to respond generously to the world around us. There is a call for us to love one another in courageous ways right now.
Acts 9:15 “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Christians who have spent years in prayer and had the privilege of community and study now have an opportunity to live their faith boldly, to entrust to God all of their hearts and with full belief in His enduring goodness – take all and every action in their immediate surroundings using every gift, ability, and talent for the benefit of others so that His Love is forwarded outward. What was entrusted to us, needs to be given selflessly.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Isaiah 43:2 “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.”
We are connected by our need for God.
Now, more than ever we live in a world that needs to be bound together by love. As we witness daily counts of how many are dying worldwide of COVID 19 our response can’t be fear. We need hope. We know that death is not the end of life. Yet the suffering that exists is in many other forms of loss. It is one that my words do not need to repeat.
Each reader knows too dearly what the sources of suffering are both in their own lives and in their communities near and far. It is a loss beyond words. It is economic, cultural, national, spiritual and deeply personal. It takes hearts and presses them in ways that I cannot write.
The most important thing is that suffering brings our hearts to God. We need Him desperately. He answers and is vividly Present. I am reminded that in scripture we have not been promised that life is exempt from suffering, but that it is like a refiner’s fire that strengthens us, more as we are given mercy and comfort from God- we are able to be merciful and comforting to others.
Romans 5:3-4 “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
The Way that God Loves us.
We need to pray that God’s immeasurable Love runs like rivers of mercy.
Today and in the next days and weeks, I pray that you will receive fresh fillings of God’s Love in your hearts. Jesus Christ is our Lord. Most especially, remember as I hope that I do- it is a time to love one another. If we each search our hearts we will find that there are some that we need to reach out to and others that we need to forgive. We may have burdens on our hearts that need to be brought to the Lord. He is There, miraculously able to be with each of us to transform it all in the Power of His Love. It is personal. The Lord Jesus Christ is a personal God that we can call at any moment of the day or night.
God is always with you. His Love is constant, unwavering, steady and faithful.
1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
1 John 4:16 “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Each day as we mark this time, we can remind our hearts that it is also a beginning. We can start the days with a remembrance of God’s call to each of us to Love faithfully as He does, to remember to be generous with the Love that pours to each of our hearts and to open our hearts softly towards Him with trust, listening to the calling of His Spirit. We each have specific “instructions” on the way we need to walk forward. We will know. We will feel His prompting. God’s Loving Hand is always with us. He is always leading. Call upon the Lordship of Christ Jesus.
He is giving us all of the Love in the world. He Is All of the Love in the World.
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”
Pray boldly. Be Strong and Courageous. Put your life and heart into the Lordship of Christ Jesus.
© 2020 Linda Willows