These weeks, what will they prove at the end? Have you felt like me? Loads of burdens and stresses weigh heavy on the shoulders. Uncertainty is inevitable.
Tiring at times. Hidden fear beckons to be released to shut down all hope. Anxiety panics at each new obstacle. And yet…through it all…God says, “I AM”.
(NKJ) Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
In tiring times, we struggle to be reminded of the truth. The truth is simple. God keeps all of His promises. He keeps His word.
So when He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (NKJ) Jeremiah 29: 10-12
He means it.
The most important promise He gives us is the promise of love. True love. Not the sort of love the world gives. A love beyond limitation, a love full in forgiveness, love that is in its purest form.
This is who Christ will be.
This is who Christ is.
This is whom Christ was when He first came here.
We are probably familiar with the fact that Christ is love. Perhaps the most universal scripture is, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.”
The love chapter, found in 1 Corinthians Ch. 13, comprising of only thirteen verses discusses this promise. The scriptures have been used in weddings and sermons. Devotionals have covered the chapter. Whether in the early morning, mid afternoon, or late at night, if you are reading this, take this journey with me that God is teaching as we speak.
(NKJ) Ephesians 5:02 “And walk in love as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.”
If you would like to learn more about Christ becoming the sacrifice for us, check out Christ Became Tainted For Us
We Need Love
It wasn’t only the fact that God loved us. He gave us Christ who embodied love. Christ became not only a leader but He was the True Shepherd. Christ who not only healed those who believed in Him, but those…who didn’t. Jesus reached His hand out to the sinner, even while believers scoffed.
Understand child of God, Paul says in the beginning (NKJ) 1 Corinthians 13:2-3 “And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
We need love in our lives as well as showing genuine love to others.
So what is the true form of love? In order to learn this, we need to look at the love chapter itself.
And when we look at the love chapter we need to do a few things.
Jesus Is Love
First, we need to understand who Christ is and what Jesus is capable of. So switch out the word “love” for the word “Jesus” instead. It will read something like this starting with the fourth verse.
Jesus suffers long and is kind
Jesus does not envy.
Jesus does not parade Himself.
Jesus is not puffed up.
Jesus does not behave rudely.
Jesus does not seek His own.
Jesus is not provoked.
Jesus thinks no evil.
Jesus does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth.
Jesus bears all things.
Jesus believes in all things.
Jesus hopes in all things.
Jesus endures in all things.
Jesus never fails.
Praise God that this is a wonderful guide in testing the spirits! How truly powerful the very first sentence is of love. The very first requirement of true love is suffers long and is kind. Christians hear me now! I ask among all of us, when did Christ ever play the victim card?
He didn’t. But we are guilty of this. For as much as we proclaim to believe and follow Christ, we have chosen to become victim to this world. This ideology is, has, and will tear believers apart from Jesus in daily life.
False Doctrine Of Pain
This world teaches the doctrine that by giving our all we will be hurt. It teaches us to bear that pain within our heart. But this teaching is false. Pain is loss in this world. The world teaches to gain strength from weakness, but this only creates a hollow broken shell.
A shell that continues to cry out, “I’ve tried my best. I gave my best. I was taken advantage of. I’m waiting for my miracle from this pain.”
A trembling voice echoes numbly inside, “No one cares. I have to grow on my own.”
Weakly, the voice tries to reassure the self, “I am my own strength.”
We Cannot Bear Pain For Strength
That which is broken cannot rebuild itself. All of this teaching is false and this is why people struggle. This is why people rock back and forth crying out for help, yet all the while, still feeling chained to the ground.
God doesn’t want us to bear pain for the rest of our lives. Yet, in this twisted web of irony, instead of letting go we choose to hold onto that pain. We believe the lie that we shouldn’t try because we will only be hurt. We believe the lies of loss.
But in truth, we GAIN when we give our all. Yes, we may be stepped on. Yes, we may be taken advantaged of. Such is the fact of life from the falling of man. But are we to truly desire pain over healing?
We reach out to the hearts of others and help those in need. Joy is given to us. But on the days when our efforts seem unnoticed and burdens pile upon us…we choose to hold on instead of let go. We either gain pain or joy and we have the CHOICE of which to hold onto.
What Is True Love
Hold onto what is good beloved. And when we are weak, be reminded, we do have a sound strength within. But that strength is not of our own being. No, this strength comes from only the Alpha and Omega.
(NKJ) 2 Corinthians 12: 09 “ “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.””
The power of Christ can rest upon our shoulders in stressful times. How great is our God! How mighty is His name! Earlier, I mentioned we have to understand who Christ is and what Christ is capable of. All statements involving Jesus are true of Him.
From this we can gather our answer about love.
If Jesus is love, then true love is to be Christ-like.
When We Embody Love
Here is the secret of the blog’s title. Switch the word love, from what we used previously, which was Jesus, to now “I”.
I suffer long and am kind
I do not envy.
I do not parade myself.
I am not puffed up.
I do not behave rudely.
I do not seek my own.
I am not provoked.
I think no evil.
I do not rejoice in iniquity but I rejoice in the truth.
I bear all things.
I believe in all things.
I hope in all things.
I endure in all things.
I never fail.
No matter how far we are with our relationship with Christ we will always have some part of love to work on. We are imperfect and that’s why we need Someone who isn’t. But I believe God is opening the eyes of the scripture. There is a pattern by the choice of selection Paul uses.
The Secret Of Love
If we can suffer long and are kind, then we will probably not be envious especially of those we view in “better” circumstances than ourselves.
If we are not envious, then we will not brag or “parade” ourselves to gain attention of others.
If we do not parade ourselves, then we are not puffed up.
If we are not arrogant or pompous, then we will not behave rudely.
If we do not behave rudely, then we do not seek for our sake rather we seek the benefit of others.
If we do not seek our own, then we are not provoked because it is not about us.
If we are not provoked, then we think no evil.
If we think no evil, then we do not delight in the backsliding of sin but we rejoice in the truth.
If we rejoice in the truth, then we can bear all things because of the truth we know.
If we can bear all things, then we can believe in all things. We know we can believe through Christ who gives us strength.
If we believe in all things, then we can hope in all things.
If we hope in all things, then we can endure in all things.
And if we can endure in all things, we cannot fail.
The words “to bear” and “to endure” are almost identical.
However, I believe that the word choice “bear” is used first because it is more of a toleration or even swallowing our pride. Later on “endure” is used. To endure can also mean to suffer connecting to the very beginning of love. We suffer long and are kind.
Love is a consistent and active cycle.
This is the true power of love. True love teaches us faith. We follow the example Christ has given us. We do not waver and we do not bend when the world beckons.
So when we feel the weight of uncertainty, stress, and even panic, believe in these words.
If we can endure, we cannot fail because God keeps His promises in time according to His greater plan. Above all else, we are loved by Him.
We are not, nor will ever be forgotten.
(Pictures used are from Pixabay)