buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Jesus’ Love”

His Love Endures

I woke up this morning with this thought on my mind – His love endures forever. It’s the message from the 136th Psalm, which recounts the Israelite’s journey with the response of God’s love enduring forever as He carried them through as they reached the Promised Land. With that thought on my mind, I recalled the books that I have read over the last three weeks. Three different books with one theme – God carries us through those tough times because of His love for us. Not because of our goodness, but because of His.

The first book was the real life story of enduring brain trauma by Laura Story (When God Doesn’t Fix It). Her husband had a brain tumor that was removed but complications set in. When they got married, they expected a perfect life. But one and a half years in, their lives took an unexpected turn. Their story will never be perfect. Their lives are hard because God didn’t fix the problem or heal Laura’s husband. But God still carries them through. God’s love endures forever.

The next book I read was from Jerry Jenkins (Though None Go with Me) about a modern-day version of the account of Job, if he was a woman set in the early 20th century. The story is about the tragedy of this woman’s life as she endured the hardships of loss, misfortune and loneliness through the ages. She dedicated her life to God at an early age as the “experiment of obedience.” Through all the hard times, she could have cursed God; but she remembered her dedication on that day when she gave it all to Him. The pastor told her on that day that her life would not be easy. And it wasn’t. But through it all, God carried her through. God’s love endures forever.

The last book I finished yesterday was from Francine Rivers called Tamar. It’s a fictional account of the historical story of Judah and Tamar. The story is found in Genesis 38, set in the middle of the account of Joseph’s story. It’s like a little rabbit trail that the writer takes us on as we read through Joseph’s life. I’ll get back to Francine’s story in a minute. This account of Judah’s life is interesting to me.

Early on in my life, I thought Jesus’ line came through Joseph, not Judah. I mean, Joseph got the most write-up, right? So wouldn’t it stand to reason, God had selected him for the role in Jesus’ lineage? Joseph was the righteous one not Judah. Judah did a great injustice to Joseph. However, Judah played a role for God to bring Joseph to the place he needed to be in order to save the Israelites. Judah does step up in the end of the story to help right the wrong, but I don’t know why Judah was God’s man; especially after the story of Tamar. Do you know the story?

Tamar was a Canaanite woman who was given to Er, Judah’s first born son, to be his wife. Er did what was wrong in the sight of God, and God took him out of the picture. Tamar was given to the second son, Onan. Again, he also did what was wrong in the sight of God, and he too was taken out. So Tamar is without a son to carry on Judah’s line, but there was a third son. However, after two sons dying; Judah was not inclined to give this girl another chance. So she was sent back home.

After a time, she realizes Judah is not going to do the honorable thing and takes matters into her own hands. After Judah’s wife dies, Tamar sets up a plan to deceive Judah by playing a temple prostitute. The plan works; she conceives twins. One of those twins, Perez, is the one who is in the line of Jesus. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Francine’s book is about the fictional account from Tamar’s point of view. Although Tamar was a Canaanite, she began to believe in Judah’s God (fictional account). God carried her through the tragedies that she endured through those harsh times. Because Tamar did what she needed to do to carry on Judah’s line, God blessed her and gave her two sons for Judah. Judah did the right thing in the end. And maybe the story of Judah finally taking responsibility for Joseph was because of Tamar. In the end, Judah’s line continues because of God’s love endures forever.

These books made me think of God’s love for us. He really does carry us through; not because of us and our goodness, but because of His goodness and His love for us. His love does endure forever. We are His creation. He called all that He had made very good. We don’t always do what’s right in His sight. But He loves us anyway. His love is shown through His Son. His Son is our example of His love enduring forever. That truly is very good. Thank you, Jesus for Your constant love for us. Believe it and let Him carry you through.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-4

 

Advertisements

Suffering Through

I sprained my ankle last week. It was the same ankle that I broke eighteen years ago this month. When I had my injury back then I didn’t go to the emergency room when it happened. I thought everything would be better the next day. I was wrong. I suffered greatly through the night. Last week, I revisited my previous injury. I thought about what I had suffered back then and the agony of waiting until the next morning. Through that night, I couldn’t do anything but crawl around my apartment to get from one point to another. When I made it to my bedroom, I stayed there the rest of the night. The ice didn’t last long; the pain medication wasn’t available yet, so there I laid there suffering on my bed until my parents arrived at lunchtime the next day. This time it wasn’t that bad.

I have had a few occasions in my life where I have dealt with major pain. When I was in my mid twenties I suffered from Rocky Mountain spotted fever. I thought I was going to die. The pain was intense and affected every single bone and joint. I had a hysterectomy ten years ago this month (July is a bad month for me!). I thought that pain was going to kill me as well. The morphine I was given didn’t touch the pain. After the first day, I didn’t even press the magical button because I knew the medication wouldn’t give me any relief. It’s been a long time since I have dealt with the throbbing pain of a hurt body. My ankle last week was not nearly as extreme as the RMSF or the hysterectomy or the first ankle injury. This was a reminder for me that I am very fortunate that I don’t live with pain and suffering on a constant basis. And also Jesus suffered so much more than I could ever imagine.

I don’t know why we have to suffer as we do except we live in a broken world. There will always be pain and suffering until Jesus comes back. When Jesus came to earth, He came to heal the sick; to heal the brokenhearted. I had a few days of minor suffering in comparison to the pain Jesus experienced – there is no comparison. I endured my pain for my body to heal physically. But Jesus endured the pain for the entire world to be healed physically, mentally and spiritually. Sin broke the world. Sin brought sickness and death. When sin broke us, God had to send a way to repair the brokenness in us. God loved us so much that He didn’t want to leave us in this broken state. Jesus was the only one who could endure the pain and suffering for us to fix us.

When we are in the middle of pain and suffering, we can come confidently to our Lord and Savior who endured the cross for us. He knows what we are enduring. If we draw near to Him, He will always draw near to us. We can ask Him to take it from us. His answer may come as “yes, not now or no.” We ask with faith in that He hears and will answer in His way. We endure with patience and let the work be finished in us for His glory. We can come to Jesus in faith and believe He answers when we call on Him. Believe that He hears but also believe He loves us with such love that He will not leave us alone in the pain. He longs to hear our voice crying out to Him and will dry our tears with His tender touch. Believe in His love even if the answer is no. There is a purpose that needs to be served in our present sufferings. If you are ready to be healed, in every regard (physically, mentally and spiritually) ask.

My ankle is better with prayer and ice! But my soul is content in His tender embrace.

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. Psalm 6:2-4

Post Navigation