Love never fails

Iget lots of emails from hurting souls.  Pain caused from a spectrum of situations.  Some of you are at a place of anger—feeling that the pain is unjust.  Some of you feel that it's God's will and you are going to go through it, and some of you believe that due to the consequences of your sins, you are reaping what you've sowed.  Whatever your reason: pain is pain, and it hurts. 

I know pain too.  I've given it and I've received it.  Some of it was just and some was unjust {from my perspective}.  Regardless of how we view our situations the Lord is the one allowing it.  He allows it for various reasons.  Some reasons He allows us to find out on this side of heaven, and some He does not.    What I'm finding out through my own experience and hearing from some of you is that  we are willing to go through pain when we feel it is just.  What is difficult for many is accepting the hard pain—the pain that we deem senseless.

Is there a way for us to understand the meaning of our pain?  I don't know if we can ever truly understand the meaning, but I believe there is a way for us to go through it.  A way where our heart can truly be content in trusting that His hand is fair no matter what it dishes out, and in that we can find solace. 

About a year and a half ago, I was asked to review a book.  The book came at a time when I was going through the pain of a loss relationship.  I ached and I ached bad.  I knew that ultimately good would come from what I was going through, but I also knew that getting to the other side would bring me excruciatingng pain.  A pain that I was not looking forward to going through.  As I suspected the pain was nearly unbearable.  I was about to faint and loose focus when my ram in the bush arrived.  The book came.    It was my counsel.  I carried it with me.  Marked in it.  Kept it right beside my Bible.  Put sticky notes throughout the pages.  It was my lifesaver.  I want to share a couple of excerpts from that book with you today.

Words from the book ...

All of us at some time in our lives have hurt or have been hurt by the people we love.  The pain is excruciating, almost unbearable, but whatever pain we experience, we must realize that God feels it even more.  An injustice against God's creation is an injustice against God Himself.  True justice demands retribution, but love patiently endures the pain because it realizes a higher purpose.  Even Jesus said, 'If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? ... If you are kind only to your friends how are you different from anyone else? ... But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.'  { Matt. 5:46-48 NLT}.

The greatest injustice in this world was the crucifixion of Jesus.  Christ did not deserve to die, nor did He have to die.  Out of that injustice, however, came the most perfect act of love this world has ever known. 

Jesus asked the apostle Peter the night He was betrayed, 'Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly?  But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?'  {Matt. 26: 53-54}  Jesus was willing to suspend justice even at the cost of horrific suffering in order that He might fulfill a higher purpose and secure eternal life for us.  That is true love!

The bible says, 'Love suffers long' { 1 Cor. 13:4).  What injustices have you had to endure for the sake of love?  How long is your love willing to stay retribution in order to accomplish something even greater?  Perhaps you are a counselor or a pastor, pouring out your life to individuals who never show their appreciation for your efforts.  Maybe you are a single parent spending countless hours training your children.  It could be that you are a businessman who has been fired for the mistakes of a fellow employee, a victim of a drunk-driving accident suffering from intractable pain, or a young adult healing from an abusive childhood.  Whatever your situation, be encouraged.  You have a promise from the One whose love for us endured more pain than we will ever know or understand. 'Love never fails' { 1 Cor. 13:8}.  As long as you are willing to wait for justice, there is time enough to see the power of love heal broken relationships, tear down walls of bitterness and discrimination, and restore the peace that passes all understanding.

Will you claim this promise as your own?  Do you believe that God can take any problem or trying circumstance in your life and turn it into good?  If so, then turn that circumstance over to Him.  You'll be amazed at how your long-suffering leads you to find joy that only God's love can bring { 1 Peter 1: 6-9}.

Finding purpose beyond our pain

Finding purpose beyond our pain {audio}


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