*This post has been edited, from the original. After a comment from Karen, and a reread, I realized I may have stated a couple of things in such a way that it could leave you misunderstanding my point*
Most everyone on this earth, has heard that God loves us. Many have even sang songs with lyrics such as...
"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
I wonder though, when we are really struggling, does someone telling us that God loves us really help us to believe that He does?
Does reading Jesus loves me, even in the Bible, help us to truly walk in the love that came and died for each of us, personally?
I don't think so, not when we are struggling. It might help us feel better for the moment, or it might not.
Now, I am not saying that it is wrong to read the Bible for help or share the truth about Gods love with others; nor is it wrong to remind each other of this great unchanging love. God has given us the gift of friendship, so that we can come along side one another on this journey and impart hope and truth.
This love, however, is received and acknowledged through experience with God.
This love is received and acknowledged as we continually turn to Jesus and ask Him to help us live, walk, and breath in the revelation of His love active in our lives.
To say "Oh, I know God loves me." and leave it at that, is by far short changing ourselves.
I have realized that in many ways, I do not know God's love for me.
In some areas of my life, I still question. I still doubt.
If I truly believed, and had a redemptive revelation of His love in every imaginable area of my life, my heart and my soul, I would always be fully aware of His heart toward me. I would never worry or doubt that He is working on my behalf, through the power of His Spirit.
I am learning and growing though. I am learning that when I question or feel worry come into my heart, to turn to Jesus and ask Him to give me a revelation of His love for me in that particular area.
I am learning that as I trust in HIM to do this work in me it enables me to love Him, and trust Him more.
I have many times heard people tell others that they just need to know God loves them, trust God more, believe God.
I used to be one of the people who would try to encourage others with statement such as these. But, not anymore...When someone is struggling, statements like these can leave them feeling condemned and less then. If it were that easy, if they could make themselves believe, if they could make themselves trust...don't you think they would have already?
I could TELL you all day long, but it has to be God that does this work in our hearts. Now, I am not saying we should not encourage one another, just that I have realized some of what we think is encouraging...is not.
Instead of telling a friend, "you need to believe that God loves you", I would say "lets ask God to give you a revelation of His love for you."
Instead of saying "you just need to trust God" I would say "Lets ask God to help you develop an unshakable trust in His power and ability at work in your life."
It is simply taking the focus off of the person doing more, trying harder, to looking to God and asking Him to do this work in us, for us.
The wonderful thing is that God knows none of us completely arrived in any of these areas, and there is no condemnation in that. He doesn't expect us to meet Him on the playing field of almost perfect, or got it all together.
He simply wants us to turn to Him, He wants us to ask Him to help us know His love personally through our own experiences with Him.
He wants us to ask Him to help us believe all of His truth and His promises, through His work in our hearts.
He wants us to ask Him to help us to trust as we take His hand and allow Him to lead the way through our doubts.
We do not need to have it all together, even in theses areas. The areas where so many are caught in bondage or condemnation if they feel they are lacking.
After all, what kind of a Christian would admit,
that they do not always know God loves them in a persoanl way,
that they find themselves doubting God's truth and many times find it easier to believe in God's promises in the lives of others than their own.
that there are some days they worry and do not trust that God is going to come through for them in their situations and circumstance?
I will tell you what kind of a Christian, the kind that...
needs the love of the Father, Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Anyone who tells you they have never struggled in these areas is lying. We all are on a journey. None of us have arrived and it's okay to be honest and real about that.
Otherwise we denying the one thing that we do need to have...
the acknowledgement that we need Him and cannot travel this road without Him working in our hearts.
"[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!"
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