FAITH ASSISTS WITH THE ENDURANCE OF PAIN
My hope for the future comes from my faith in Jesus. Knowing He loves me more than anyone else ever could gives me the hope that my future is set in stone: No matter what anyone else says or does to me, His love for me is more important and will help me endure.
The time when I find it most difficult to feel loved is when I feel lonely. That’s when I need to reach out and connect with friends who remind me that I matter, and that I’m cared for. Through my Christian friends, I know Jesus cares for me because He places people in my life whose care for me extends from a place beyond themselves. Do you have friends who love you because they are inspired by Jesus’ love to love others? There’s nothing like the love of Jesus; it comes through so many forms, including that of other believers who have faith in His promises.
Years ago, I was resentful about life. Rather than counting my blessings, I was counting my reasons to complain because I felt so unseen —despite how so many people did actually care for me. As an unbeliever at the time, I was hurting; stubborn, closed-minded, and lonely. The hurt was caused by circumstances in life which felt beyond my control. The stubbornness and closed-mindedness—those were my choices. Because of the pain and my stubbornness, I desired the attention of romance to fill the part of me designed to be fulfilled by God in much deeper, satiating ways. Naturally, I never found what I was looking for with people because… well, people are not God. Until we believe in the love of the God of the Bible, accepting love from others carries an altogether different meaning. Recognizing the distinction between the love of others and the love of God will help us to embrace the importance of faith.
OUR MOST INTRINSIC NEED CANNOT BE FULFILLED BY THE WORLD
We all have moments where we may feel lonely. For those of us who believe in Jesus as our Lord, we can turn to Him and accept His presence like an embrace. However, when we treat people like this, sometimes we’re met with a different response than the one we’re searching for. Basically, we’re looking to another person to give to us the closure that only the love of God is designed to give us. A human doesn’t have the capacity to give to us what God can. A fellow believer can be an encourager, but their role is to bring us back to Jesus. When we view our life without God, we turn ourselves towards the next best thing, and anything less than God is never enough.
Our love of Jesus is either our saving grace, or our lack of love for Jesus is the missing piece of a more complete fulfillment in life. Jesus is our provider (Matthew 6:26) and our protector (Psalm 23: 1-4); our Redeemer (Psalm 19:14), and ‘closer than a brother’ (Proverbs 18:24). When we turn to friends without realizing the reason is to get from them what we need from God, we not only begin idolizing those things or people over faith, we also end up depriving ourselves of our most basic need: Relationship with our Creator.
Once we learn to turn to Jesus with our most basic needs, we will also learn what needs are truly left over that other people can fulfill. God gave us fellowship for that very purpose, that we would experience Him through His body (church) and not just in direct relationship with Him. We first turn to Jesus, who is our way to the Father (John 4:16), and He showers us with what we need. Because of our relationship with Jesus, and our love for Him, we gain a deeper sense of joy in our lives. With this joy, we can love the world.
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