31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)
How different would our lives be if we could live without fear? If the anxious moments would shrink away, shriveling in the light of God’s love, how would we view our lives, our loved ones, our circumstances, ourselves? If we could fully see the truth of God’s love for us, and accept the reality of His goodness and greatness instead of being stuck in mire of our pasts, our problems, our pains… how much more joy would fill our hearts? How much more could we do?
The truth of the situation is that God knows what a mess we all are – collectively and individually. He has always known what a mess we would become. Before Eve was tempted by the serpent, before God breathed life in Adam’s nostrils, before the Creator hung the first stars in the night sky, He knew the depths that human depravity would reach. He knew sin – the very antithesis of His will and ways – would come in like a blight and infect all of His creation.
But here is the amazing thing (as if with God there was only one amazing thing…): while God gets angry, His anger is righteous. He is not out to smote His people. God sees our situation(s) in absolutely clear, vivid, 20/20 vision, 360 degrees, from all angles. What we humans see when we look at our circumstances is blurred and skewed at best. We are imperfect, as are our perceptions.
God is absolutely perfect: He is everywhere, knows everything, can do anything. And He loves us perfectly, and nothing – nothing – any of us can do will ever stop that.
The power of God’s love is beyond our comprehension. There is nothing that can cause Him to no longer loves any of us. He uniquely and intricately designed each of us. He knows what makes each of us tick. He knows our strengths, as well as our weaknesses. He feels our sorrows, understands our burdens, knows our shortcomings.
To begin to understand the depths of God’s love for each of us, and the lengths He will go to that we may find Him, we need to look no further than the cross. God humbled Himself for us to the point of becoming one of us, living a perfect life, and dying a shameful criminal’s death for us – a sentence imposed on the most innocent man who ever lived. And He did this willingly. Jesus never shrunk away from His role as Savior. When we begin to grasp the reality of what God did for us through Jesus Christ His Son, then we start to get a glimpse of the vastness of God’s great love for each of us.
Don’t stare at your problems. Don’t wallow in your past sins and mistakes. Don’t fear imperfections and mistakes. Don’t live like a victim. Don’t believe yourself to be helpless or hopeless. “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
Do not go one more day feeling like a failure, feeling ashamed, feeling abandoned, feeling wounded. Let the love of God – let Love Himself – bind your wounds, heal your spirit, reframe your way of seeing life. Simply accept God’s great love for you with faith. Don’t try to figure it out. His gifts are not earnable (no real gift ever is). Let your heart be filled with gratitude for what the Lord has done – and continues to do – for you. Rest in His unfailing love. And, in turn, love others. Forgive. Trust God. Believe. Love.