Because God so loved us that He gave, we so love that we give. God’s love is what we are to give, above all. It is a gift; therefore, it’s given without any expectation of receiving anything in return. God keeps on loving us and we keep on loving, by grace, through faith.
Forgiveness, joy and peace come as we give love. It’s not our human love that we give; it’s the unconditional love of God that has been placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Love is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit, and the one without which none of the others could exist. We recognize we are walking with the Lord by the way we love one another.
It’s not what is given in the natural that has value; it’s the love that is given through a gift. This gift can be a hug, a smile, a scripture or a cookie. The value placed on a gift is the same for all things given: the love that it carries. A hug from a heart of love is worth much more than an expensive gift from obligation. Truly the Lord Himself is a gift that never stops giving, from glory to glory!
1 John 4:11-12 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”
It is when we are drawing nigh unto God that battles come causing us to draw away from the things of God. Our adversary sees us drawing closer and closer to the Lord and wants to move us from that deep place of intimacy.
Lies the enemy speaks to us are to draw us away from our closeness with the Lord, and they are attached to a no need to declarative statement. It’s the enemy’s list of all the things we don’t need to do when we are in the midst of a trial: go to church; read and study The Word; rest in the Lord; pray; worship and many many more. Yet, it is the opposite that is true. In those times, drawing nigh unto the Lord is what we need to do more than any other thing because it’s only in His presence that we find peace and joy.
The greater the battle, the more we are to seek and remain in a face-to-face encounter with our Lord. We draw nigh unto Him with our whole heart. Even in situations where we can’t seem to find the time for prayer and worship, we can trust God sees the longing of our hearts and blesses us with His presence. It’s about quality, not quantity. Whenever there is anything pulling us back, let’s move towards our Lord, from glory to glory!
Hebrews 7:19 “…for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”
Suddenly, our lives can be shaken by various trials: a loved one is battling sickness; another went to be with the Lord; a job has been lost; or, our closest relationship is in turmoil. A sense of despair, sorrow, grief and pain overcomes our being.
Amidst tribulation, the Spirit of God stirs us up to be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world. Only by His grace can we put that into action. We press through to praise the Lord. We might read Psalms 23, Psalms 91 or other scriptures in the Bible with tears running down our cheeks. Our hearts are heavy in the midst of hardship, but we are propelled to reach for the garment of praise. It supernaturally removes the spirit of heaviness. As we proceed, comfort and hope arise in our souls. We are filled with a joy and peace that passes all understanding. Tears and fears truly disappear in the presence of the Lord.
When we praise the Lord, sorrow and fear are dispelled. It comforts and encourages those in our surroundings. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. When we express joy, by God’s grace, we bring the breaking of dawn to our night season. It’s not the joy known in the natural. It’s the fruit of the Holy Spirit, our comforter. In the midst of tears, we keep our cheers, from glory to glory!
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”