Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Suffering of Love

I wept through my devotion time this morning, not because of personal sadness but for hearts weeping around the world...for hearts that do not know the Hope that heals. 

Hurting hearts surround each of us.  Hearts do not hurt unless they love.  God knows all about the vulnerability of love. 

1John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

John went on to say we love because He first loved us. The hurts that come from love echo the heart of God.  It melts me to think of the love it took for God to send His very heart to the cauldron of evil that is our world.  Because of love the Father sent His beloved into a world coursing toward hell.  For love's sake, God willingly endured heartache.  More revealing of the nature of love, He sent His Son not 'in power' but in total vulnerability.  He sent Him as an infant to a poor family in circumstances that appeared hopeless and even shameful.  THAT is the essence of Christmas.  THAT is the hope every hurting heart needs:  confidence in the Light that overcomes darkness. 

When the Father sent the Son, He had counted the costs of vulnerable love and loved anyway.  When we share in the fellowship of suffering, we imitate the Father.   It is in our darkest times, His light can shine the brightest. 

jesus in a manger photo: Hear is a trustworthy saying manger-cross-1-1.gif

In the Old Testament, circumcision was the sign of a covenant with God.  That pictures for me the losses of life that peel off the layers upon our hearts.  Those losses hurt so badly, but they are the door to our eternal inheritance.  Their cost has been paid by the Giver of Love.  Receive Him, receive love because when you do, the truth is this:  "...greater is He that is within you, than he that is in the world!"    There is victory in the love of God; there is hope.  And hope is eternal.

The greatest loves of this world pass away; He who had no beginning has no ending.  If your heart is hurting today--if you see a hurting heart--my prayer is that the love and Light that is Christmas will flood your soul. 

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