Back in November, I had the privilege of meeting Christian music artist J. J. Heller. She's an amazing little woman with a strong, powerful voice, and she uses that voice to tell of God's love to all of us. Each of her songs tell a story of struggle and overcoming obstacles in life with the grace, mercy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Personally, she has faced many trials of her own, and like us, she would have rather not have gone through most of them. Yet, she too has learned, God is in control. He loves us and He has great plans for us. Even in our darkest hours, God can use our trials and troubles to glorify Him.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
God uses everything to glorify Him and get us where we need to be.
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:27-29 (NIV)
Sometimes, we can't see that when we are in the midst of our trials, but God loves us. He never stops loving us. No matter what happens in this world. No matter what we do or don't do, God never leaves us and He never stops loving us. As J. J. Heller says in her newest song, What love really means, ” Who will love me for me?” God will love me for me.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
What is love? God is love and love comes from God.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” Ephesians 3:17-18 (NIV)