In the event of a crime, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to assist in providing justice.
Why is this necessary, you may ask?
Because every little piece of matter involved in the crime matters. It matters because it tells a story. It matters because it gives us all the important details of the facts of the incident. Regardless of how long the case has been open or closed, all pertinent evidence is essential to giving an accurate account of the crime that took place. Making sure that all the evidence is not tampered with, hidden, or destroyed is vital to solving a case.
But why is all of this so important, when the crime that was committed cannot be undone?
In some cases, the damages caused by a crime can be compensated through financial resources or community service done by the convict. However, there are countless tragic cases where the damages caused by the crime resulted in a permanent loss, such as a person’s life. Since it is impossible to bring someone back from the dead, you may wonder what good it does to collect as much evidence as possible, even when the prime suspect has already been captured.
Even though it might seem futile to collect evidence after the fact, it is still vital because of how it brings all the pieces of the puzzle together. This matters because the entire picture of the situation needs to be visible in order to be understood. Fully understanding the details of a given crime allows the investigators to assess what needs to be done to make the criminal answer to justice. Sometimes though, too much time passes before the case is totally resolved, and it grows cold as a result. Thus, the tragic circumstances of injustice fall into the shadows of obscurity, forgotten by society as a whole.
Sometimes, we might feel the same way regarding the unfortunate circumstances in our lives.
We are tempted to think that just because days, weeks, months, and years pass by, that our situation no longer matters, either in general, or to God. We feel faded and forgotten, waiting on the edge of our seats, forcing ourselves to take that next breath. Satan certainly does his part to amplify these unpleasant feelings, stirring up a deadly concoction of anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and despair. He knows that the more toxic ingredients he poisons our minds with, the more we will choke on our own thoughts and become desensitized to God’s truths, which are characterized by the breath of Life.
The truth is, no matter how forlorn or forsaken we feel about circumstances in our lives, they still matter to God, just as WE still matter.
Here are some helpful reminders that the things that matter the most to us regarding our personal situation also matter very much to God:
1.We are God’s special creation.
The very fact that God took the time to mold us and shape us in our mother’s womb proves that He is a deeply personal God Who cares just as deeply about all that concerns us. He knew us long before we were even born, and designed a special place for us in His ultimate plan. Because we have an important purpose to fulfill in this world, which is intended to bring God glory, we are valuable to Him beyond words. Everything that pertains to our well being in every aspect of our existence is what God is very much interested in. Therefore, what matters to us, no matter how small, matters to Him. This does not mean that He will always agree with our thoughts and ideas, since we are inherently sinful, but He cares about the feelings of our heart, since they are intrinsically connected to our mind and soul. He is invested in guiding us through every shifting emotion that travels through our innermost selves, seeking to provide us reassurance and wisdom with His truth.
2.He has witnessed every single event of our lives.
From the moment we are born to the very second you are reading this, God has seen everything that has ever happened to you. He not only saw it from His unique perspective of omniscience and infinity, but He also watched it take place up close and personal, through your eyes. Since He knows all things from every angle, He is fully aware of each perspective and aspect of your unique situation. Because He has done this and continues to do this, He knows exactly how everything in your life has personally affected you, no matter how minor you might consider it to be. He has always been with you since your very beginning, and He will remain with you forever yet to come. This special power of His grants Him the dual perception of His infinite wisdom and your human perspective. He is able to comprehend all your circumstances and details of your life simultaneously, as well as how those things directly relate to everyone in your life, and His purpose for the world as a whole.
3.He loves us unconditionally.
We will never be able to fathom just how deep and wonderful the love of God is for us. The story of the gospel is a perfect example of this fact. While we were yet sinners, meaning continuously sinning indefinitely, Christ DIED for us. We are so incredibly undeserving, yet He saw fit to save us from Hell so we could fellowship with Him in Heaven for all eternity. This is biblical evidence that God cares about us no matter what tricks the Devil tries to play on our minds. Nothing can separate us from the power of God’s love, not even Satan’s psychological and spiritual manipulation. Because he loves us so much, God feels our feelings with us. He weeps when we weep. He feels rage at injustice even more strongly than we do. He mourns for whatever loss our heart is suffering from, while maintaining His perspective of wisdom and hope. For this reason, He is our Rock, our Refuge, our Shelter, and our Hiding Place. So whatever important circumstances are weighing heavily deep down in your soul are of the utmost interest to Him.
With this knowledge, we can be fully reassured that all the pieces of evidence in our personal circumstances are secured in God’s mighty hands.
No matter how helpless we may feel against the circumstances of our life, we don’t have to be imprisoned by a victim mindset, because God is our divine Rescuer. He knows all the facts of what happened, through your eyes, other people’s eyes, and HIS eyes. His eyes run to and fro throughout the earth, beholding that which is evil and good. He is our perfect, infallible Witness, and also a very just Judge. He has every situation under His control, even when it doesn’t look like it. He cares too much about us to let our cases grow cold. He has all the vital information stored in His safekeeping. He won’t forget what happened to us, or why it’s important to us. Because it matters to us, it matters to Him, because WE matter to Him. This isn’t because we’ve done anything special to deserve His care, but because of just how good and loving HE is, and the fact that He MADE us. He will not forget about us or our circumstances, because He has already secured all the evidence in the palms of His hands.
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9a
“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.” – Psalm 82:3
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” – Psalm 139:13-17
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” – Ephesians 1:4
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – Hebrews 13:5
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” – Titus 3:4-5
Ever since the beginning of Creation, words have been used to speak things into existence, whether through physical manifestation from God Himself, or through the manifestation of ideas and thoughts from the minds and mouths of humans. Since we are all created in the divine image of God, we are capable of using words in powerful ways, even though we are drastically limited by our fallen, sinful state.
How we use our words, however, is a choice, given to us by God with the gift of free will.
This gift of free will is a privilege our Creator gave us to use with wisdom, as our words and actions directly affect every aspect of our lives. We should choose our words carefully in every situation, because they can have positive or negative effects on the people around us. As believers in Christ, we are endowed with the sacred duty of showing God’s love to others in our lives, no matter who they might be. The words we say can be some of the most potent tools in our collection to spiritually benefit others, or they can become deadly weapons if they are used selfishly in the flesh.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why we should exhibit the greatest care and caution when choosing our words:
They directly reflect the spiritual condition of our hearts.
The words we say to others, whether they are spoken or written, show the contents of our minds and hearts. As Christians, we are tasked with the responsibility to show the fruits of the Spirit. When we are producing the fruits of the Spirit like we’re supposed to, people will know that we are rightly related to God in our personal walk with Him. When we are right with God in our hearts, the fruits of the Spirit will be produced naturally, and the words that flow from us will freely show His influence in our lives. Apart from God, we can do nothing on our own; in Him we live, move, and have our being. Therefore, it is only natural that we should turn to Him daily to help us govern the words that proceed from our minds and mouths. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can change the course of someone’s day, or even their life itself, if we choose our words carefully with God’s love and wisdom. The fruits of the Spirit are unmistakable, while it is also very telling when they are missing in a person’s life. If someone is choosing to use his or her words out of the selfishness of his or her flesh, he or she is missing out on the daily opportunity to be a blessing to someone else around him or her. Rather than benefiting themselves by using their words selfishly, they are depriving themselves of having a profound impact as a positive influence in another person’s life. Rather than choosing the option of showing God’s love to others with his or her words, the selfish person is taking the opposite approach by becoming a negative influence in someone’s life with his or her words. We never know just how much influence we may have on another person, so it is absolutely imperative that we exercise loving wisdom and discretion with the words we say. All this is because…
2. The words we say or write cannot be easily erased or forgotten.
Just as we never know how much influence we might have on another person, we also never know just how long the words we say might stay in someone else’s mind. If we use our words to encourage someone else when they need our help, we can potentially cause them to be inspired and not give up. As a result of our caring words towards them, they may remember us later on in a special way, as the person who was there for them when they truly needed us the most. No greater honor can be bestowed upon someone than being another person’s friend in a time of need. Even if we are not remembered for our kind words in the future, God remembers our efforts to show His love to other people in our lives, and that’s all that really matters anyway. However, if we are careless with what we say, especially when deliberately acting out of a selfish heart, we can cause irreparable damage to someone else’s very heart, mind, and soul. The old saying about “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a LIE. Words DO hurt, because they not only come from inside our heart and mind, but they also reach directly into other people’s hearts and minds. Even if we say something hurtful to someone and apologize for it afterwards, they might never forget what you said, even if they choose to forgive you. Even if trust and peace is somehow eventually restored, the damage has already been done, and that person’s mind and heart will probably take years to recover from the emotional injury. Apologies and forgiveness might be given, but words can never be taken back once spoken. The things we say can have a lasting impact on the world around us, for better or for worse. We may eventually forget what we said, but the words we choose will follow us wherever we go. This also includes the fact that…
3. The words we speak echo into the halls of eternity.
The Bible tells us that we will have to give a personal account to God Himself for “every idle word” someday, when we each stand before Him. If God cares about all the little careless things that come out of our mouths every single day, imagine how much He cares about all the rest of the things we say. We should never take our words lightly, even the ones that were spoken in haste, because our words are serious business to God. Surely, the One Who created the human tongue, heart, and mind cares greatly about all the thoughts that proceed from them! How foolish are we to assume that God doesn’t care about the things we say, when we are created in His divine Image! As Scripture informs us of the truth that our bodies are bought with a price, that also includes our hearts, minds, and mouths. Therefore we should take extra care and concern with whatever comes out of our lips, regarding the things we say to other people. While we will not be condemned for whatever we have already confessed to Him, we should still strive to be conscientious about any other areas that may have escaped our awareness. While this is not meant to make us paranoid, it is simply a truth that should make us more sober minded once we realize that each and every one of us will have to face our Creator before eternity.
Here are some of God’s own Words that prove He cares greatly about the weight of the words we say:
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 – “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”
Matthew 5:37 – “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
Matthew 12:33-36 – “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Galatians 5:22-25 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Colossians 3:8-10 – “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”
1 John 4:19-21 – “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
1 John 1:5-10 – “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
As you can see, the words we say do indeed have weight to them, and we should always do our best to handle them with care.
Our wordsmatter. Words have meaning, or else they wouldn’t exist; there wouldn’t be any reason to use them otherwise. Without meaning and purpose, why would we need them? Regardless of whether or not we alwaysmean the words we say, they still always retain their inherent meaning. God knew that in order to interact with His special creation made in His divine Image, it would be necessary to bless man with the gift of human speech. This priceless gift allows us to communicate with others, a privilege that no other part of Creation has been given. We are capable of intelligent thoughts, and have the abilities to communicate effectively if we choose to use this gift the right way. Communicating with other people is a special ability that should never be taken for granted; it should be treasured as a valuable way to interact with other beings created in God’s likeness.
Sadly, because of the first sin of mankind in the Garden of Eden, the special gift of communication has been corrupted since the conclusion of Creation. Each and every day, we have a choice to make – we can use our words either to bless or curse people. As children of God, we have a responsibility to not only bear His divine Image, but also to showcase our Christlike testimony through the help of the Holy Spirit. It is our own free will, a God-given privilege, that allows us to make this choice whenever we verbally interact with others. We are bound by the blood of Christ to show compassion to other people, since the words we say ring hollow when we don’t reflect His love in our hearts. Since human hearts are extremely fragile, it is our duty, especially as Christians, to weigh our words carefully, lest we run the risk of shattering someone else’s soul.
To some extent, that statement is true. Whether we like it or not, we have all gone through something (or several things) in our lives that left us in a very dark place for a very long time. When we finally emerged from the situation, we found that we could never be the same way again, the way we used to be before it happened.
Yes, these are the dark circumstances that scar us, the situations that Satan uses to try to destroy us. If you think you haven’t experienced a traumatic event in your life yet, you can almost count on it to happen at some point in the future. For those of us who have already survived dark circumstances, however, we know just how hard it can be to reclaim our inner peace and heal our broken hearts.
Sometimes it feels like we’ll never get better.
No matter how much time passes after our traumatic experiences, it often feels like we’ll never reach the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. It seems to be taking forever for our hearts to heal, despite our desire to just “get over” whatever it was that happened to us. We tell ourselves that there must be something wrong with us, since there are many things to be thankful about, and yet we still can’t force ourselves to just “be happy.” Other people might tell us to stop whining, complaining, or feeling sorry for ourselves, because there are so many people in the world who might have it worse. While in some cases we might be guilty of falling into self-pity, and there are certainly always going to be other people who “have it worse” than us, that in NO way invalidates the pain that we feel in the aftermath of a traumatic event.
If your heart is feeling pain for a long period of time, then there has to be a valid reason for it, regardless of what other people say.
Fortunately for us though, our lives aren’t supposed to revolve around what other people say about us. When they fail to understand what we’re going through without making an effort to help or listen, they have no right to judge or criticize our pain. If we know the Lord as our personal Savior, He will ALWAYS understand what we feel and why we feel it. His Word promises that He is close to the brokenhearted, and that truth will never, ever change. (Psalm 34:18 ~ “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”)
Just remember: whatever pain you’re going through, God will use to make you new.
When people say that everything happens for a reason, it’s not some random chance of fate that was the result of some explosion in the vast cosmos. Even though God doesn’t like to see us in pain, He has a divine purpose for our suffering. God desires to make us stronger in Him by strengthening our faith in the midst of trials. (James 1:3-4 ~ “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”) It’s a long, tedious process to build strength, whether in a physical or spiritual context. The end results aren’t going to happen overnight, even though we wish they could. Therefore, it is hugely unfair for us to beat ourselves up emotionally just because we’re not in a better place yet like we want to be.
Healing TAKES TIME.
That’s all there is to it.
If you try to rush through it, you’ll have an exercise in futility, even with your best attempts. Don’t try to deny your pain, just accept it. It is only by acknowledging and accepting our feelings that we are able to finally move past them. That’s why it’s called a “grieving process,” not a “grieving express.”
By denying or ignoring our pain, we are only prolonging it. God seeks to help us through it if we have the courage to acknowledge our need for Him. He wants you to know that you are not alone and that it is perfectly okay to be feeling the way that you do. God isn’t going to shame you or make you feel guilty about the emotions He gave you; He wants to help you learn how to handle them. They are there for an important reason, and that reason is most likely a natural reaction to whatever traumatic event you went through.
However, there is a far greater important reason that you experience pain in your life.
Remember the Sunday school song “This Little Light of Mine?”
That doesn’t just apply to the context of having a godly, Christian testimony in your personal lifestyle. It also applies to the light of the Holy Spirit that you have inside you from the moment of your salvation. The light of the Holy Spirit isn’t just there for the conviction of sins; it’s also there to inspire other people with what God is doing in your life. People around you might notice that you’re going through a dark time in your life, but they’ll also be able to see that you’re still shining with the joy of the Lord in your heart because you trust God and His goodness.
They’ll look at you, and they’ll say to themselves, “Hey, that guy or girl has every right or reason to give up in life, but they’re still going strong because of God’s help! I want to have that kind of strength in my life too!”
That is what this blog, called “Do You Glow In the Dark?”, is all about – not necessarily about shining exclusively to unsaved people for their need of salvation, but shining to the unsaved AND Christian population to prove that it is possible to keep your joy in spite of dark circumstances.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ~ “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”)
So don’t look at your current condition and despair of your life, even if you do feel “stuck.” You might feel broken because of what life has thrown at you, but that does not detract from your value as a person whatsoever. You are still incredibly special, as a human being that God made with His own hands, no matter what other people (or you yourself) tell you. Your purpose in this world will prevail, regardless of your pain. I don’t want you to look in the mirror, gazing at your brokenness, and think that there is something wrong with you. YOU ARE NOT WORTHLESS just because terrible things happened to you. You never have been, nor will you ever be, worthless. God is going to use you and your story as a powerful testimony to bless other people and improve their lives. You are a beautiful creation of a loving, Almighty God, and nothing He allows to happen in your life will ever go to waste. That’s why it’s okay to be a glowstick – whatever God allows to happen in your life that breaks you will also allow you to shine for Him.
Do you remember what it was like the first time you fell in love?
Before I begin, allow me to express that I do not wish to bring up any unpleasant memories unnecessarily; I ask this question first of all so I can lead up to the point I will make later on. There is a first time for everything, and as humans, when we experience something for the very first time, it tends to be all or nothing – that is to say, we choose to invest our energy into that particular thing either one hundred percent or not at all. For many of us, the first time we fell in love was during adolescence, perhaps even much sooner than that. When you become enthralled in the throes of infatuation at such a young age, it is quite easy to put the other person up on a pedestal by seeing them as absolutely perfect. If you were like most teenagers at this stage, you probably thought that you were going to marry that person without a doubt, swearing your loyalty to him or her by promising them that you would be willing to die for them. Yes, that is indeed exactly how intense the emotions of young people in love can get, which is what makes it such a beautiful thing, and yet also a deadly one.
Sadly, this initial stage of romantic attraction is usually short-lived, and for one reason or another, adverse circumstances inevitably led to the relationship falling apart. Because you were most likely entirely invested in the relationship, chances are that you might have lost your identity in the other person, whether intentionally or not. Since it is a perfectly natural, God-given desire to become completely united with another person you love, it’s no great mystery as to why you felt like a piece of your heart went missing as soon as the other person disappeared. You probably spent a long time swearing that you would never fall in love again during your entire life, either because you felt incapable or unwilling to do so. However, no matter how much pain you felt because of that person who broke your heart, deep down, if you’re truly honest with yourself, there will always be a part of you that loves them, or at least the person you thought they were.
For you see, no matter how much time passes by after a person breaks our heart, we will always remember the feelings we had when we first fell in love with that person, and hold onto the memories of how we became involved with them in the first place.
“Why do we do this?” you may ask. Does the human brain delight in torturing itself?
While the quick, simple answer would be “yes,” that is not the complete, correct answer. My most reasonable explanation for the brain’s illogical behavior in this matter is this – the human heart is impossibly stubborn,and refuses to let go of its own understanding of events. In an effort to hold onto what little happiness we may have known in the past, we harm ourselves emotionally by also holding onto the inevitable pain that followed. This torturous process can go on for many months, even long years before we are willing to finally accept the truth and move on. However, it is highly important to understand that sometimes this is actually part of the healing process, and should never be rushed under any circumstances, lest you risk undoing all your progress as a result of your hurry. True healing can NEVER be hurried; pain must always be processed by the brain in all of its natural grieving stages.
Don’t stop reading just yet, because I have something to share that might help you.
After the loss of your first love, and possibly many other loves after that, you might feel like your heart is long gone with them, with no chance of it ever being returned to you. You might feel utterly empty inside, like a shadow of your former self, unable to recall what it was like before your heart was broken. I know exactly what all this feels like, for I have endured this same pain myself for great lengths of time in my past. However, I eventually discovered a powerful secret that held the key to my emotional freedom –
Did you know that no matter how many times you gave your heart away to someone, or had it taken away by someone, that it is still held in the hands of Someone Who loves you?
That’s right – before you ever fell in love with someone, you had a First Love long before you even met the person who broke your heart.
This mysterious First Love is none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself. Keep in mind that when I say “God” or the “Son of God,” I am referring to the same divine Entity, one Person in three parts. Before you were even born, your entire existence was planned out in God’s mind as an important part of His universe. God created your unique personality and fashioned your form in your mother’s womb with His own hands. The minute of your conception, God breathed the breath of life into your body from His very own nostrils. Even though you had no control over being born into the sinful human race of Adam, that didn’t stop God from loving His wonderful creation that is you. Because your eternal soul means so much to Him, God was willing to sacrifice the life of His own perfect Son Jesus, just so you could have the chance to live with Him in Heaven forever.
There are two essential truths that are inherent to God’s love for you –
1. God’s love is unconditional.
2. God’s love is everlasting.
It’s important to remember these two truths at all times, for there will be many instances where Satan, the Father of Lies, will go out of his way to convince you that God does NOT love you, usually as a result of your sins. Once you arm yourself with these two essential truths, you will always be protected by the knowledge of God’s undeniable love for you. If you can always remember how much God loves you, then all the pain from the so-called love of people will fade into the background. Let’s explore the reasons why these two truths are so important for us to remember.
God’s love is unconditional, which means that no matter what we do (or don’t do) in this life, His love will always remain constant and unchanging.
From the very beginning of Creation, God has unconditionally loved ALL the souls that He has ever made. Although we are all born with a sinful nature, God still chooses to love us because we were created in His Divine Image. That perfect Image was tainted by the very first sin that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden of Eden, but it didn’t change the fact that they were still made to be a reflection of God’s nature. Since God imbued man with three parts, body, soul, and spirit, he became a direct replica of the Holy Trinity, which consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Because of this significant resemblance, God couldn’t find it in His heart to hate the man that He created, although He did hate the sin he committed.
The same thing is true for us to this very day. There is absolutely NOTHING we can do that will ever make God love us any less than He already does, or make Him stop loving us altogether. No matter how far we run away from Him, or try to keep Him out of our lives, His love for us will always remain the same. This truth applies to all people, both Christians, and non-Christians.
Those of us who are Christians are merely sinners saved by grace, and we, unfortunately, are still prone to giving in to our sinful tendencies. God will try to get our attention back to Him in many ways and knows which ways will work best for us individually – through gentle reminders, or stern chastisement. Even though we have the privilege of knowing God’s unconditional love, we should be extremely careful that we don’t fall into the trap of taking it for granted. God’s grace and mercy do NOT give us a license to sin at will; they are there for the purpose of freeing us from it. Those who choose to ignore or reject God’s love in this life are putting their souls in eternal danger, a future where they will be forever separated from God in darkness and torment. While they live on this earth, they have every opportunity to put their faith and trust in the salvation of Jesus Christ, thus becoming a believer in Him. The time they have to live is God’s grace and mercy manifested, by giving them a chance to accept Him before it’s too late. No matter what decision they make about their eternal fate, God will still love them regardless of their choice, since they were made in His Divine Image.
God’s love is everlasting, which means that He will NEVER stop loving us. It also means that He loved us before we existed and will continue to love us through all eternity.
As I already stated earlier, God loved us before we were even born. Since God is infinite, having no beginning and no end, He alone is capable of such a love. It’s impossible for our finite minds to fathom the meaning of this, since we can only understand from a limited perspective while on earth. However, this is the beautiful thing about it – we don’t HAVE to understand God’s love for us; we only have to accept it. God loves us from everlasting to everlasting, because He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. God calls Himself this in His Word, because He literally was there before the beginning of the world, and will also be the One Who ends the world when He decides it is time. This is a statement which shows us but a glimpse of just how powerful He is – He is Almighty God, and NOTHING is impossible for Him. With that knowledge, we should be perfectly capable of believing that God loved us before Creation, and will continue to love us long into eternity.
We never have to worry about God’s love ending, because He is never-ending, neither do we have to worry about God’s love changing, because He never changes. We may have experienced tremendous amounts of heartbreak on this earth at the hands of people who couldn’t care less, but God will never break our hearts by going back on His Word or leaving us. He promises these things to us many times in His Word, to give us assurance and comfort. While people are untrustworthy, God is MORE than worthy of our trust, because He is without sin. God is SO perfect, that He literally CANNOT sin. He is simply incapable of it. This, in turn, means that He CANNOT lie, so we can be sure of His promises to us with absolute certainty.
All of this might sound too good to be true, but our souls can rejoice in the fact that it IS true. God is the only Absolute that we can ever depend on, and the same thing goes for His love for us. When man disappoints us, God is there to exceed our expectations. When man lies to us, God embodies absolute truth. When man forsakes us, God is always there by our side no matter what. NOTHING can separate us from this glorious love of His, not people, not demons, not even the Devil himself. For you see, God’s love is just as powerful as He is, being that it comes from Him. God IS love.
Now that we know the truths about God’s love, we can understand why He is our REAL First Love.
God alone is the One Who is truly deserving of our hearts, and their full capacity for love. This is His divine right because He made them. As if that reason were not enough, God has divine rights to our hearts because He PAID for them with the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. We are forever indebted to our Creator to give Him the maximum depths of our heart’s devotion, loyalty, and love. We would be remiss if we ever forgot Him. We should love God because He first loved us, and He knew that we had a choice to love Him back. God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins to prove His love for us, knowing full well that our free will gave us the potential option to reject Him. That is just how powerful God’s love is, because He was brave enough to allow it to be rejected, and even scorned. God’s true love is fearless for that very reason, and we should fearlessly return His love.
I will readily admit that I still remember my first earthly love, and I will always remember him, no matter how much time has passed since he’s been out of my life. I was so devastated by his repeated betrayals of me, and could never forget every word he said to me, both good and bad. I completely lost my identity in how much I loved him, and felt unspeakable anguish once I finally realized that he never really loved me. I was a hopeless prisoner of all the pain he caused me, and remained trapped emotionally for years, until the day God revealed to me that I was totally missing a crucial point. It was one day that I was riding in a van while working at a summer camp, exactly one year after my first love betrayed me for the last time. I was sitting in the back seat while gazing out the window, watching the trees and fields fly by rapidly, and my thoughts were utterly consumed with all the good and bad memories of the previous year. Then I turned my gaze up towards the sky and the sun, which always reminded me of God’s presence. It was at that moment that God silently got my attention through the whispers of His Holy Spirit – He asked me, “Why are you focusing so much on how much he didn’t love you, when instead you could be focusing on how much I DO love you?”
I felt totally shocked at this revelation, feeling like I was completely oblivious to that point. When God whispered that question to me, the voice of His Holy Spirit sounded slightly offended that I didn’t recognize it sooner, as if to imply that I was being foolish and ignorant in my stubborn heart. However, that question was a turning point for me emotionally, and it was only then after I realized its logic that I truly started to heal. All of my former attempts to ignore my pain by distracting myself with my busy schedule at summer camp were in vain, but not after God asked me that question. I even shared this moment with a good friend of mine who also worked there that summer, and she told me that it also helped her in healing from her own heartbreak. That was the year that God set me free from the chains that were holding my heart hostage, and I’ll never forget what He taught me that summer. I found the key to my emotional freedom when I listened to God’s voice in His quiet question to my heart. So now that I have shared this story with you, I hope that it will potentially help you in the same way if you too have been hurt in the past by your first love.
Here are some heartfelt messages from your real First Love to remind you of His passion for you:
1 Chronicles 16:34 ~ “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Psalm 86:15 ~ “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.“
Psalm 103:17 ~ “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;”
Psalm 107:8-9 ~ “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.“
Psalm 139:13-18 ~ “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
Jeremiah 31:3 ~ “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
Zephaniah 3:17 ~ “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.“
Matthew 22:37-39 ~ “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.“
John 3:16 ~ “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 13:34-35 ~ “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
John 15:13 ~ “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.“
Romans 5:8 ~ “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 8:38-39 ~ “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“
Galatians 5:13-14 ~ “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.“
Ephesians 5:2 ~ “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.“
1 Peter 4:8 ~ “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.“
1 John 3:1 ~ “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
1 John 3:16-18 ~ “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4:7-8 ~ “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
1 John 4:9-11 ~ “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. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.“
1 John 4:18-19 ~ “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.“
Hebrews 13:5 ~ “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Revelation 1:8 ~ “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 2:4 ~ “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.“
The pain of your past is powerless to control you when you remember your real First Love.
Everyone says that time heals all wounds, but I disagree with that saying. The passing of time only distances your memory from whatever happened that hurt you. Deep in the recesses of your mind, you’ll always remember what happened, and your heart never forgets the feelings it once had. However, GOD heals all wounds. Once you discover that His love is greater than all others, you will achieve a powerful victory. For me personally, it actually hurts to think of how long it’s been since I was hurt by my first love, since it makes me feel like there was no justice, as he was never truly sorry. It’s been almost ten years since my heart was first broken, and yet I still remember everything as if it happened yesterday. That is how I realize that time is simply a human construct to help us measure the days and years. I know that my earthly first love has long since forgotten me, but I have never forgotten him. It feels like it’s been a thousand years since I first fell in love with him. I’m sure that if you’ve been reading this, you most likely know what I’m talking about from your own experiences. God exists outside of time – one day to Him is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. Don’t worry, for God has promised to avenge our past sorrows on this earth; revenge only belongs to Him. He still remembers our pain just as well as we do, and yet He also helps us to overcome it. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been forgotten by your first love, because God has never forgotten you. When we ask Him to help us remember every day just how much He loves us, then Satan is powerless to use our past pain to defeat us. We must always remember our real First Love, because He is the only One Whose love is actually worth remembering.
One of the most painful things a person can experience is being treated like they don’t even exist. While this can happen in many different situations, it hurts the most when the actions and behavior are coming from the one person whom we thought truly loved us. Almost every person with a beating heart has had it broken at some point or another by someone else’s words or actions. As hard as it is to go through such an experience, it becomes even more difficult to overcome when the other person adds insult to injury by just walking away, removing you completely from their life by going on with theirs as if they never knew you.
What you thought were good memories with that person before are soon transformed into sad memories, because of your mind’s association with the loss of that person in your life. The fun, happy times that were once filled with color inevitably fade into black and white. Even though you know that the person is gone, you might try to keep them with you in your heart by replaying those good memories in your mind over and over again. However, deep down you realize that it’s useless to do so, because that person from your past is never coming back. Your heart might try to convince you otherwise by imagining a false sense of hope, but your mind has already accepted the harsh reality of the situation.
Because the pain of being forgotten is unbearable, you might try to reach out again.
Maybe the person you loved had a good reason for leaving you, but it was all due to a misunderstanding. Perhaps there were factors in the whole situation that were out of your control, and the rejection and abandonment were never really your fault, or so your mind tries to reason. In an attempt to restore what was lost, you try communicating with that person again to resolve any issues that might remain, hoping to regain your former relationship. You might even pour your heart out to that person in a letter, taking on full responsibility and blame for what went wrong, even if it wasn’t your fault, as long as it leads to potential reconciliation with them. You wait in anxious anticipation for a response, any response, from that person, just so you can stop feeling ignored.
No matter how kind your words were, no matter how understanding you tried to be of that other person’s perspective, trying to reach out to them was all in vain; because they refuse to acknowledge your existence. As far as they are concerned, they have cut you off from their lives, in spite of all the love you tried your best to show them. You feel so empty, worthless, and used; and with every passing day that you don’t hear from that person, you can literally feel yourself fading from their memory. The truth is painfully obvious – the person you cared about with all your heart could no longer care any less about you.
As terrible as all of this sounds, we can be guilty of treating God the same exact way.
Something we must always be mindful of is the fact that God went out of His way to demonstrate His unconditional love for us by sending His Son Jesus to die for us on the cross. He did this for the sole purpose of restoring the lost relationship He once had with man, before he decided to sin and turn against Him. God never needed us, as He is all-powerful; but the truth is He WANTED us, in spite of all our wicked ways. He wanted to not only show His love for us, but also to receive love from us in return. We were all created for God’s pleasure, to make Him happy. Even though we are so incredibly undeserving of His love, He offers it to us freely anyway. Those of us who have already accepted His amazing love into our hearts are familiar with all of the supernatural, Heavenly benefits that can only come from knowing God.
However, even Christians are capable of hurting God tremendously in the same way that I’ve described above. God did not invest His most precious gift of eternal life in us just so He could be ignored by us. Sadly, many Christians do ignore God every single day, by living their lives the way they please, as if they never had anything to do with God in the first place. Whenever we choose to do what we feel like doing in our flesh over spending time with God in prayer and reading His Word, we break God’s heart. God’s Word is how He speaks to us, and His Words are very much alive. Any passage of Scripture can be used of the Holy Spirit to convict us, encourage us, or teach us valuable wisdom. More importantly, it is within God’s living Words that He so clearly and abundantly expresses His love for us. When we neglect to read the Bible or pray, we are telling God, “I don’t need You. Everything You have to say means nothing to me. I can do just fine living my life on my own.” Many people believe that lie, choosing to tell it to themselves every day.
No matter how long we may ignore and forget about God, He is still Almighty God.
Man’s indifference and disrespect towards God does nothing to change His identity or eternal authority over us. Christians can go on doing as they please for however long they will, but in the end they will still have to answer to God for their actions. Even though it breaks God’s heart when we ignore Him, He still has power over the entire universe that He made; therefore He is not dependent on us for validation. God has multitudes of angels that bow to His command, and all of nature obeys His will; so man’s selfish, uncaring attitude is ultimately ineffective. Since the very first sin, man has made a habit of exalting himself in his heart above God and forgetting how insignificant he really is compared to God’s glory. However, God still created man for His pleasure, and He deserves to be acknowledged, feared, and praised for being the Creator that He is.
We should never take God for granted; rather, we should take Him very seriously.
When man first turned his back on God, God could have chosen to just wipe out the entire human race, and make it so that he never existed. Such a course of action would have been poetic justice, and would make perfect sense, since man tried to live like God didn’t exist. Instead, God chose to give man a second chance by offering him the free gift of salvation, so he could once again be restored into a divine relationship with Him. Christians who claim to already have this relationship should be careful not to take God for granted, as God can cause certain things to happen in their lives that will make them remember Him. Whether this comes in the form of chastening or testing, God is determined to make His voice heard as He cries out to the deaf ears of Christians who ignore and forget Him. It is out of God’s unconditional love and mercy that He chooses to do this, since He alone understands the intrinsic needs of the human hearts that He made. We will always need God in our lives, no matter how much our words or actions may deny it.
Just as we become angry and hurt when someone we love forgets us, so does God.
God is the ultimate standard for love, loyalty, and faithfulness; so forgetting God is a sad, foolish mistake to make. Unfortunately, sometimes God’s people have to learn their lesson the hard way before they finally grow to appreciate Him. In the same way that we desire to be acknowledged and appreciated, God desires us to thank Him and praise Him for all that He’s done for us. God does so many things for us daily that we are not even consciously aware of, and many of those things are vital needs that we take for granted. When God doesn’t feel appreciated, He is inclined to give people what they think they want – by leaving them alone. Not completely alone, of course, as He has promised to never leave us or forsake us; but sometimes God will communicate to us by withholding His blessings that we normally might presume upon.
For example, in the Bible, when the Israelites were in a vicious cycle of sinning by falling into idolatry, God would take away His divine protection from them, causing them to become vulnerable to their enemies. It was only after God’s protection left them and they were attacked by their foes that the Israelites fully realized how much they needed God and missed His divine presence. People are often unaware of just how blessed they really are until their blessings are taken away from them, and God’s blessings are no exception. This is the reason why when the Israelites called out to God, begging Him to forgive them and return His protection, God responded through His prophets by saying that He was simply giving them what they wanted, leaving them alone to practice their sin. God told His people exactly what happened, that they pushed Him away so much until He grew tired of fighting against them. As a result, when the Israelites missed God in their hearts, God was grieved, and mournfully responded that they let Him go.
Here are God’s living Words as proof that God hurts whenever we forget Him:
Jeremiah 2:32 ~ “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.“
Jeremiah 3:21 ~ “A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God.“
Jeremiah 18:15 ~ “Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;“
Deuteronomy 4:23 ~ “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.“
Deuteronomy 8:11 ~ “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:“
Judges 8:34 ~ “And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:“
Psalm 50:22 ~ “Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.“
Psalm 78:11 ~ “They forgot His deeds And His miracles that He had shown them.”
Isaiah 17:10 ~ “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the rock of your refuge. Therefore you plant delightful plants and set them with vine slips of a strange god.”
Isaiah 57:11 ~ “And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?“
Isaiah 65:11-12 ~ “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.”
Hosea 13:6 ~ “According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.“
Revelation 2:4 ~ “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
God is calling out to us to remember Him every single day, and we should respond to His voice.
Instead of treating God like an option, we should treat Him like the King of our lives as he rightfully deserves. Each day we are presented with the choice of remembering God or forgetting Him, and the outcome of either decision is very significant. Remembering Him will cause your relationship with Him to flourish, creating a spiritual intimacy that most Christians should enjoy. Forgetting God will distance you apart from Him, producing anxiety, fear, doubt, worry, and a variety of other spiritual problems. God is a personal Being, and He has feelings too, which means He needs to be appreciated and loved just like anyone else. A relationship with God is the best relationship that you can have, as He is faithful, true, and always good. The worst thing that any Christian could do is take this divine, special relationship for granted, by ignoring God and acting like He doesn’t even exist. The same things that hurt us from other people can hurt God too, even though we don’t always realize it.
I will openly admit that I deeply know what it feels like to be forgotten, and I am extremely acquainted with how much it hurts. After being ignored and forgotten by someone I once loved, I experienced pain in my heart unlike any that I had ever known. One day however, God got a hold of my heart and made me realize that the way I was feeling because of that person was the exact same way I made Him feel every time I neglected to fellowship with Him. I was struck to my core at this realization, heartbroken at the idea that the very pain I was feeling from someone else was the same pain I was inflicting on God Himself. I quickly confessed my sin to God and begged Him to forgive me for hurting Him in the same way that I was hurt. Ever since that day, I have tried to be much more sensitive to God’s feelings in my relationship with Him, as I identified with Him on that deeply personal level. I now realize that spending time with God is a special privilege, and the last thing I would want to do is grieve the Holy Spirit. Each new day, I try to remember God as I hear His voice softly whispering, “Forget me not.”