By REV ANGELA PALACIOUS
God knows that we need love and this is because God is love. We were created in the image of God and so we were created to love and be loved. When all is well, we are loved by family, friends and, of course, by God. I pray that every day will be a day of love for you in some way.
What a heartbreak it is when we experience rejection, abandonment, loss and grief. Too many of our people have stories that include the pain of: divorce or separation, bullying in school, abuse (physical, sexual, verbal, emotional), betrayal by friends, death of relatives and friends, being a victim of crime and so much more including poverty, homelessness and destitution.
For a good many, they speak of the goodness and grace of God which brought them through. The love of God that never let them go. If you are in need of love today turn to the word of God and find comfort in these verses:
God’s love – Romans 8:37-39 NIV: 37: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Know that this is always true for the believer. Pray for the faith you need to know that this is available to you.”
God’s peace – Philippians 4:4-7 NIV: 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. The love of God includes the peace of God.”
God’s comfort – Psalm 37:3-6 NIV: “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. This is such a source of consolation when you suffer unjustly.”
God’s strength – 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NIV: 7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. God’s grace and love lift us out of the miry clay, or the pit that has been dug for us.”
Become familiar with these and other scriptures so that your favourite passages will serve to keep you encouraged. Sing your love to the Lord and feel your soul flooded with the love of God as time goes on; hymns such as: “Because He Lives”, “He is Lord”, “Blessed Assurance”, “To God be the Glory”, “Great is thy Faithfulness”, and so many more.
Pray to feel yourself drawn into the centre of God’s love. While you wait for ongoing revelation and personal experience of God’s presence:
Recall the goodness of God and praise God
Count your blessings from God and thank God
Accept the forgiveness of God as you confess your sins
Intercede for others and share God’s love in any way you can
Petition God for the things you need and be grateful for what you already have
Remember that prayer is about a special relationship with One who is always available: Your Heavenly Father, Creator God, crucified suffering and resurrected Messiah Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as constant companion and guide as members of the Trinity.
Reflect God’s love wherever you are. Find joy where you can and be a peace-maker whenever possible. May this be a day of love in the best possible way, and may each day be anchored in the love of God spilling over to family, friends, colleagues and everyone else.
• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.