You are loved!

It’s true! You are loved! There is One who knows your heart like no one else. He knows all about you, your hopes and dreams and compromises and fears. And He loves you. He knows the struggle you sometimes have with the people around you and how different you feel from them. In fact, He loves those differences in you.

Perhaps one of the greatest testimonies to the extent and power of God’s love is that He loves all kinds of people. People I find hard to enjoy are loved by Him. People I don’t even like are loved by Him.

There is something about the special stress of large crowds that forces us to feel alone. In the days around the holidays, we are with so many people and there is so much happening that we often pull into ourselves to feel safe. At the same time, we reach out to those closest to us for strength and support. But when those closest to us are unable to love, for whatever reasons, we can feel betrayed and even more afraid.

In those times, look to the Lord. While we are called to love each other, we are never called to find our strength and support in others. The One who loves us consistently and unconditionally is our Strength.

Others have their own struggles. They need the love of God in their lives, too.  But the love of God comes from God, not from other people.  Oh, He may use other people, perhaps even strangers, but the love is from Him.

How do we know this?  How do we know that the Lord loves us so much?  Some of us know this intimately.  At a time in our lives when we had nothing and needed everything, He came to show us His love.  And, even now, when we fail and get distracted, He welcomes us back to Himself with patient love.

He tells us that there is no condemnation for us (Rom. 8:1) and that His love for us is everlasting (Jer. 31:3) and that He has prepared a place for us with Him forever (Jn 14:2-3).  He has washed away our sins (1 Cor. 6:11) and has given us rest (Mat. 11:28).  He loves us!

No wonder they call this the “Good News!”

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