Courage from Love

‘Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”

Jesus turned around, and when he saw her said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well”. And the woman was healed at that moment.’

Matthew 9 vs 20 – 22: NIV

The much renowned preacher of grace and God’s love for you and I, Pastor Joseph Prince, skillfully paints a picture of this momentous event in his book, Live the Let Go Life. He not only explains the great risk she put herself in, bearing in mind someone in her condition would not have been permitted to freely walk the streets, but also adeptly conveys how terrifying  it must have been to make such a move; placing herself at the mercy of a legalistic and unforgiving rabble.

The probability of being  stoned to death by individuals who liked nothing better than to cruelly punish those deemed to have broken the law was paramount.

As I imagined the scene a few days ago, and in truth feeling more pity for her than ever before, I couldn’t help but wonder what gave her the courage to take such a calamitous risk.

What gave her the courage to put herself in such danger?

Abject desperation?

Or was something else at work?

“Lord, what gave her the courage to take such a risk?” I asked.

His answer was further confirmation of what he has been telling me for several months.

“Her brevity was as a result of a revelation of my love for her. It was the knowledge of my love that gave her the courage to touch the helm of my garment. It is why her story is so important. And it is one of the reasons why I recently asked you to thank me for loving you as soon as you wake up each morning. Not because I demand it, or that it will earn you points or favours, but because I want you to live every day in the sure knowledge of my unfailing and unconditional love for you.”

You were created not by chance, but for a specific reason. However, though blessed with unique talents, you find yourself frozen in fear and uncertainty as a result of past mistakes, present lifestyle, or crippling thoughts of what people may think or say, should you dare to even think of taking a step towards the direction of who you have always been called to be.

I am not talking about riches and fame.

Your purpose is not about you. You were created to use your talents and attributes to serve others; and as a result, many are depending on you to accept and embrace who you are.

In this age of social media, wherein judging and smearing others’ characters is the norm, there is an inherent fear of taking positive steps towards one’s purpose. The ridicule and abuse one could be subjected to on platforms such as twitter, is never too far from one’s thoughts.

But, permit me to ask two simple questions.

Which do you think will give you peace of mind – to recoil in fear of what others may think or say and do nothing? Or accept who God created you to be and follow his calling?

And can those whose views and words you fear so much prevent God’s wonderful will for your life?

‘If God is for you, who can be against you?’

Romans 8 vs 31

Worry not about your past and present, and focus only on one crucial fact – God’s unflinching and unyielding love for you.

Just as that woman boldly stepped towards her healing as a result of her knowledge of God’s love for her, I encourage you to do likewise.

All that matters is God’s love for you.

Does he want you to fail?

No

Does he want you to be ridiculed?

No

Does he want you to succeed?

Yes

Does that mean there won’t be challenges ahead?

Certainly not!

The question isn’t what may or may not happen, but whether or not you believe he loves you; a reality we all struggle with from time to time.

However, no matter what you’ve done in the past, and regardless of how you feel,  remember this;

‘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 (you) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8 vs 38 – 39: NIV

During a chat with a friend of mine a few days ago, completely out of the blue, she asked the following question?

“Is there anything you want me to pray for, Segun?”

Rather akin to taking a kid to a candy store and asking her what she wants, there was no need for a second invitation. I literally bit her hand off! I won’t list the requests I made because, quite frankly, it’s none of your business. Rather, I’ll focus on just one of them – love and a good partner. Her response succinctly sums up this week’s message.

“You know, a friend once told me, ‘’why would God not want you to be with the partner he wants you to be with?’’. You need to keep trusting and keep praying it into being.”

Trusting in what, exactly?

His power, sovereignty, and unrivaled ability to align things in my favour? Yes, all the above. But more importantly, trusting in his love for me. In other words, bearing in mind God’s love for me, there’s no need to concern myself with if and when.

In the same way, you too need not worry about if and when, but rest in his unfailing love.

Stop prevaricating on what may or may not happen. Rather, focus only on his love for you, and thereby be realigned with the person he created to be.

Yes, you may have made some horrendous mistakes.

Yes, several may sneer at what they deem to be facile delusions.

But, who created you?

Who is sovereign over all things above and below?

And who loves you more than you can possibly imagine?

You know the answer – the one who created all things; who knows the beginning from the end. He who had already seen where you would be at this very moment before he chose you to be his much loved and favoured child.

Trust in his love and follow his calling. He’ll take care of the rest.

 

 

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