Faith, Suffering, Worth

Oh, How He Loves Us

Confidence in God’s love is an anchor in our storms.

The song, “It Is Well” was supposedly written as a father sailed over the spot that he had lost his four daughters just months before.

In the 1870s, Horatio Spafford was a successful lawyer heavily invested in real estate in Chicago. In 1871, a Chicago fire destroyed all his downtown investment properties. In 1873, he and his family planned a vacation to Europe. Spafford sent his wife and four girls—ages 11, 9, 7 and 2—ahead while he finished up some business in Chicago. On November 22, the S.S. Ville Du Havre struck another ship and sank within twelve minutes. Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband “Saved alone.” *

As he sailed over their remains to join his wife he wrote these words:

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

His security was in Christ alone. He was so deeply anchored in His victory on the cross, so deeply assured of His love that, even when overwhelmed with sorrow, his hope was in Him.

How different would our world be if we had that type of security; if we saw, knew, and stood firm in the love that He has for us, come what may?

Trials Are Not An Option

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.”

Suffering is not an option. As I peck-type with an impaired right hand after hearing very little of what they said while I drove them to school, my scars will never let me forget this.

grey metal hammer
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We live in a very broken world. The recent Church and political scandals have left many of us confused, doubting, angry, and unsure. They’ve left me sad; sad for the victims, the loss of trust in our Bishops, and the mud-slinging divisiveness that ensued before common decency and constructive dialogue.

Satan is very real

God Is Love

To rest in the security in Christ; to see, know, and stand firm in that hope amidst our trials, we have to know and be known by God. We have to love and be loved by Him. We have to read the Bible, the most amazing love letter, the most faithful pursuit, for what it is.

brown book page
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In high school, my Bible study leader led us through the Psalms and asked us to make three observations as we read. The first, what the Psalm said about us. The second, what it said about God. And the third, what it said about God’s love for us.

As I made these columns at sixteen, as the third column flooded with an unconditional, never-ending, always-and-forever kind of love, I got to know God for who He really is.

I got to know a God who made me and knows me
who delights in me and loves me more than I’ll ever understand
who has plans for my welfare and my future
who is rich in mercy
who saved me by grace and died for me.
What greater love is there than this?

If you long to know how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, try starting here. Try using this lens as you read through the Psalms or Scripture. As you open God’s Word, ask Him to reveal His love; to show you that you are His.

Our Hope Is In Him

On these dark days, through these inevitable trials, our hope is found in the assurance that, ‘the sky, not the grave, is our goal.’ That someday “He shall wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more.” (Revelation 21:4) That He won.

“And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul”

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.  – St. Augustine

Find that God. Know that God. Be held by that God. Oh, how He loves us.