Joy comes in the Morning

Self-help manuals might get you through a bad mood or a rough patch. But what about an abusive childhood, or a debilitating accident, or years of chronic pain or public ridicule? Does God have a word for the dark nights of the soul?

Self-help manuals might get you through a bad mood or a rough patch. But what about an abusive childhood, or a debilitating accident, or years of chronic pain or public ridicule?

Does God have a word for the dark nights of the soul?

He does. The promise begins with this phrase: “Weeping may last through the night.” Of course, you knew that much. But you need to also know this: “joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NLT).

Do you ever wonder if a morning will bring this night to an end? Mary Magdalene certainly did. She had been consumed with troubles. But then Jesus stepped into her world and restored life to her life. Wherever Jesus went, Mary Magdalene followed. She heard Him teach. She saw Him perform miracles. She helped to pay expenses. She was always near Christ.

On that Friday, Mary watched Jesus die. On Saturday, she observed a sad Sabbath. When Sunday came, she went to the tomb to finish the work she had begun on Friday. She knew nothing of the empty tomb. She came with no other motive than to wash the remaining clots of blood from His beard and say goodbye. It was a dark morning.

But when she arrived at the tomb, she “saw that the stone had been rolled away” (John 20:1 NKJV). Assuming the grave robbers had taken the body, she hurried to find Peter and John. They took a look and hurried to tell the others. “But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping” (verse 11 NKJV). Could her world get any darker or more hopeless?

It was then that two angels met her, but Mary mistook them for men. It was still dark outside… and even darker in the tomb. Her eyes were tear-filled. She had no reason to think angels would be in the tomb. But in the midst of Mary’s darkest moment, the Son came out.

Jesus showed up. She didn’t recognize her Lord. So Jesus called her by name. Maybe it was the way He said it. The inflection. The tone. The Galilean accent. Maybe it was the memory associated with it. The moment she first heard someone say her name unladen with perversion or an agenda.

“Mary.” Her world went from a dead Jesus to a living one. Weeping may last through the night, but joy…

I wish I could paint this scene. The white-robed Messiah. The joy-filled Mary. Her hands extended to Him. His eyes upon her. The reflection of the sunrise in the tears of Mary. And a broad smile on the face of Jesus.

Joy comes because Jesus comes. And if you don’t recognize His face, He will call your name. Your name is not buried in some heavenly file. God needs no name tag to jog His memory about you. He has said, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16).

You are everything to God.

Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

His Beloved

I am my lover’s and my lover is mine – Solomon 6:3

I am my lover’s and my lover is mine – Solomon 6:3

When you think of religion, what comes to your mind—A set of rules, regulations and obligations or a deep, intimate relationship with God? Throughout our life, we have been taught to become a goal oriented person. How emancipating it is to realize that we couldn’t be good enough for him to love us more, or bad enough for him to love us less!

We need to learn that Jesus freely lovingly accepts us and fills us up with his ludicrously lavish love. Instead of being bound to a list of do’s and don’ts,we must began to serve God out of gratitude for all he accomplished on the cross. Christ has a tender care and special attention to our needs as if they were his own needs. Our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ died so we could have a living, vital relationship with God, not just a bunch of rules and regulations, we are forced to follow.

When we have a real relationship with God through Christ, life gets exciting because He stirs up a passion inside us to love people—and we don’t have to struggle to do the things He calls us to do. It just happens naturally. Living with Jesus Christ as your Lord is a relationship of love. The point to notice here is that the Lord has not only given us His gifts, but He has given us Himself.

We have His pardon (Mark 2:5); His gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23); His joy (John 15:11); His peace (John 14:27); and His love (John 13:1); but above all, and best of all, we have Him.

“I am my Lover’s and my Lover is mine!”

The reason we are so confident of Christ’s love for us is because he loved us. Like an earthly bridegroom willingly and gladly assumes the responsibility for the safe keeping of his bride, so does our Heavenly Bridegroom guarantee our protection for time and for eternity. How blessed is this assurance.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Beyond comprehension – GOD’s love

God’s amazing love is not based on us getting our act together to deserve it. It is not based on our track record of performance to guarantee its continued flow.
Rather, God’s love is based on the fact that God is love (1 John 4:7).

God loves you, it’s not like what the world gives.

I am talking to you about God’s amazing love. A relationship with God is like no other relationship you may have experienced.

Yes, there is nothing like the love of God! It is the most overwhelming thing I have ever encountered in my life.

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7). Demonstrates means to show, prove, establish, or render conspicuous.

God’s gracious love took the initiative to save us from our helpless, ungodly condition.

These verses show that salvation is totally from God and His great love. There was nothing in us that was lovable or that motivated God to send the Saviour. As God pictures Israel (Ezekiel 16:3-6, 9-10), we were like an unwanted new-born infant, thrown into a field, squirming in our blood, a piece of garbage about to die. He took us, bathed us with water, anointed us with oil, and wrapped us in fine garments. Salvation stems from His great love.

Amazing, isn’t it? God knows me and still loves me. God knows that I am a sinner, yet He forgives; I am diseased, yet He heals; I am in a pit, yet He pulls me out; I am ungrateful for His good gifts, yet He gives them anyway; and I deserve justice, yet He grants mercy.

God’s amazing love is not based on us getting our act together to deserve it. It is not based on our track record of performance to guarantee its continued flow. Rather, God’s love is based on the fact that God is love (1 John 4:7). He is gracious (Exodus 34:6). He extends His love and grace to sinners apart from and in spite of anything in them.

Like a father’s love for a wayward and rebellious son that waits anxiously for him to return home so he can grant him a new start, is God’s love for us. It is beyond comprehension.

God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The knowledge that God loves you will keep you going when things go wrong. Bible says “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.” (Romans 8:38, 39)

Volumes have been written about the characteristics of God, but when it is distilled to the most basic categories, He is love (1 John 4:8). Love is not something he chooses to do or give. It is the very essence of who He is. He doesn’t just love-He is love.