By Keiko Chibana-Shinn | Rediscovering Prayer
“I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heartand my portion forever.” – Ps. 73: 23-26
Jesus wants our hearts- nothing more and nothing less. The gospel message of Christ is a simple one: Receive and believe in His love. For the Word of God says, in Christ we move, live, and have our being. He offers us His life and in Him is eternal life, an unfailing hope, and a love that continually recreates us with the passing of time. We worship a living God who is committed to stay with us through the fire and in the storms of life. At the end of every long and rocky road, Jesus promises to be the strength of your heart. His steadfast love is the source of your life. He is faithful to lead us closer and closer to Him at every turn.
What unites humanity is the fact that we all must face uncertainty. Life can change in an instant with the news of a health report, loss of a job, a relationship turned sour, and the rapid shift of one’s thoughts affecting the result of our days. Affliction upon affliction attempts to silence the hope we have as children of God. But let us be encouraged:
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5
Everything serves our Father’s purposes in order to alert us that He is more present than what we think. His love for us runs so much deeper than what we could ever imagine. Let us go deeper still in Him and discover His presence in our affliction. Lamenting while believing in the goodness of God will cause our faith to have a stronger grip on the depth of the Father’s love for us.
True love has the markings of sacrifice. I can easily recall those dear to me who sacrificed their time, energy, and resources to demonstrate the depth of their love. It’s because of their sacrifice that I experience an abundant life. And how much more is my identity and heart preserved by the love of Christ? Who with every strike and wound He sustained on the cross has eternally united me to the power of His love for everyday living. His sacrifice tells me He loves me with the weight of His divinity. Jesus supplies eternal provision to overcome in this life. I’m not perfect and I often fail but God is the strength of my heart and in Him I have placed my hope. Your identity in Christ is not founded on successes or failures but rather it’s your receptivity toward who God is in the midst of heartache, trials, and triumphs.
The love of God runs through the very fibers of our being. Nothing can separate us from the height and depth of His love for us. His love produces our character and in time we will see it and give glory and honor to the One who takes residence in our hearts by His Spirit. May our love for Him prove to be stronger through the test of time. Ask Jesus to be the strength of your heart afresh and anew today.
Prayer: I pray that You, O Lord- be my true love and through this love, You will be the strength of my heart. Preserve my love for You. Take residence in my heart and have Your way. You are faithful to rise and resurrect life within me. Even in my silence You direct your love toward me. For Your love is faithful to sustain me. Amen.
Additional verses: Ps. 42:7; Ro. 10:9; Ps. 119:91; Ro. 8:38-39; Eph. 3:18; Ps. 42:8