“Why, Lord, do you stand far off?  Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”  (Psalm 10:1, NIV)

There are times in life, as the psalmist in today’s scripture states, when it seems that God has departed on vacation; or is asleep; or is indifferent to our suffering.  But don’t be fooled: God has not forgotten us, nor has He deserted us.

In such times, we need only reflect on our own personal history with our heavenly Father: The times when we thought Him late, but He was already at the point of decision — waiting.  The times when we thought Him absent, but only because He was standing behind us. . . out of view. . . guarding our blind side.  The times when we thought He was indifferent to our suffering, but He sent others to encourage us, to comfort us, to hold us; to hear us; and to wipe our tears.

No one loves us like our heavenly Father.  No one.  – Luther

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“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  (Proverbs 3:6, NASB)

If it is true that we make trouble for ourselves because, as J. B. Phillips titled his classic book, “Your God is Too Small” (1953); the same might also be said because we think some matters of our life are too small for our heavenly Father’s attention.

We ought to accept the biblical challenge to acknowledge God in everything — large and small — whether in decisions or in giving thanks.

Through the Holy Spirit — Whom Jesus Himself referred to as the “Helper” — we have a companion who knows well the path; we have an intercessor who knows the mind of God; we have an energizer to sustain us; a teacher to educate us.

However, the Helper helps only by invitation.  If we have not, it is only because we ask not.  – Luther

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St. Valentine’s Day

“We love him, because he first loved us.”  (1 John 4:19, KJV)

Understandably, there will be a lot of chatter today on the topic of love, and rightfully so: It is Valentine’s Day!

The scriptures tell us that we were always loved.  Loved before we had achieved anything.  Loved before we had become anything.  Loved before we had done anything.

The scriptures tell us that we were always loved with the purest love: God, because God is love.  He loves us on our bad days and our good days; and, as Paul related in the book of Romans, chapter 8: There is nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus.

The devil wants us to doubt the love of God.  Somehow, that fact got me to thinking of a story by Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), who wrote a story titled, “The Ugly Duckling.”  (Click here to read the story.)  As you recall — or re-read — this wonderful childhood tale, did you see this important fact: The ugly duckling always was a swan!

Others may not see you as a swan, but God does.  Others may not treat you as a swan, but God does.  Others may tell you what you are not (and they may be right); but instead listen to what God says you are — and Whose you are.

He loved us at the beginning — and He loved us first.  He will love us at the end.  He will love us always.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  – Luther

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