February 22, 2018: God's Love
February 22, 2018
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Today’s Bible Reading: Leviticus 18-20, Psalm 44, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 27:1-26
Sometimes it can seem as if you do all the right things, say the right things, believe the right things, but still you suffer. Why is that? The psalmist is struggling with that very question.
He remembers the “days of old,” from verses 1 to 3, where the people won great victories “not by their own sword,” but by God’s “right hand and arm.” God did it!
He also records, in verses 4 to 8, that this is his principle too. He does not trust in his “bow” or his “sword.” No, “in God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever.”
However, despite this track record, and despite his personal commitment to God, the reality today in his own experience is very different. “But you have rejected us and disgraced us” (44:9). They are “like sheep for slaughter.” And all this suffering has happened, “though we have not forgotten you” (44:17). They have not been false to the covenant relationship with God. They are not idol worshippers. Actually, “for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Understandably, the psalmist is perplexed, and he appeals to God for help. “Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?” “Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!”
That last word “love” gives the clue to the answer to the psalmist’s series of questions. This psalm is quoted by Paul at the end of Romans 8.
“As it is written” Paul quoted, “for your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
But nonetheless, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”
Because of the cross, we can know that God is sovereignly able to weave together even evil for his great glory and our great good! Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Yes, we do suffer. But no, that does not mean that we are separated from God’s good plan for our lives or from the experience of his love. Not at all! Nothing can separate us from the love of God!
So when you sense suffering, inexplicable suffering, remember: God’s love and God’s plan are still victorious. Hard to believe at times, to be sure. But just look at the cross.]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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