Jesus loves you unconditionally. Do you really believe that? I know, it is easy to believe Jesus loves you when everything is going fine and you have no worries, but what about when the bottom drops out of your world? When you have just walked out of the doctor’s office after being told you have terminal cancer or your husband has just run off with a high school girl after draining your bank account it is difficult to hold onto faith.
Jesus loves me this I know because the Bible tells me so is nice when we are children, but how does that relate to real life? We are quick to remind ourselves that Jesus died for us so that we can have salvation, but when you are in the eye of the storm a 2000-year-old event doesn’t give much comfort.
Here is the problem as I see it. We have lots of head knowledge and as followers of Jesus we believe with all our intellect that Jesus saves us from our sins, but when it comes down to the practicality of our everyday life that intellectual acceptance of Jesus seems a bit distant.
I have a friend who was on a mission to India and was visiting a village with a group of Jesus followers when they encountered a blind woman who was also a believer. This woman was blind from a very early age and was now in her late middle age. After the leader of my friends group talked to the lady for a few minutes he came back and said to my friend that she needed to pray for the woman to receive her sight. My friend was dumbfounded, she blurted out her inability to do such a thing, but the pastor insisted and everyone else seemed to think God would use her so she prayed. She told me that she can’t remember what she prayed but she prayed with all her heart for healing. A few minutes in the pastor’s wife touched her shoulder and whispered you can stop praying now she can see.
Do you know the Bible really doesn’t state that we should pray for the sick, but instead says heal the sick? Even James 5:16 says we should pray for each other so that we would be healed. Now look at Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
Now, these are commands of Jesus. First, heal the sick, second raise the dead, third, cleanse those who have leprosy, and fourthly, drive out demons. Now do you believe Jesus loves you unconditionally? Look at the Holy Spirit’s power that is available to every believer in Jesus and yet we pass over these gifts because of a lack of faith. If I prayed over someone who was dead would you not think I was crazy? And yet one of the four commands of Matthew 10:8 is raise the dead.
Another friend of mine many years ago had his coin collection stolen while moving on the west coast. Spring forward many years and he is praying about his relationship with Jesus and living on the east coast. The Spirit speaks to him and says go down to your safe and open it. My friend thinks this is a strange request but he goes down and opens the safe. Over the years he had opened and closed that safe hundreds of times putting in valuable papers, but this time sitting in the safe is his coin collection.
I can tell immediately who is a follower of Jesus and who is content being a Christian by how they respond to the story. The Christian is automatically skeptical and says things like, “well he missed seeing it,” or “I’m not sure about that story.” Followers of Jesus praise Him for the wonder of this miracle and such love for my friend.
If you believe Jesus loves you unconditionally then you believe that Jesus is active and works in the world with power, grace, and love. You are open to the leading of Jesus and miracles and healings don’t scare you but excite and draw you to Jesus.
Still not sure God loves you unconditionally and is with you in the storms and manifests Himself to you in ways, if you are looking, you can’t miss? In the story of the Prodigal Son the Father comes running to the lost son and wraps His arms around him and holds him and I am sure cries tears of joy and happiness. His son has come home.
My children live a long-ways away, but there is not a day that I don’t long to hug them and hold them and tell them how much I love them. And though I can’t physically hold them every day of life I mentally hug them and long for the time when we could be together again. I have a few friends who have lost children and I know they long for the day when in the presence of God they will be united again.
God loves you as you are and every minute of every day He wraps His arms around you and holds you and kisses your soul with the presence and graciousness of the indwelling Spirit. There is a time when we will be united with Jesus physically to live within the presence of His earth made new.
Yes, we go through pain and suffering because we live in a sinful fallen world, but Jesus hasn’t abandoned us or forgotten us. He knows the number of hairs upon our head, He sees the sparrows and dresses the grasses of the fields in finery. The reality of God’s love is that He goes with us through the suffering and pain, never abandoning us.
When the king of Babylon looked at the fiery furnace he said to his advisors, did we not throw three men in the fire? But now there is a fourth walking with them and he looks like a son of the gods. Yes, no matter the heat and the circumstances Jesus stands with us.
Jesus loves me this I know because the Bible tells me so, might be a cute children’s song but it is a wonderful mantra for every adult.