The Love of Jesus Will Always Be Stronger

Jesus-powerful-love

Sometimes insecurity, shame, and fear shackle us down in despair. Weighing down our arms like lead so that we cannot lift them to praise our Savior. Restraining our feet from stepping forward to live a life of freedom and devotion to our God. Molding our necks into a downward thrust that we fail to lift our eyes to see the goodness God surrounds us with.

In Christ Jesus and His sacrifice for us, He has already unlocked all these shackles. So why do we so often bind ourselves up again? Why do we refuse His powerful love? Why do we avoid Jesus’ proffered hand and refuse His key to freedom?

Sometimes we long to reach out for that key He has promised us, but insecurity, shame, and fear have such deep roots in our hearts. Jesus longs for us to lay our chained-up hearts at His feet. To believe in His power to shatter the shackles. He lifts our bruised and bleeding bodies and hearts and hugs us to Himself, saying, “My child, I understand what you’re going through. Grasp hold of this truth – I love you and want to free you completely. Believe that you are precious to Me and you will always be safe and enough in Me.”

Jesus has such inexpressible patience with us. His love is so unconditional, and His grace is so freely given. As a testimony of who He is and what He has done for us, I feel a need to write. I confess that sometimes the words don’t always flow freely like I hear many writers experience. I feel inadequate, I fear rejection, and it hurts too much to write transparently. Yet I feel His nudge to answer the whispers He places in my heart. He won’t let me go. He mows down all my excuses with His faithful promises, “My child, have I not promised I will never, never leave you or forsake you? Have I not promised that you can do all things through Me? Trust Me, My child. My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” (Deut. 31:6, 2 Cor. 12:9)

“But He has said to me,
‘My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy
are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation];
for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself
most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore,
I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ
[may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP

Sometimes when we’re in despair, we can’t see how God has helped us through so much. When the chains of insecurity, shame, and fear are deadweight in our lives, we can feel like He has totally forsaken us. We can feel so worthless that we can’t imagine Him even wanting to think of us. At those times, we are blind to our true identity in Him, the power of His love that has brought us through many deep valleys, and the promise that He will always be with us. We forget that every breath we take is Him breathing life into us.

The powerful love of Jesus will always be stronger than any shackle that binds us. God’s power parted the Red Sea and freed the Israelites from slavery. His power rose Jesus from the dead. His power can reach into our shackled hearts, too. He is powerful to burst the chains asunder that hold us back from joy in Him. Powerful to break all barriers that inhibit us from living a life in the fullness of the freedom there is to be found in Jesus. Powerful to “strengthen our weak hands and steady our knees that give way” (Isaiah 35:3), to give us a dance of victory that echoes praises to His Name.

A Child's Trust

“Shackles [Praise You]”
by Mary Mary

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise You
I just wanna praise You
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise You
I’m gonna praise You”

all things are possible in God

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Remembering God’s Power

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“They did not remember His power
– the day He redeemed them from the oppressor.”

Psalm 78:42

The Israelites didn’t remember God’s power. The miraculous signs in Egypt, the wonders of the Red Sea and the Jordan River opening up for them, and so many other marvelous deliverances He got them through. They had a short memory span.

The disciples had this, too, when they were in a boat with Jesus. (Mark 4:35-41) A storm whipped up and raged, powerful waves washing over the boat. The boat was filling up, and it seemed they would be doomed to the sea. And where was Jesus? Asleep on a pillow.

They cried out, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” They didn’t see how safe they were with Jesus in the boat. Did they not remember all the miraculous healing they saw Jesus perform, even the casting out of evil spirits? Couldn’t that same Jesus rescue them?

When Jesus got up, He rebuked the wind and waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Immediately they calmed.

Jesus asked, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were afraid before, and now they were still shocked and terrified. You mean even the winds and waves obey Him? They did not know Jesus well enough yet, they forgot how much His power was displayed in His miracles, and they underestimated that this power was available also for them.

Both the Israelites and then the disciples failed to remember God’s great mercies in the past.

A short memory span. I have that, too. I focus on the past and present storms in life and blind myself to see and remember all God’s past mercies towards me. So easily I forget God’s power shown to me in the past, His Almighty ability to rescue me from the deepest pit, His watchful care over every detail of my life.

I underestimate Jesus and His power for me, even though He’s given me proof of it again and again.

I forget about present displays of God’s power, too. Displays that should remind me how faithful and powerful He really is. In the cold winter months, when because of chronic illness, I can’t go out into nature, I miss all God’s creation. I tend to sometimes get downhearted. But as I sit here and look out the window, I see the sun’s power melting rooftops of snow even when it’s still below freezing. God faithfully sent that sun and the power behind it. When I see bunny tracks on the snow, I need to remember that it’s God who gave His creature a warm enough coat to survive the winter. When the snow comes down, I need to remember God’s special grace, how He has the power to wash me whiter than the snow. I need to remember that God’s power is displayed in His creation, including us, even when we don’t see it or remember it.

Isn’t God amazing? He just keeps on giving and giving and giving. Even when we don’t receive or give in return. When the Israelites turned their hearts back to Him and asked for His help, He again and again showered them with His long-suffering patience and powerful mercy and grace. When the disciples were afraid, He didn’t hold that against them, but He again showed love and mercy. And when I time after time doubt His power and faithfulness, He is so forgiving, loving, and caring.

I know it’s not always easy, especially when storms toss us to and fro and blindside our memory, but let’s try to help each other remember that the same power God showed in the past and faithfully displays each day of life on this earth certainly has the power to get us through whatever storms trouble our lives.

“Who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:5-7

Praying Jesus’ ever-faithful power
will fill our hearts and our lives
and give us courage to go on!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews