Yesterday was a very bad day for me. The more articles I read, the more upset I became. The more upset I became, the more panicked I felt. In the midst of this mini meltdown, the Lord reminded me to trust in Him.
He reminded me that when He beckoned Peter to come out on the water with Him, Peter did fine as long as he looked at his Lord. But when he looked down at the water and focused on his surroundings, he began to sink.
What Am I Trusting In?
Remember that trust we had as little children for our parents? We believed they would protect us – keep us from harm. We knew they would provide shelter and food. We just trusted them implicitly. However, I do understand that not all earthly parents were to be trusted. And for those people who had a parent they did not trust – I praise God that you met your real Father!
How much more can we trust our Father in heaven? He is not an earthly father who might make mistakes. He is not a man, that he might lie to us. He is our heavenly Father who loves us with a love that endures forever. He is the Creator of the Universe, yet He cares for each of us – He sees our tears and our frustrations. He alone is our Shalom (peace and rest).
(Proverbs 3: 5-6)
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.”
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (emphasis added)
Jesus Our Shalom
It overwhelms me at times, when I think of the sacrifice made for us by our Father in heaven. What kind of love sends the most precious Person to earth to be humiliated, spat upon, beaten and finally crucified – all so that we who trust in Him can be reconciled to our heavenly Father? That love is called Agape Love.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
What is Agape Love?
Answer: The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.
Outside of the New Testament, the word agape is used in a variety of contexts, but in the New Testament it takes on a distinct meaning. Agape is used to describe the love that is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. Agape is also used to describe our love for God (Luke 10:27), a servant’s faithful respect to his master (Matthew 6:24), and a man’s attachment to things (John 3:19).
The type of love that characterizes God is not a sappy, sentimental feeling such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely, not because we deserve to be loved or because of any excellence we possess, but because it is His nature to love and He must be true to His nature.
Agape love is always shown by what it does. God’s love is displayed most clearly at the cross. “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4–5, ESV). We did not deserve such a sacrifice, “but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s agape love is unmerited, gracious, and constantly seeking the benefit of the ones He loves. The Bible says we are the undeserving recipients of His lavish agape love (1 John 3:1). God’s demonstration of agape love led to the sacrifice of the Son of God for those He loves.
We are to love others with agape love, whether they are fellow believers (John 13:34) or bitter enemies (Matthew 5:44). Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan as an example of sacrifice for the sake of others, even for those who may care nothing at all for us. Agape love as modeled by Christ is not based on a feeling; rather, it is a determined act of the will, a joyful resolve to put the welfare of others above our own.
Agape love does not come naturally to us. Because of our fallen nature, we are incapable of producing such a love. If we are to love as God loves, that love—that agape—can only come from its Source. This is the love that “has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” when we became His children (Romans 5:5; cf. Galatians 5:22). “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16). Because of God’s love toward us, we are able to love one another. – source
Brethren, I believe now that the Lord allowed me to sink into this dark place yesterday, only to reach me with His Word and His Love.
Lord help me – help us – to keep our eyes fixed on You during troubled times; but also during joyous times. Help us to trust in You always. As we “walk on the water with Jesus” help us to not look down at our circumstances, but only focus on our Glorious Savior! I ask this in the name above every name, Jesus. Amen.
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).