"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."--Romans 8:38(NLT)
Many are riddled with unreconciled guilt simply because they are too ashamed to talk about what has occurred. Others resign themselves to "live with it" or purpose to "bury" it in their hearts in efforts to avoid or forget. And others, simply deny. The problem with these measures is that none of them bring wellness, health, or healing to our souls. In fact quite the contrary John 10:10 tells us that the enemy (Satan) comes to kill, steal, and destroy. When we opt to believe lies or live in perpetual states of denial, avoidance, blaming we forfeit the gift that Jesus offers us all--the ability to live the zoe life, as God intended (John 10:10). This is life full of abundance, satisfaction, and love.
I recall a conversation with someone who was experiencing overwhelming anguish, personal pain, and suffering. A troubled past and long history of substance abuse caused him to believe he had lived a "bad" life. He believed his "past was catching up with him" and ultimately was convinced he was being punished by God for past indiscretions. Because he believed this lie, he did not feel he could turn to God in the midst of his great pain. He didn't believe that God would listen to him--much love, forgive, or accept him. These erroneous thoughts are debilitating and crippling. They cripple and stagnate movement in our journey. We stall out at a place of brokenness; helpless to move because we do not believe we can turn to God. This is the enemy! We would do well to remember that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.
If any of this resonates with you, there is good news for you today! God is with you--even if you find yourself in a dark and abysmal place. Don't believe me? May I encourage you to read Psalm 139:8? David suggests that there is no place he can go that God is not there. David states that if he willfully, volitionally, and intentionally makes his bed in hell (H7585--sheowl: extreme degradation in sin) God is there! Whoa, wait...what? Even when we are purposefully engaging in what is dark and godless, God is there? Yes.
Herein lies one of the deceptions of the enemy. We are NEVER separated from God or his everlasting love. God's love is not conditional based and it is not merit based. There is no chasm, discrimination, or refusals in God's abundant love and his relentless pursuit for his children. The Bible is loaded with case studies on those, with questionable histories, who were recipients of God's love. Consider the prodigal son. When he returned home to his father, after making his proverbial bed in hell, he was celebrated. His father joyfully and warmly received him and held a huge "Welcome Back" party in his honor (Luke 15:11-32). Even the crooked tax-collector, Zacchias, was embraced by Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). The woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-11) and Saul who killed many Jews (Acts 8) are further examples of those who illustrate that we are never separated from God's love.
May I encourage you today to receive the good news of the Father? Purpose to make this day your moment of reckoning and a turning point. Confess your sin(s) before him. Receive his love, mercy, and grace. Talk to a Pastor or clergy member--share your story and be relieved of the burden and weight of carrying something that God never intended for you to bear.