A Love You Can Trust
One of my favorite Christian devotionals is an infamous devotional by pastor and missionary Francis called Crazy Love. It is a sheer delight to read. The book is primarily about how our love for God should encourage us to reach out to the unsaved and to bravely remove traditions from religion and live out Christ’s commands unhinged. This fiery passion, as the devotional reveals, comes from understanding God’s love toward humanity is so powerful that when absorbed transforms mediocre Christians into zealous believers. Such love empowers virtues like righteousness, truth, and holiness, these fruits enable children of God to stamp out idols and cut out sins in our lives.
What makes God’s love in a word “crazy” is the lengths He went to bring us back to Him, after we failed Him, sinned against Him, and rejected Him.
In the first chapter of Crazy Love titled, “Stop and Think” Chan instructs the reader to stop and think about who God is. To take a nice, long hard look and remember the God we serve is the God of the universe. He is the one true God. The moment we see God, it should rouse the Christian spirit to worship God in light of His might, power, and glory.
What struck me during my quality time with the Lord is in the book, we’re instructed to watch this video, titled “Stop and Think.” In the video, Francis Chan the author and preacher explains the depths of God’s love. He describes how humanity fell short, how we’re all sinners and by God’s love we deserved death. In spite of the circumstances, God did not give up on us. He became Christ Jesus, God in the flesh (incarnate) to set us free from sin’s bondage.
As I was watching the video, what Chan spoke stood out to me. He says:
“There are people all across America right now that say, ‘Yeah I believe in God. Yeah I follow Him.’ And then you look at their lives and it doesn’t show. Jesus said, ‘…if you really knew you would obey my commands.’” Chan continues to say, “It’s this idea of trust saying you know what I trust this God, He’s done everything for my good. He’s given me life. He’s given me His laws. He’s given me forgiveness, so I believe His commands are gonna be for my good. And that will show by your lifestyle.”
Such a profound message. It struck my core like lightning, and I had to pause and listen again, and again to what Chan had said.
Do I trust God?
I am like thousands of Christians in America. I grew up in a Christian home. My parents are devout believers of Jesus Christ. I remember my mom teaching us about Christ at a young age, and knowing the stories of Daniel in the lions’ den, to King Saul’s murderous pursuit of David, to the fateful night of Jesus’ betrayal. Up to the past five years, I realized knowing is only half the battle. Trust is truly where it counts, and your faith begins to manifest.
Yeah, I believe in God.
Yeah, I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life.
But do… I follow Him?
The best way to tell is to examine our lifestyle. Ask yourself: Does my lifestyle reveal my trust in God? Am’ I truly following Him as my mouth proclaims or is my lifestyle revealing how I have fallen short and complacent in my spiritual walk? Taking a quick assessment of 2021, I admit I failed more than I succeeded in surrendering myself entirely to God. 2020 was a cataclysmic year. As many times as I hit my low point, I often made my bed at rock bottom–I also knew the Holy Spirit remained working in me, propelling me to persevere. It was such a great deal of learning and letting go for me.
Now I can look at the scripture and the world with practically new eyes. I am not exactly seeing things for the first time, moreso understanding and accepting what the Lord desires to teach me. Most importantly, what the Lord God desires for me to learn about Him. I cannot say 2020 was a bearable year, but it was only possible by the grace of God. God kept me and so many others.
Although there were many external factors holding me back, what can keep me stuck is my unbelief. If I do not trust God is one thing, but I am unable to trust God if I do not know Him. I believe this is definitely what is keeping me and several Christians in captivity in 2021. It is our unbelief, our ignorance of His perfect character and our lack of self discipline to read and apply His word to our lives. We do not know God, we do not believe He is faithful, and all of us lacked being consumed by the love of God. On the other hand, when we welcome God’s love, His love is what transforms us to be unafraid and bold.
In fact, loving God, believing you’re loved by God, trusting God, and knowing God are all factors in this spiritual metamorphosis formula. Furthermore, the most important knowledge any human shall ever acquire is truth about who the Lord God is. Knowing God is more than half the battle here on Earth. When I know God for myself, read, study, put into practice what the Bible teaches I receive wisdom to handle everyday situations varying in difficulty. I catch glimpses of what to expect from the world. I discern who to trust. I find security and rest, believing my God is far more capable than I will ever be.
When I truly know God I am more inclined to trust Him, instead of fearing my circumstances. I trust God; thereby, I step out on faith, I stand bold and courageous against the unknown.
Chapter One encourages believers to once again remember who God is! To recognize what He has done for us and how He is worthy of all our commitment and love and adoration. Francis Chan expresses some commendable points and these are reasons as to why we can definitely trust God this year!
The primary example is that God’s plan of salvation was for our good. Romans 5:21 says, “21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God’s salvation plan was for our good, both our eternal and internal good. If sin is in the way, then there is no way we can see God. God is Holy. God is righteous. We cannot expect a holy God to accept the wickedness of humanity. This is a monstrous crime in His eyes.
God absolutely hates sin.
Sin rebels against His Holy law and will. We like to call our evil actions anything but sin, because we’re selfish, entitled, and wicked creatures. Little do we know, sin eats away at our souls, pulling us apart from the One being whose love and compassion fills the void in our souls. So how great, how humongous does God’s love have to be, for Him to willingly give up His Son for our sake. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice was all a part of the big picture.
Oh, Beloved, do you realize salvation cost God everything, and it costs us nothing? God did not have to save humanity, but He sacrificed His Son for us anyway.
So, witness the extent God has gone to save us, rescue us, and transform us. God has proven He is faithful and His love is trustworthy. His love is definitely a love we can trust!