How Can It Be

Upon his conversion, the great hymn writer Charles Wesley penned these words:

And can it be that I should gain
An int'rest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

We often sing these words with awe and love for God. But what about when we are not singing, and instead in the daily trenches of life, when we do not feel it so powerfully? How does this amazing love of God meet and minister to those who are lonely, sick, rejected, or broken by sin? How can we run to Christ and rest in his love? 

'Tis mystery all! Th'Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

For the lonely there is no better friend than the Lord Jesus. This may sound cliche' but as Dan Ortlund points out in his book Gentle and Lowly, the companionship of Christ "heals our feelings of rejection...and heals our sense of aloneness" -- He is no longer aloof or distance to the one who has found eternal salvation in His name. Psalm 9:10 says, "Those who know your name put their trust in you., for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." We know friendship with God in the mutual affection and union of heart with Christ; He is an actual friend. We can rest in his name, trusting we are loved with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).

"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." James 5:14-15

To the sick and hurting, Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you who are weary" (Matthew 11:28). Dear believer, do not forget your Lord Jesus who had compassion on the crowds, drew the sick and dying to Himself, "touched their eyes" and sent demons to flee and made mud with love (Matt. 8, 9, 14, etc)! He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who Heals. He is the same yesterday and today and we can run to him for safe-keeping and for healing. It is amazing love that heals! Perhaps your healing is not complete, and maybe it won't be on this side of heaven. Maybe your "healing" is in the path of peace and comfort in the love of God that "sustains [you] on your sickbed" (Psalm 41:3). Lay with hope and hold on to the hem of Jesus' robe, like the bleeding woman (Matt. 9:20-22). Your salvation is coming!

He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.

To those who find rejection around many corners, Jesus says "Come!" to you too. This heart-sickness can shift the course of life and if we are not careful we can become embittered and emboldened to run away from the sources of pain and rejection. One must find comfort in being completely known and loved by God! We must humbly assess our situation and bless God for his providence, for his tender mercies that open our eyes to His own rejection and pain of loneliness. Again, Jesus is an actual friend! Dear one, press on in faithfulness to God. Keep on loving and leaning to those around you, holding fast to your confession (Hebrews 4:14).  Let us never lose sight of our precious Savior who is able to "sympathize with our weaknesses, but who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). We can with confidence "draw near to the throne of grace, that we might receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs. 16). 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Finally, to those who are shackled by sin, hiding in shame, or fighting for freedom--Jesus says, "Come." It is no surprise that a sinner's only relief is in his Creator-God, his Maker and King. One must cease his striving and submit to the mighty hand of God, the hand that "disciplines those He loves" (Proverbs 3:12) is the same hand that reaches out and says, "Come!" Would we, in times of trouble, remember that our God is a "very present help" (Psalm 46:1) and He alone can rescue and restore us. He always provides a way out! May the love of God move us toward Jesus in times of brokenness and sin-struggle. May we live lives of repentance. Like Luther nailed, "Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance." It is amazing Love that leads us to repentance! May we never know a day where we don't practice the presence of God, live vulnerably soul-naked before Him, such that we are continually repenting and resting in His merciful love. 

Whether we are lonely, sick, or ashamed, we all have full access to our Savior's love. It is free to us, costly for Him, but abundant every day. May our hearts truly be full as we remember the deep love of God that sent His Son, Jesus, to be our Lamb! We are clothed in His righteousness and can really rest, knowing His love that has fully paid for our sin. 

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

This month, as we feast in the commercialism of love in all the reds, pinks, and Sweethearts, let the Spirit of God stir up within our hearts a true affection for our Savior, for our spouses, children, friends, and neighbors. Let us stir one another up in true love -- God's amazing love!  Let us sing of it all our days. 

Amazing Love, how can it be?


Popular Posts