Let not your heart be troubled

(published in Cordele Dispatch 2/13/11)

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are encouraged to show our love to others.  We see stores filled with chocolate candies, beautiful cards, red balloons, and cuddly stuffed animals.  But current events all around us can sometimes bring about feelings that cause us to feel incapable of celebrating love on any given day.
The world we live in is in such a sad state and I’m sure we all know many who feel hopeless and discouraged.  Right this very minute, I can think of many circumstances that break my heart.  I see babies being born with life threatening disabilities.  I see parents who have to give their sweet babies back to God just as soon as they are placed in their arms.  I see friends lose jobs they have been faithfully dedicated to for years.  I see people being mistreated and made to feel like they are worthless.  I could go on, but I think you get the message. 
Now that I’ve officially depressed you, let me give you and myself some encouragement.  While this sinful world we live in can sometimes get the best of us, those who are in Christ have hope for a better tomorrow.  Even when we want to just get in bed and pull the covers over our heads, our God reminds us that He is still in control, through the good times and the bad.  He is there for every tear we shed and He is there for every smile that parts our lips. 
This same God is a God who is also acquainted with sadness.  He himself had to look the other way that day on Calvary.  As His son hung there on that cross, it was more than He could bear to see.  He had to look the other way as the sin of the world fell upon his innocent son, Jesus Christ. 
It’s comforting to me to know that Jesus also knows what it’s like to be “in our shoes”.  He willingly came to this earth in human flesh to walk among us.  He experienced the loss of loved ones.  He felt the hurt of those being abused.  And he did something about it.  He willingly took on the sin of the world in order that we might be redeemed.  This plan was the only way that you and I could ever experience true joy and love unspeakable.
That day on Calvary, Jesus’ blood was shed for us.  As the blood ran down, the sweetest love letter of all was written for you and for me.  Here is our Valentine’s Day card from Him:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16

Take this precious gift, and hold on to it.  On those days that you feel unloved or unloving, remember what Christ has done for you and me to experience true love, God’s love.  His love is unconditional and unchanging….today and always.