Enduring Love

“As the Father has loved me,
so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands,
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commands
and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.”
John 15:9-11 NIV

The man was confessing how weary he had become of life. It seemed one disaster after another hounded his pilgrimage. After listening carefully, I reflected on the many years of knowing him and how consistent he had been to the Good Shepherd’s leading. I could not think of any significant fault in him. I wondered what scripture I might use to shine on the path in front of him. Then I came to our text for today.

Gently I quoted the familiar words of Jesus to the tired pilgrim and reminded him of how consistent his faith had been in the past and how the medical community had marveled at his steadfast faith in the context of surgery after surgery.

I urged him to believe that he was centered in the love of the Lord because he endured so consistently. Gradually the sorrowful expression on his face turned to one of joy. The Holy Spirit had taken the words of Scripture and powerfully applied them to the heart of this dear person.

“Well,” he said, “I have sought to remain faithful through many past difficulties, what is one more problem going to do to me?” I assured him of how faithful the Lord had been in the past and that should feed his faith for the present problem.

I quoted the immortal words of John Newton to fortify his newfound resolve to endure the present challenge to his faith.

Though dark be my way, since He is my Guide,
’Tis mine to obey, ’tis His to provide;

Though cisterns be broken, and creatures all fail,
The Word He has spoken shall surely prevail.

His love in time past forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink;

Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through.

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