"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor future, nor any powers, nor height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." --Romans 8:38
In Easter worship, I learned that Easter lasts 50 days. I also felt reaffirmed that God loves every person, all the time, and I learned about some new verses and concepts less widely known but regardless very important, especially in a world in which we need God more than ever.
In the midst of obsessing about other people’s better grades, late nights full of homework, falling into temptation, and people we deem “better” than us, it can be hard to take a step back and feel worthy. When we have people who mistreat us over and over again, love may encompass the last emotion we feel.
It’s time to break away from that.
We’ve all heard John 3:16, which says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But John 3:17 is just as important; it says “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
What my campus minister shared makes that point even better: the way in which “the world” is written about in the Bible describes the people who sin and who don’t love and obey God -- not just the ones who seem like “perfect Christians.” Jesus died for us all and God loves every single one of us wholeheartedly. God is a God of incredible love, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, or gender. This truth is what I hold dearest to me; it’s what I find to be indefinitely and undoubtedly true, and what I think all of us needs to hear.
God wants us to have a relationship with him no matter who we are. He wants to support us. He wants us to know of his power and how much good he can bring into our lives. What a beautiful thing.
As Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us through this: when we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Further, his death was excruciating and more detailed and horrendous than I originally realized, and by looking at those intense details, Jesus’ death on the cross takes on a whole new perspective. His pain was immense, beyond understanding -- and he endured it for us. It was for all of us who sin and make deliberate bad choices and turn away from him.
I keep thinking about how hard that must be. Imagine people hating you, doubting you after all the good you’ve done, going against you -- and then undergoing nails and hatred and a slow, painful death. Imagine being the parent of the child going through all of that. Know that they did this because they love you that much and want to spend forever with you despite your actions and mistakes.
I know of no love like Jesus’ love. He loves us as we are and made the ultimate sacrifice despite the kind of people we can be. It’s incredible.
When you find yourself stumbling in life, feeling insecure and unloved, know that God’s love is full, unconditional, passionate, and sacrificial. It’s truly all we need, and what we must learn to turn to and appreciate. Prayer helps, as does meditation and active remembering.
In a world with Netflix, Hulu, school, and parties, God can be easier to push away than we’d like to admit. However, I feel the most authentic feelings of calmness I have ever felt have been during or after prayer and time spent with God. Try talking to him today -- I promise it can’t hurt.