By Julie Clinton
God is unchanging in His love. He loves you. He has a plan for your life.
In the midst of life changes, including unemployment, illness, loss, relocation, and retirement, you can be comforted by knowing that God’s love doesn’t change. He’s with you in the unemployment office, in the hospital, and in the moving van. He’s with you in the infertility clinic and as you begin to collect Social Security. Actually, He’s not just with you in these places, He’s in you in these places. And that’s a powerful piece of knowledge.
The next time your circumstances cause you to question whether God has abandoned you, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and ask God, What do I need to know, do, or think to be able to recognize you in this circumstance? If the answer doesn’t come immediately, keep asking—even if you must repeat the question for days, months, or years.
God is in you. His love for you is unchanging. That’s all you need to know to be able to move through changing circumstances. Hold fast to this knowledge. Christ is holding fast to you.
Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Because He’s the same, we know His love for us doesn’t change either.
Isn’t that a relief? God loves you. Period. You don’t have to earn His love. You don’t have to be worthy of it. And nothing you do or have done will keep God from loving you.
What a relief to know that my failings won’t keep us, our families, or our friends from the love of Christ. Nothing we can do will change His feelings for us. He even loves those people who don’t know Him or love Him back! Unbelievably, Jesus loved the very people who tormented and crucified him. Luke 23:34 quotes Jesus as saying, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
I can’t imagine having the fortitude to extend forgiveness to people while they were killing me. I’ve often been able to offer forgiveness after an incident, when I later realized the person transgressing against me was actually in pain herself and lashed out as a result. But I’m not sure I’ve ever had the strength to forgive someone the moment he or she injured me. Jesus’ ability to forgive while He was being physically and mentally tortured reveals His true character.
Further, Luke tells us that even as He hung in agony on the cross, He was able to respond to one of the men hanging next to him. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:39-43). Even as He was dying, Christ showed love. Extraordinary women know that this love—His love—is unchanging.
Further, Luke tells us that even as He hung in agony on the cross, He was able to respond to one of the men hanging next to him.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:39-43).
Even as He was dying, Christ showed love. Extraordinary women know that this love—His love—is unchanging.
Though He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever, accepting His love allows us to change for the better. He wants to see you and I mature spiritually. He desires that we get rid of unhealthy habits. He craves that we’ll take the time to read the Bible and learn more about His nature. He hopes that we’ll grow in faith so we can be more like Him and love without judgment or expecting anything in return. He invites us to talk to Him more each day, to turn all of our thoughts over to Him. He wants to receive our worship and praise. More than anything, He wants to be our Friend. In John 15:15 He tells us, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Take a minute for personal reflection. Though God’s love is unchanging, how do you need to change in order to more fully embrace His love and friendship? It’s a question worth pondering.
Do you need to accept yourself before you can accept God’s love more fully?
Do you need to extend or accept forgiveness (to yourself or others) before you bathe in his love?
Do difficulties in your earthly relationships hinder you from trusting your Heavenly Father?
One of the best things about life is that tomorrow doesn’t have to be the same as today. You have the capacity to learn new habits, get rid of unwanted ones, identify what’s holding you back, and do something about it.
Though Jesus Christ is unchanging, you can change, and He’ll help you. Knowing that God really loves you includes understanding that He wants the best for you and is willing to help you get it.
As you learn more about Him you want to be more like Him. Allow His unchanging love to change you.
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"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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Connect With Julie Clinton
Connect with Julie Clinton at EWomen
Julie Clinton M.Ad., M.B.A. Is president of Extraordinary Women and host of Ewomen conferences all across America. A woman of deep faith, she cares passionately about seeing women live out their dreams by finding their freedom in Christ. Julie and her husband, Dr. Tim Clinton, live in Virginia and are the parents of Zach and Megan, who is married to Ben Allison.
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