"The Lord sets the prisoners free..." Psalm 146:7
You are loved and not alone
Whether you were born into a difficult situation, made foolish choices, or were pushed down a road by circumstances beyond your control...it does not much matter when you hit a hard season. These seasons often come from and lead to sin. The promise in every sin is pleasure, power, or control. But the rewards of sin are fleeting at best and end up with devastating consequences, pain, and utter brokenness. Sometimes that sin drags us lower than we ever thought we would go. The reality is that the 'freedoms' we thought we had all become shackles emotionally, financially, and physically. What do we do when the world, family, friends, and fast living fails us? What happens when we fails others? What do we do when we reach the end of ourselves? This is the moment when we are ready to see our complete and utter need for help. But when you can't trust anyone, any systems, or even yourself...what do you do?
There is another reality...a spiritual reality, where you can be restored, renewed, refreshed, and reclaimed by the the God of all creation. The same God that made the world made you in his image, i.e. like him. And whether of not you like like it...you had a relationship with him. And make no mistake, there is no middle ground...either you are with him or against him.
Perhaps you have offended him, ignored him, cursed his name, or have never really known him. I am here to tell you that he knows you! He knows your pain, your loss and suffering. God is not indifferent toward you...in fact the exact opposite is true. The same God that created the universe loves you...but not the sin you bring with you. He loves you enough to not let you keep the distance between you and him that your sin has made. The best news is that he made a plan to deal with your sin once and for all.
Sin, (yours, mine, and everyone's), cannot go unpunished. It is in God's nature to be just. But the punishment that is due to our sin is death. The way God dealt with this is that he sent someone to take punishment from the sins against him. His name is Jesus Christ, the son of God. Jesus did what you and I could never do - He resisted temptation, obeyed God perfectly, and stood in our place to receive the full punishment that our sin deserved. God hates sin and will not tolerate it. So Jesus takes that death and experiences that total isolation that comes from the sin. That isolation has a name - HELL. Perhaps you have felt a small taste of isolation...the aloneness that comes from rejection. My friend...God does not want that for you.
WHY? Because God is not content for you to run from him, to be alone, to find satisfaction in the temporary illusions addiction, or to be in bondage. Your God loves you...not at a distance, or just in a general way...but personally, intimately, and in a tangible way. He is the perfect father none of us had. His love penetrates bars, walls, fences, and the hardest hearts. When that sin is forgiven, he embraces the soul inside you...the real you...with his Holy Spirit, so that you would never be alone again. If you belong to God, he no longer sees a rebel, instead he sees a son or daughter. And because God does not change, you can count on him regardless of where you find yourself.
This spiritual reality of God's love is more real and powerful than the circumstances you find yourself in today. This love was set in motion before you were even born, before the world was made, and cannot be stopped by anything. That means whatever you have done or could do has been dealt with by the very God you have offended. This love lasts beyond these walls, these bodies and into eternity. Brother/Sister, there is only one who has never and will never fail.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.'
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39
In the same way that it does not matter much how you have come upon hard times, it does not matter the sin you have done. God is not waiting for you to clean yourself up before you go to him...he knows you are dirty and will do the cleaning. 'While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'. There is no sin so great that cannot be forgiven by the work of Christ! If you claim Jesus as your replacement and trust in God alone to restore your relationship with him, you can join together with all of God's people all over the world and throughout the ages. Pray to God now and let him meet you wherever you are. Pray to him, pour out your heart and watch as your hard season will change. Never be alone again!
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