Just finished Beth Moore's study on "Believing God" and the last section really hit me hard.
It started with a verse that I think will become one of my life verses, like Isaiah 26:3, a verse I find it hard to believe has never come to my attention before:
Gal 5:6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
The close relationship between faith and love never occurred to me before.
Beth writes: "God has called us to love even when we don't want to, we don't feel like it, we get nothing obvious in return, when the person we're trying to love don't deserve it, if we feel they're not worth it, if they don't even know it, and even if it doesn't make any difference that we can see."
1 Cor 13:8 Love never fails.
"Every effort to love sacrificially (agape love) never fails to get God's priority attention (Mark 12:28-30); to ultimately and undoubtedly be rewarded; to have a profound effect, whether in the other person, in the circumstance, or in us.
"Love our enemies by faith. Love our neighbors by faith. Love our family members by faith. Love our spouses by faith. Love our in-laws by faith. Love a rebellious teen by faith. Love our betrayer by faith. Love an ill and bitter parent by faith. Love by faith, not by feeling."
Who has capacity to love like this? Impossible for us; only possible through God.
And yet, Romans 5:5: ...and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love for us into our hearts"
2 Cor 5:7 But we have this treasure [God's love] in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
I have been struggling to continue to love and pray for a friend who has become very difficult to talk to, very difficult to identify with, she seems so lost in pain and confusion and I have been hating myself for feeling like giving up on her right when she probably needs love & prayer the most - this lesson came at a crucial time for me.