Remembering God's Love for Us - The Crosswalk Devotional - April 1
The Crosswalk Devotional
By Aaron D'Anthony Brown, Crosswalk.com
Remembering God’s Love for Us
By Aaron D’Anthony Brown
“Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)
The Forgetful and the Remembrance
We read about it, write about it, sing about it, think about it, and yet, time and time again, we forget about it. God’s love. Something truly remarkable and profoundly unclear, something we are quick to praise, and also quick to doubt. This is the human condition, both before and after we become believers. Why would a higher power, any higher power, love us? We wonder, yet, despite our ambivalence and despite our folly, His love remains. Ubiquitous. Powerful. Pursuant.
God’s love is a mystery, one we see illustrated and told throughout Scripture, and history. Stories of God-fearing men and women before us characterize God as loving, caring, and involved, not to mention the Savior He sent for all mankind. If we take a look beyond Scripture or history, we can point to instances of miracles and goodness occurring in the lives of our relatives, friends, and others. God is good, they say, and we agree with them, especially because we see God blessing our lives, too. The birth of a child, a new job, a new relationship, healing from injury, recovery from addiction, and the list goes on.
We see all these instances and examples of God working, but our questions persist.
- Why would God love me?
- Does He really love me?
- If He did, why is this happening to me?
- Why is all of this happening to me all at once?
One mystery, not as abstruse as God’s love, is why we forget in the first place. Circumstances, those of the unfortunate variety, make us falsely believe our problems to be bigger than our God. They lead us to believe we’ve fallen out of His grace, whether or not we’re at fault. People have the same effect on us, sometimes telling us that we’re the problem when we’re not. Other times, they are the ones causing our circumstances.
Then there is the issue of our own sin, which has a way of clouding our judgment of what’s true and false. We deny God’s love because we have denied love to ourselves. At other times, we blame Him for the chaos we ourselves have evoked, because taking responsibility feels too great. Even knowing why we forget doesn’t necessarily help us remember. Remembrance doesn't come back to us naturally. Sometimes, maybe often, we have to tussle with ourselves to get our perspectives back on track and re-focused on God. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves, “Why, my soul, are you in such turmoil?”
Intersecting Faith and Life:
There are a few different ways each of us as believers can strive daily to remember God’s love for us. In doing so, we shouldn’t seek just to serve ourselves, but should also seek to uplift one another, as Scripture admonishes (Psalm 27:17).
1. Read the Bible
In order to know God’s character, and therefore His love, we each have to read His book. People can certainly tell us about God, and we can make guesses about who He is, but Scripture helps us to know with certainty.
2. Read Scripture Daily
Reading the Bible once every full moon doesn’t help us develop an intimate understanding of Him. Our adversities with people, circumstances, and ourselves are constant. That’s the consistency we should emulate with Scripture in order to remember His love.
3. Memorize Verses
When thoughts of doubt enter our minds, we can refute what is untrue with what is true. By memorizing verses, the knowledge of those words becomes ingrained.
There’s something to be said about experiencing life in the presence of fellow believers. As we ourselves are a reflection of Christ, so too are our fellow Christians, especially as they show love to us in various ways. They remind us that He’s watching, that He cares.
Life is tough, but not as tough when we can turn the focus from ourselves to other people. That’s when we remember that life is bigger than our problems, and that we can still live beyond our issues.
Thoughts are fleeting and fickle by the day, but words written on paper last much longer. Writing about God’s love for us and all the examples thereof is a sure way to counteract the tendency to forget.
6. Log Your Blessings
If you log your budget, why not log your blessings? Just like marking what income you bring in each month, you can write down all of the ways you’ve been blessed, either by day or month. Keeping a running list gives you a visual reminder of how God has been working.
7. Plan Against the Doubt
We’re human, and that unfortunately means we’re sinful, flawed, fallible beings. Not only are we prone to doing wrong, but we’re also prone to continue forgetting God’s love, no matter how hard we try. The trick is to minimize the voice of doubt as much as possible, and to it the moment it appears, or as soon as we can. With a plan in place, we can do just that. While we can’t cast away the doubt completely, we can ensure doubt can’t call our minds home today or tomorrow.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Mimai Mig
Aaron D'Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”
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