Love. Defined as a “profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” We seek to love and long to be loved in return. It is human nature to desire affection, whether it’s from a friendship or a romantic relationship. Heartbreak is defined as an “overwhelming sorrow or grief.” To love deeply is to grieve just as deeply when hurt by that particular person. When considering what I wanted to write about this week, dealing with heartbreak was my first choice of topic because it’s a subject that has become all too personal in the last six months or so. I began to study what the Bible says about the subject and after a while one thing became perfectly clear to me. If there is anyone who understands my pain, it is God. The Bible is truly the most profound love story I’ve ever read. All throughout the scriptures it speaks of God’s love for his people, their betrayal and His forgiveness.
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3
An everlasting love. Unconditional love. True love. It’s hard for my human mind to comprehend such a love and yet I cannot deny that its true because despite all my flaws and failures, I have felt and experienced that same love completely overwhelm me. God understands our feelings of wanting to be loved and appreciated more than I ever realized. God IS love. Book after book, verse after verse, we are given examples of that very love. Who better than Him understands the depth of that emotion and the heartbreak that ensues from caring about someone so deeply? The fact that He created us in His own image testifies to His love for us and yet from the beginning, we have broken his heart over and over. Can you imagine His sorrow when the Israelites, despite His having delivered them from Egypt and demonstrating His incredible power to do so, still turned to worship false idols? Yet He remained faithful, time after time (Nehemiah 9:6-17). I’m reminded of the story of the prophet Hosea, of whom I’ve heard referred to as the “Prophet of Divine Love.” In chapter one, because of Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness, Hosea is commanded by God to marry an unfaithful wife. Through his own suffering because of his wife’s sinful nature, he was able to understand God’s pain because of Israel’s wickedness and the insult to not only the law of God but to His love as well. No matter how many times we have been unfaithful to God, He has never turned his back on us. Despite our history of disobedience and betrayal towards Him, He has continued to “love us with an everlasting love” and still saw fit to wrap Himself in flesh and die on a cross for our sins. He knew Peter would deny Him, just as He knew the world would condemn Him and still, His love never wavered. Forgiveness is still freely given (Daniel 9:9). It’s a beautiful story, a story of an ultimate love, redeeming love. A love that knows no boundaries or concept of time.
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4: 9-10
Every day I pray to be more like Christ, to let His love shine through me. This means forgiving the ones who have hurt me. It’s not the easiest thing to do, I struggle with it every day. However, I find that the more time I spend in prayer and in His word, the easier it becomes every day to think of those people and hurtful situations without anger and bitterness. Instead I find that I’m able to pray for them and genuinely mean it when I ask God to bless them and move in their life. Forgiving someone doesn’t make the situation any less painful but it does add an element of joy to your life that wasn’t there before. Follow God’s example; love unconditionally, forgive unconditionally. Instead of holding on to feelings of hurt and resentment, choose joy and peace. Pursue a great love story with a great God.