Welcome to our first blog post. I (Michael) will usually be writing them, since the severity of Margaret’s health issues make it very difficult for her to write. Our plan is to do a monthly post, typically with an excerpt from our book which we hope will encourage you. Our goal is to post during the first week of each month, and as we begin this new year, we are so grateful to God for the daily assurance of His love, despite the ongoing severity of Margaret’s health challenges.
At times over the years we have found ourselves interpreting the love of the Lord based on our circumstances. If things are going well, it appears God’s love is upon us. If things are difficult, it is all too easy to conclude the Lord must be upset with us, and therefore somehow withholding His love from us. Thank God, the gospel informs us that Jesus’ love for us isn’t based on our circumstances. Rather, it is based on what Christ has done for us. So, we must be proactive with our souls–reminding ourselves often of what Jesus did for us on the cross. For truly this is the only place to look to see the never-changing, steadfast love of God towards us.
Here is a portion of chapter two in our book: the chapter is titled “The Gospel and Chronic Disease,” and this is from the section called “The Assurance of God’s Love.”
“I think living in a chronic illness world is a lot like flying in clouds. The positive, good outlook on our lives can be swallowed up by the storms of our medical trials. Our spiritual orientation can be lost. We can seriously begin to wonder if God truly loves us. The medical storm is so intense we cannot tell where we are headed. All we can see are the clouds of our trial, and the concerned looks of those around us. We wonder if we can survive, or if we will come out of our challenges so flipped upside down in our souls that we will inevitably crash and burn. We thought God loved us, but now everything is so difficult that it is increasingly hard to know his love still shines on us. If only we could really see the Son in the middle of our medical clouds. Is there a way to know for certain God loves us during these difficult times?
Thankfully, the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!” The deep assurance of God’s love is found in the gospel. He loved us while we were still sinners, living in rebellion against him. (Note Romans 5:8) And, once we are saved through faith in Christ, he promises he will never leave us or forsake us. We are eternally secure in his love. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.”
May the love of God demonstrated through Jesus Christ strengthen and sustain you in the days ahead. “Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:7)