Friday, August 15, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: In the End Only Three Things Remain

I am writing this post for my friend Mary.  After a week of disheartening news cycles and personal frustrations, I rode home from Mary's last night thankful for my Godly friend but also a little distracted, until one of my favorite verses came to mind.  St Paul wrote, "In the end only these three things remain faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love!" (1 Corinthians 13:13) Here are my reflections on that verse in 7 quick takes.

St Paul was absolutely right, when all is said and done, when you have been stripped of every earthly good and pleasure, there are only three things left: faith, hope, and love.  Most certainly, love is the greatest, for without love there is no faith, without faith there is no hope.   Everything you need and the sum total of what can never be lost starts and ends with love.

There is much darkness in this world, but it is a world of light.  This is God's world, even if satan rules the earth.  He can never truly over take it.  It has been said that there is no such think as darkness, only the absence of light.  Light is always there even when we cannot see.  In the deepest depth of the ocean, creatures make their own light to illuminate a world that has never seen even the hint of daylight.  So, in our deepest despair, the light of love is there in some form, always, because true darkness is a lie.

Persecution does not eliminate faith, hope, nor love.  It can test faith, it can shred hope, it can lead to a feeling of being in a loveless void; however, it can never destroy what has been created and what always will be.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. (John 1:1)  I truly believe that the "word" is love.  In the beginning there was love, and the love was with God, and the love was God.  God is who was and is and is yet to come, yet He is Love incarnate. He is a force of love and love can rage and love can be the gentlest breeze, but love never dies.  

I sometimes fear persecution, I ponder will I have what it takes. Will I stand there are sing to my God and King, no matter what they hurl at me physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  Will I be able to look the enemy in the eye and say, "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." while they threaten my family and house?  Every time these thoughts cross my mind, I beg God for both strength to carry the ultimate cross, and deliverance from it.   In the end, I have no fear, for there are fates much worse than death and no matter the gravity of the suffering, it is all momentary but on the other side is an eternity of abiding in pure Love.

We must pray for our enemies, Jesus commanded us to. (Matthew 5:44)  But also, we must pray for the love of God to permeate their hearts that are gripped by darkness.  I think that our immortal soul really is a snip of God's all powerful Love that He infuses into us at conception.  Our souls long for God because they are a small taste of all He is.  Everyone has the capability to return to the one, true God.  No one is ever lost forever on this side of Heaven.Prayer can move mountains, and stone-filled hearts.  Pray for their conversion and deliverance from the evil one.

Like many, I have been greatly saddened by the tragic death of Robin Williams.  While I do not approve of suicide, I do not see an evil man or selfish father or godless dolt; I see a deeply troubled man who loved his work, his family and friends, and his God but got lost in darkness and could not find the light.  None of us know the fate of our soul nor anyone else's.  In those last moments it is only you and God and He is the only judge that matters.  So, please pray for the rest of Mr. Williams' soul.  he was a kind, generous, great man, who will be missed by millions; but most especially his family  Also, read the following article that explores how he felt that ultimately the love of God is the ultimate gift and source of all that mattered.  Rest in peace, Mr Williams.

Faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love!

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