Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Love"ly Thoughts - Day 11 - Love that Never Disappoints

"We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." - Romans 5:3b - 5

We all know them. 
People who come into our lives with such promise. 
By all appearances, they bring a breath of fresh air and sunshine with them and we are bedazzled. 
They make such a great impression on us right away that we fail to see that they may not be all they appear to be. 

We develop expectations based on the first glow of that relationship and naturally we want to see the good in someone who has so captured our attention and enthusiasm. 
So when they fail to live up to those expectations, it hurts. We feel betrayed. We are bewildered because we just didn't see it coming. And truthfully, we wonder what's wrong with us that we didn't see it sooner. 

Well, what's wrong with us is that we are looking for something we will never find in a relationship that cannot possibly provide it. 
Because people will always disappoint us. 
And when we look to human relationships to provide what only Jesus can, we set ourselves up for that disappointment. 

We are all sinful, fallen creatures. 
We all fail. 
We all disappoint. 
Everyone of us. Every day. 

But thank God we have a hope that exceeds all our earthly disappointment. The struggles we endure with human frailty produce perseverance because we know we must go on. We have no choice but to continue to put one foot in front of the other, even when we've been hurt terribly by the actions of others.  

Thankfully, God uses the perseverance he develops in us to grow our character. To build on the foundation of His great love that is being poured out for us to stand on. 
Because every time we are disappointed by someone, we learn from the experience. 
Parents call these 'teachable moments'. 
Character building exercises. 
Call it what you will, it is a painful process that teaches us as much about who we are in Christ as it teaches us about those who hurt us. 

And the beautiful gift at the end of each character building exercise is HOPE. 
Hope is the vessel God uses to pour His LOVE into our hearts. 
Because the greater our hope, the more we know of His love for us.  

A love that holds us close when we are hurt. 
A love that whispers in our ears "I am with you even in this struggle." 
A love that never disappoints. 

With a Courageous Heart, 

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