“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 107:3)
We pondered here last week the breadth of God’s love in Christ. God’s truth on that was refreshing to me. How quickly we can forget His refreshment! And even though we know God’s truths and may have recently been refreshed by them, a season can quickly descend upon us that can still feel as if we are as far from God as the east is from the west. Whether it be sin, pitiable life circumstances, depression, or wrong thinking sending us on a downward dark spiral; it can feel like there is an infinite gap between us and God.
This is why Paul and God, through His Word, give us so much more truth to hang onto beyond the breadth of God’s love. Does your heart need to know more today?
God’s Word piles it on.
“Is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?” (Isaiah 50:2)
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” (Isaiah 59:1)
Did he not reach Jonah, even though he was in the belly of the whale? (Jonah 2)
John Bunyan has something to say to us who are in this poor condition:
“…I will not now ask thee how thou camest into this condition, or how long this has been thy state; but I will say before thee, and I prithee hear me, O the length of the saving arm of God! As yet thou art within the reach thereof; do not thou go about to measure arms with God, as some good men are apt to do: I mean, do not thou conclude, that because thou canst not reach God by thy short stump, therefore he cannot reach thee with his long arm. Look again, ‘Hast thou an arm like God’ (Job 40:9), an arm like his for length and strength? It becomes thee, when thou canst not perceive that God is within the reach of thy arm, then to believe that thou art within the reach of his; for it is long, and none knows how long.”
When you don’t feel close, believe God’s truth.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would illuminate your heart and mind to grasp this.
If you are in Christ, then you are already as close to the Lord as you can ever be. Obedience makes our relationship with Him richer and sweeter. The clouds of sin keep us from sensing his shining love that is always there. Walking close to Him helps us to see Him more clearly. We can’t win His love with our works. Likewise, we can’t lose His love with our works or lack of.
Maybe you already grasp this well or you’re feeling fine about this today. Praise God! If that’s the case, then would you consider again that God’s arm is not too short to save someone you love? Maybe there is someone you’ve given up hope for ever grasping God’s love themselves. Or is there a loved one who seems to have abandoned the faith? Let us rise boldly and cry out to God for them. If you don’t know where to start, here are Bunyan’s own words for us. Join me?
“Awake, O arm of the Lord, art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?’ (Isaiah 51:9). Awake, O arm of the Lord, and be stretched out as far as to where my poor husband is, where my poor child, or to where my poor backslidden wife or dear relation is, and lay hold, fast hold; they are gone from thee, but, O thou the hope of Israel, fetch them again, and let them stand before thee.”
Friends, I just prayed this prayer. So many faces flashed before me of loved ones I’ve prayed for over the years. Some whom I had forgotten about. I do hope you’ll join me in praying for your people. May God answer and bless our cries and bless our efforts in seeking His strong arm and hand for those we love.
If you’d like prayer for someone, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will commit to praying for them this next week!
Will you join me over the next few weeks as we explore and grasp more fully God’s love? I agree with Bunyan that it is our privilege and duty to do so. My goal is to be prepared to face the trials and temptations of this life well. Perhaps we might even flourish under them as John Bunyan did.
Next week I’ll continue with the depth of God’s love.
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The best way to understand God’s infinite love, is through the study of His Word. My friend, Arabah Joy, has a great study on HOW to do that.Do you want to be more passionate about studying God’s Word or making time to study it? Click here!
Linking up this week with these encouraging blogs: