Listen to this devotional:
Isaiah 40:28-31a – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. (NIV)
Jeremiah 31:3 – The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." (NIV)
Our cocker spaniel, Candy, had gained so much weight, or so I thought — until I bathed her and realized that I could see all her ribs. Her belly, however, was huge.
Later that week Candy underwent surgery at the veterinarian's office. The vet called afterwards to tell me that the tumour was a blood-fed, rapid-growth variety the size of a football. The surgical incision necessary to remove it was almost the entire length of her body. He then asked me to come and pick her up, as he believed her only hope for survival was to be with those who loved her.
Love is a powerful incentive in our lives. Without it, we have no reason to go on. Life is meaningless and futile. With it, however, comes hope, and the renewal of strength and power to sustain us through whatever hardships life may bring.
Today, some of our readers may be going through a time of hopelessness. We may wonder, What is the point of going on? If so, my encouragement is to remember: Remember that we are loved by the everlasting God, the King of love, who came to earth and laid down His perfect, sinless life for the sin of man, that all mankind might have hope eternal: hope to go on amidst the darkness, the pain of sorrow, and the depressions and loneliness of this life, into the glory of His renewed strength and power.
In the end, love made the difference for Candy. I encourage each of us, today, to let it do the same for us.
Prayer: Wonderful Lord and everlasting God, bless us this day with the eternal hope of Your love. Open our eyes to see Your hand at work amidst our situations. Unstop our ears to hear Your whisper of encouragement. Renew the strength of our hearts that we might "soar on wings like eagles", "run and not grow weary", and "walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:31b NIV). In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.