I continue with the content of the Year of God’s Love. Today I will speak on God’s love in its relationship to faith.
Joyce was sexually abused by her father as a child. Her life was miserable: her relationships with others difficult; her ability to trust people greatly eroded. At the age of nine, without any religious background she felt she needed to be saved, whatever that she understood at her tender age. She took her cousin to church and told her that they were going to get saved that day. She was a bossy little girl even then. But the Pastor did not make an altar call for salvation. After the service, she and her cousin went up to the Pastor and asked, “Can you save me?” Innocent as that was but that was the beginning of change. She started her journey of understanding true love and today, Joyce Meyer has become one of the most influential, impacting ministers in the world. (Adapted from her message “I am relentless”)
Love came down and everything changed for Joyce!
Faith that works through Love
When we lament over a lack of strong faith to forge ahead to achieve goals, my response is this: stop beating up yourself by feeling small and not measuring up to others. Feeling that you are not good enough is not the way to arise in faith to enter God’s reality in daily life. It is in building a rich and deep relationship with God and the love of the Lord Jesus that decides your victory.
If you have unrealized goals and it might have been many years, if you had faced failure, if you had mistakes against others, the thing we do not do is to dwell in self-pity. Just know first that you are not the only one that has unrealized goals, failures or mistakes. So don’t act like you are. We have to decide whether to learn from failure, run from it or sweep it under the carpet.
Determination of faith derives from Confidence of love
Jesus is building the church in faith through love. Faith, strength and determination are not in religious rituals but in relationship with God. Determination and strength of faith come from love that inspires confidence – confidence to pursue goals by faith.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness out of faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but faith working through love. (Gal 5:5-6)
In this Year of God’s Love, I feel the Lord is calling our churches into a more determined and deeper relationship with God. It is the love of God and our relationship with Him that determine all levels of success and victory over our trials and tribulations. No tests can defeat people filled with God’s love.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height,nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:35, 38-39)
God’s love empowers your faith.
Love is a function of relationship and relationship is a function of love. Out of this connection is the ability to trust. Faith is a noun but trust is a verb – worked out of relationship. Love empowers trust. Trust is the beginning of confidence. Love-inspired confidence helps people out of failure more than any slogan shouting. Love-inspired confidence gives inner determination of faith producing the fruit of God-glorifying success.
Success impresses people. But success from one who has won over failure due to God’s love, impacts people. Amen.
It is our priority to cultivate our love relationship with the Lord to ensure a successful life of faith and hope that will impact others as salt and light at home, in school or at work.
Pastor Jeremiah and Susan Yap
Group Senior Pastor
New Life Restoration Centre