On November 19 our youth group, recently named Wildfire, welcomed our first live testimony–Jenni. You may have seen promotions for her on the slides at church, in the bulletin, or even on Facebook. She’s a bright and talented young woman who we were honored to host. Her testimony was especially beautiful because in an act of surrender Jenni sat in front of our kids and, with a vulnerable heart, told them how growing up she had always heard that God loved her but that truth did not register for a long time.
Growing up I was like Jenni. I believed in God, I believed Jesus was His son who died for us, and I believed Jesus rose from the dead. I also believed God was an angry God who would toss me aside the moment I messed up. I remember being five years old and crying with my sister because the two of us were certain we were going to go to Hell.
To be completely honest, I was terrified of God.
Then a pastor came into my life who told me God hurt with me when I was pained and this reality changed everything.
Do you know what it means when the psalmist writes about His steadfast love and how His faithfulness endures forever?
It means that God’s grace and love is bigger than we can even imagine. It means that even in our hardest moments of life He is with us. It means when we turn our back and choose worldly things to satisfy our longings He is waiting for us to return to Him–even though we now carry extra baggage from the consequences of our sin.
This all means God has not and will not give up on us (Philippians 1:6).
This all means God will not forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
God’s love goes deeper and farther than our minds can comprehend (Ephesians 3:19).
He looks at us with such admiration, like a father who looks on his beloved or a shepherd who keeps his sheep, and has forgotten our sins (Isaiah 43:25). To forget a sin proves a love deeper than I think we can comprehend. So long as we confess our sin to Him and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) He will not only forgive, but will forget the sin and love on us in a way that could make me cry if I think about it longer than a minute.
So, Praise the Lord, I say.
For his steadfast love endures forever and forever.