In a sermon from Luke 7:36-50 by Matt Adair a few weeks ago, he made this statement:
‘The greatest power to set you free from the addictions, afflictions and assorted troubles of this world is the felt love of Jesus.”
I think we can all say we know the difference between believing we are loved and then feeling loved by someone. We have asked members of our church to share stories of a time when they really felt loved by Jesus. There is so much power in the stories of believers, so we hope you are encouraged by these.
Our eleventh story is by protege member Michael Mann:
Throughout my life I have felt the active presence of God’s love in many different ways and at many different times. But one certain time stands out in my mind above all others. After a long battle with cancer which spanned about five years, my mother passed away in October of 2010.
This was by far the toughest thing that I have lived through in my twenty-two years on earth. There is no other pain like that of losing someone who you love so deeply. You would do anything for this person and plead with God to keep them alive. But in the case of my mother, God chose to take her. But as I said, this is a story of feeling God’s love deeply.
It is hard to explain but in the week after mom’s passing I felt the love of God more deeply than at any other moment in my entire life. I saw this love through the kindness and prayers of others. But by far the most clear manifestation of Christ’s affection for me came as I read Scripture in the days surrounding the funeral. God opened up His Word to me in a way that I can’t explain.
But all I know is that I read passages like 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (Mom’s favorite Scripture passage) I saw them with such clarity and recognized God’s grace and the fact that He was indeed working this situation out for good. This passage says “So we do not lost heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
God provides hope for those who know Him, and this hope is so very present in the presence of death because His hope is based on eternal life and redemption. To die is indeed GAIN for those who follow Christ. In the days following mom’s death, He continued to pour His love out upon me through Scripture as well as allowing me to share the gospel with others and discuss the faith in Jesus which she held to, even through suffering and eventual death.
Though the pain is real, the presence of God’s favor and the promise of His making all things new surpasses the sufferings of this life. “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).