#354 The Power to Love When We Cannot Romans 5:5
There are people in my life that I find difficult to love. It is easier to be irritated by them than to love them. At such times I am haunted by the clarity of 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient….not easily provoked.” (verse 4, 5)
There are needs of some people that I am guided to respond to and I hold back, possessive of my time and energy, wanting to have more time to study the Word or catch up on cleaning the house. At such times I am haunted by another verse in 1 Corinthians 13: “love is…kind,…it does not seek its own…endures all things.” (verse 4, 5)
I was very moved by the experience of Corrie Ten Boom. A German Guard who was responsible for so much of her sister’s suffering in the concentration camp had become a Christian, had grappled with his brutality in the past and asked forgiveness of God. He approached Corrie Ten Boom and asked for forgiveness. But she felt bitterness in her heart.
It was when she claimed Romans 5:5, that the love of God was shed abroad in her heart through the Holy spirit, when she claimed the love of God and the love of Christ to love this man through her that she was able to express true forgiveness.
So I have been claiming Romans 5:5. Not just for the power to forgive, but for the power to love.
“…we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will ever disappoint us. Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us. And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men.” Romans 5:3-7 Phillips
The Father and the Son loved me, at such great cost, when I was powerless to help myself.
The Father and the Son so loved our whole human family. John 3:16
Dear LORD, empower me to Love this person through Your love and through the Love of Jesus.
I picture the lengths and breadths of that love as I picture Jesus on cross. I picture the compassion of that love as I see him heal and preach, being present with people in their need. I picture the honesty and accountability of that love as he spoke hard truths to the religious leaders. He longed for each person’s highest good and blessing and he was willing to be part of that blessing at whatever the cost.
How powerful is this love that is poured out in our hearts through the Holy spirit, this love that loved us when we are powerless to help ourselves, this love that loves for the pure delight of blessing.
This love that is poured out in our hearts through the Holy spirit creates the willingness to be honest and forthright, creates the willingness to be present with people in their need, and creates the willingness to be part of the highest good and blessing at whatever the cost, all for the pure joy of blessing others.
“I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the Spirit’s inner reinforcement—that Christ may actually live in your hearts by our faith…
…so that having your roots deep and your foundations strong in love, you may become mighty to grasp the idea, as it is grasped by all saints, of the breadth and length, the height and depth—yes, to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him, who, in the exercise of His power that is at work within us, is able to do infinitely beyond all our highest prayers or thoughts—to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, world without end! Amen.” Ephesians 3:17-21 Phillips/Weymouth