The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1
Hosea’s wife had been unfaithful to him and went off to be with other men. God tells him to accept her back and still love her. He takes it even further with telling Hosea to love her in the same way that He loved the Israelites, who had chosen to follow other gods.
Marriage is one area that people will often talk about unfaithfulness. One spouse becomes unsatisfied with the other and goes out seeking where that one can find love from another. As that occurs, anger and revenge usually builds up, the relationship is often destroyed and trust is lost. The spouse that was faithful, usually tell the other one that the marriage is over and will not be loved again.
People in the church are often guilty of this same unfaithfulness to God and to others. Loyal friends stab a friend in the back, striving to look better or raise higher. Hurting gossip is spread, damaging a person’s reputation or life. Turning the back on a friend in need. Telling lies behind a person’s back.
Each of these things and many more can happen, causing great pain and anger. Most people will reject a person who has done this, and refuse to have anything to do with that person. There is no forgiveness or love shown, because of the pain and anger.
Yet, God tells His people to love as He loved. God loved so much that He sent His Son to die for a people who rejected Him and did not want Him. He loved you before you even knew about Him or accepted Him.
God also loved you when you rejected Him. Think of the times when you went against God and followed this world or your own ways. Even then, God still loved you.
In this same way, you must be willing to love those who have hurt you and rejected you. Show God’s eternal perfect love to everyone around you, not just those who are faithful. It is through this love that others can learn of God’s true love. Love as God loves you.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you and others; that you will show God’s love to others; that you will trust God in the pain others put you through; and that you will be His witness to this dying and hurting world.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
As the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, there was a lot of destruction and suffering. At the time, there did not seem to be a lot of hope. The end could not be seen and it appeared as though God had completely abandoned them for all eternity. Yet, Jeremiah notes that God’s love is so great that they would not be completely destroyed. Despite what was going on around them, he could see God’s compassion for them being renewed each day.
When people are going through hard times, they often feel as though they are completely alone and that God has abandoned them. It is common for a person to feel as though God is full of anger and hate, not wanting anything to do with him ever again.
These hard times can be something physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or one of many other difficulties in life. The pain that one is feeling is real.
You may be going through a situation right now in your life, or you may have gone through one, or you will go through one some day. Jesus had said that you will have troubles in this world.
As you are going through a troubling time, keep in mind that God has promised you life and salvation through Jesus. There is a hope that one day Jesus will return and take you away from all the troubles of this world.
Another thing to remember is that no matter how difficult your situation is, it could be worse. The situation could be worse if you had no hope of salvation. If you do not believe in Jesus, then you can only look forward to an eternity of separation from God. As long as you are believing in Jesus and trusting in His work in your life, you have the hope of eternity in heaven.
As you get up each morning, realize God has spared your life on this earth for a purpose. He is showing you great love in keeping you going forward. Do not lose hope or give up. You may be hard-pressed, but you are not crushed or destroyed. Trust God through the tough times because He is faithful and will not abandon you.
I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s faithfulness; that you will know God’s love and compassion; and that you will have hope in Jesus.
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7
Going into exile was a difficult thing for the Israelites of Judah to do. As they are going into exile, God now tells them to settle in and serve their enemy. Then on top of that God tells them to pray for their enemy to prosper. His reason for praying for the enemy to prosper is that if the enemy prospers, so do the Israelites.
Praying for the enemy is something many Christians have no problem doing. However, it is how they pray for the enemy that is different. It is common to hear a Christian pray for his enemy that God would strike them down, or remove them. The focus is to change that person, so that one can have a better life. The problem with this type of prayer is that it is totally self-focused.
Years later Jesus would tell all believers to pray for their enemy and bless them, not curse them. Praying for the prosperity of your enemy is a blessing upon them. Doing this shows the enemy the love of God, not the hatred of people.
Not blessing your enemy will fall back on you in the same way. If the economy of everyone around you is failing, your economy will also fail. If there is no peace with everyone around you, then you will not have any peace either. If there is poverty all around you, then you will also have poverty.
No person can have peace or prosperity completely alone. It takes a community to have either. There will always be some in your community that will be your enemy–those who do not follow Jesus. If they do not prosper, you cannot prosper.
Along with physical prosperity, every person needs to know the love of Jesus. If you are praying against them and for their downfall, where is there any love in that? How will they know the love of Jesus, when all they see is hatred?
You may not always agree with your enemy, but you can pray for God to bless them and draw them closer to Him by His love and care. It is His kindness that will draw them to Him.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for your enemies; that you will show God’s love to your enemies; that you will be able to pray God’s blessings on your enemies; and that many will come to know Jesus through the love you show them.