“I will always love you”  Jeremiah 31:3

I can’t think of a promise that gives me more confidence and comfort than this one from Jeremiah, especially considering the setting of Jeremiah’s day.  He was called by God to warn Judah of God’s judgment after years and years of idolatry and rebellion.  Jeremiah had one of the most difficult ministries of any prophet and was known as the “weeping prophet” because of his laments over the sinfulness and destruction of a nation once blessed by God.  And yet, in the midst of his warning, Jeremiah was reminded of the heart of God for His people – God’s everlasting, never-failing love!  Despite our sin and failures, we can be assured, too, of God’s great promise, “I will always love you!”

Centuries after Jeremiah, through a rhetorical question, Paul described the inseparable love of God, “Can anything separate us from the love of Christ?  Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death?”  Romans 8:35

It’s easy enough to wonder where God is when we are hurting.  Our pain can trick us into thinking that somehow God has abandoned us.  Even the heroes of our faith questioned where God was in bad times.  King David, who wrote most of the Psalms, cried out, “My eyes fail, looking for my God.  Where can I find Him?”  Psalm 42:2

From the other side of the struggle, though, when the smoke cleared, David acknowledged that God had truly been there all along.  Rest assured; God does not abandon us!

There are painful times in our lives - some self-inflicted, some from the hands of others, and some from natural or supernatural events - when we feel alone.  These are the times God intends for us to claim His promise, “I will always love you.”

Nothing can separate us from the love of God.  No matter what you’ve done, no matter what anyone else may think, God loves you with an everlasting, never-failing love!

We may not understand the trials of life, but we can always know we are deeply loved by God.  By the way, going to church doesn’t remove the trials, but it sure is nice to know there’s a place where people are willing to hug us and remind us of God’s love.  As Steve Brown would say, “He wanted me to tell you that.”

Happy Valentine’s Day (And Happy God Loves You and So Do I Day),