“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (II Thessalonians 2:16).
I always enjoy seeing the colorful Valentine’s Day decorations at this time of year, and it’s an appropriate time to meditate on God’s priceless love. This verse is a favorite of mine because it reminds me not only of His great love for me but of the other blessings I am given as well.
Love and grace: God loved me enough to send Jesus to the cross for me, though I did nothing to deserve or earn this (Ephesians 2:5). His love is everlasting, and no pain, illness, or difficulty can separate me from it (Jeremiah 31:3, Romans 8:39).
Eternal encouragement: God’s support and help will never end. They are as eternal and boundless as He is, and He always hears my cry (Psalm 10:17).
Good hope: When my hope seems gone, He miraculously restores it through Scripture and the comforting power of the Holy Spirit within me (Romans 15:4,13). I have hope for my eternal future, and I am given continual daily hope as I face the frustrations and disappointments of my disabilities.
Strength: I am given God’s divine power to live this life, even in weakness, trials, and pain (II Peter 1:3), and I am constantly protected against Satan’s attacks (II Timothy 4:18).
When I feel overwhelmed and unable to keep going, I remind myself of what I possess. Just as the cheerful reds and pinks of February are a bright spot in the midst of a gray winter, so the comfort of these divine gifts lifts me up on my darkest days. I can make it - through this day and through this life - because of God’s love and more.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, how I praise You for Your unending love, grace, encouragement, hope, and strength. Teach me to live my days in the power of these truths. Amen.