Finding Genuine Love In a World of Disappointments

Written by Jeffery Carlson on . Posted in Local

lentThe moment a person knows they are loved by someone things usually change for the better. The moment a person doesn't feel loved by someone you often have the beginning of trouble. That, in a nutshell, is how the world functions. Sometimes we try to complicate things, but it often boils down to how much or how little love people experience. The main problem we all have in life, however, is that almost no one told us this fact. As a result, people spend much of their lives trying to figure this out and then more time trying to fix it once the problem has been defined.

If you sit down with a 1000 people and talk to them about their problems you will see this love issue coming up over and over and over, whether they understand it or not. At one time or another, all of us are upset, hurting, lonely or afraid about something. And yet, so few seem to realize that the answer to all these problems is simply to find the security of a love that won't change or leave us. As a matter of fact, Americans spend billions of dollars seeing professional counselors and taking prescribed medications to deal with this issue and it is often not even properly diagnosed.

How interesting then that the Bible tells us "God is love" in I John 4:8. Humanity's greatest need is met through the Lord's very own nature It all seems so simple doesn't it? And yet, so few seem to be receiving, understanding or experiencing it. Did you ever wonder why that happens? The answer lies in the fact that the Lord sometimes expresses His love to the world through people and people can and will disappoint us. That is the story for millions of people, both in and out of the Church. It surely seems so hard to get over the fact that people are going to disappoint us time and again regarding our needs for love.

The main lesson in all of this is not to confuse the Lord and His amazing love with what we don't receive from people in His Church. Sadly, millions of people have not learned this lesson and been left wounded by some relationship with others. The moment we begin to realize that these people aren't official representatives of the Lord Himself; we can be open to finding the love the Lord has always had for us in new ways. You see the Lord never meant for us to find the love we are looking for through others. The Lord always wanted us to start and end with Him. The Lord is the love we are looking for and when our focus remains on the Lord we are never disappointed.

The best way to focus on the Lord's love for us is to focus on the Cross. The Bible tells us in I John 4:10, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins". You see trying to find love through others is certain to disappoint us at times. When we look at the Cross and see Jesus looking at us in love, things change. We are the object of love that the Cross was all about. That is the focus the Lord wants all of us to have in life. Look to the Cross. Look to Jesus...and find the love we are looking for in life. It is that love that will sustain us and give our lives what we truly need to find life's meaning and joy.

We have just entered a season in the life of the Christian Church called "Lent". It is a period in later winter and early spring that remembers the Lord Jesus Christ's love for us through the Cross. Most Christians have forgotten Lent or gotten lost with some rituals that don't seem that meaningful to many. The real goal of Lent is to experience Jesus' passion for us on the Cross and the victory of His resurrection. The primary goal of Lent is not to give up something as some have taught and look sad or introspective. The real goal of Lent is to think more deeply about the Cross and what the Lord wanted us to know about His amazing love and grace. Ultimately then, the Lenten Season is about thinking more deeply about the love of God for each of us.

So as we enter the Lenten Season, its' time to think about our deepest need to be loved and the Lord's greatest gift to provide it. That is what life is about. That is why we are all here. That is where the world is heading tonight. May each of us take some time and think about that love and what the Lord is saying to each of us.
Author Information
Jeffery Carlson
Jeff Carlson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. Jeff came to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a college freshman through the witness of a campus evangelist. He graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois with a degree in engineering and worked in the corporate world for several years before his call to ministry. Following graduation from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California Jeff came to Oakhill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he currently serves as pastor. Jeff has a tremendous passion to teach, preach and communicate God's Word in simple and clear ways that the average person can understand.

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