I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you]. 10 If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love,(It's in the keeping and obedience that merges our life and opens it to Christ) just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.
11 I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.
How do you know that God loves you? Don't bad things happen in your life? Why are you special? Unfortunately, many are not aware of the great love God has for each of His kids. Knowing His love for you, personally, and knowing His Word go hand in hand. When one reads His message in His own words, and then see it verified in life, we become convinced.
Here is my favorite substantiating story taken from my book
Cast Up A Highway:
My Personal Highway
I have one last story to share. God wants us to know Him and His faithfulness. When I walked through my challenge with breast cancer, I was not alone. Here is my story beginning with two iron-strong scriptures that were an essential element in my victory:
“... My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm strength of my heart and my Portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
God is mine forever throughout this life and all eternity. And I am His. God says in the book written by Isaiah, the prophet:
“...I have called you by your name; you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1
This scripture became a mainstay for me in this journey. God claims me, Mary, as His very own. it’s personal; God loves me so much He calls me by my name. This insight gives strength to walk through the harshest storms knowing I belong to Him, and He is with me. This knowledge also gives me courage to face every large or small road hazard, detour, or fear the enemy tries to cast in my way. The infilling power of God’s love carried me over and through all the disease challenges.
I was very aware of God’s closeness during this trial. It started in December of 2004. I had been in a grinchy mood for a few days, and I finally said to the Lord before sleep one night,“Lord, we need to have a little chat.”So in my journaling time next morning, I told Him we both knew this was not me~ to have this depressive cloud floating over my head.
And as I looked down at my Bible, there was John 15:10-11 staring up at me. It says if I keep His commands, He will give me “His joy and delight and gladness in full measure, complete, and overflowing.’I looked at that and said, “Jesus, I obey Your commands. I qualify for Your joy and I claim it” As ever true to His promises, He filled me with a joy and delight that remained with me. My spirit lifted; heaviness drained away. My face smiled.
Coincidentally, (yeah right!) it was that afternoon that I became the one to get ‘the call’ from my doctor: “I have bad news for you, Mary, you have breast cancer.” I was surprised, but amazingly enough, I did not experience fear. I felt a wall lifting up in my spirit. This wall would not allow fear to penetrate. It took half a day to adjust to the surprising news, but the joy filling me uplifted and enabled me to digest the information on an non-emotional rational level. Next morning as I sat in my quiet time with the Lord, I could almost see the little demon devil sitting there, smirking, sending out “we gotcha now!” thoughts. Immediately came to my mind a teaching by our pastor:“Don’t speak to your God about your mountain; rather speak to your mountain about your God.”So I laughed at the demon thought and said to it, “you don’t know my God, do you?” I began delving into the Word and let it minister to me, and in my journal I wrote a scripture God put in my thoughts:
“...I have called you by your name, Mary; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, Mary, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.”
“And I continued to journal: When I heard cancer had attacked my body, You, Lord, were with me. And no river of fear could or can overwhelm me; and when I walk through the fire of chemo no flame can burn or scorch me, for You, my Lord, are with me!”
My God is so big and so mighty! I knew with certainty I was healed, yet He did not instruct me to reject the world’s treatment. I also became excited, because I was certain God had a purpose in all this, and He had a plan to use my life to accomplish it. What an exhilarating thought, when you know the God of the universe wants to make you part of His plan, wants to use your life as a witness! He always does have a purpose and plan for our lives, but this felt special!
After surgery removed the lump and 13 lymph nodes, they told me “chemotherapy.” That got me even more excited! Nuts, right? In the eyes of the world, yes, it was totally a crazy response. But the world doesn’t see it from God’s perspective. My hair would fall out; I would be bald, but since Jesus’ own supernatural joy was flowing through me, I became a walking witness of my Lord to those going through chemo, to my fellow office workers, doctors, family and everyone. Crazy as it sounds, for me it was a triumphant thrilling experience! Fear never had a chance. In 16 weeks of chemo and 7 weeks of radiation, the Lord remained inseparable. Chemo left me with depleted energy, but on most days I could work. The Lord would do little things for me like, when I was really low energy, but having to go into the office, I would ask for a close-in parking place; it’s not easy to find one there, but He always found me one. I had spent years journaling, hearing the Word of God, and being tested by fire. I knew His faithfulness.
It took a while before I realized my joyful reaction to this diagnosis, this experience, this journey was unique and uncommon; I sensed a knowing in my spirit that God wanted me to share how I could respond with joy to a potentially deadly diagnosis. It’s what you can discover for yourself in this book. Casting up your own personal highway gives you tools enabling you to walk close-knit with God, and respond to storms and devastations with a God-given supernatural joy.
One final Scripture kind of sums it up:
21 Acquaint now yourself with Him [agree with God and show yourself to be conformed to His will] and be at peace; by that [you shall prosper and great] good shall come to you.
22 Receive, I pray you, the law and instruction from His mouth and lay up His words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty [and submit and humble yourself before Him], you will be built up; if you put away unrighteousness far from your tents,
24 If you lay gold in the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brook [considering them of little worth], 25 And make the Almighty your gold and [the Lord] your precious silver treasure,
26 Then you will have delight in the Almighty, and you will lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to Him, and He will hear you, and you will pay your vows.
This scripture does a good job of putting it together, and next blog I will expand on it.
(Continued next blog)