Unceasing love

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So when we couldn’t stand it any longer, we thought it was a good idea to stay on in Athens by ourselves, and we sent you Timothy, who is our brother and God’s coworker in the good news about Christ. We sent him to strengthen and encourage you in your faithfulness.  We didn’t want any of you to be shaken by these problems. You know very well that we were meant to go through this. In fact, when we were with you, we kept on predicting that we were going to face problems exactly like what happened, as you know. That’s why I sent Timothy to find out about your faithfulness when I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was worried that the tempter might have tempted you so that our work would have been a waste of time. Now Timothy has returned to us from you and has given us good news about your faithfulness and love! He says that you always have good memories about us and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you. Because of this, brothers and sisters, we were encouraged in all our distress and trouble through your faithfulness. For now we are alive if you are standing your ground in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you, given all the joy we have because of you before our God? Night and day, we pray more than ever to see all of you in person and to complete whatever you still need for your faith. Now may our God and Father himself guide us on our way back to you.  May the Lord cause you to increase and enrich your love for each other and for everyone in the same way as we also love you. May the love cause your hearts to be strengthened, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his people. Amen. ~1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 (CEB)

All of God’s life is available to each of us already, but not yet. Ordinary suffering will not be taken away, not the suffering we must face when we bear witness to God’s love and are met with the world’s hostility and scorn. But our suffering will have meaning, will be lifted up, transformed by the unceasing love of God. ~Robert A. Jonas from Henri Nouwen:  Writings Selected with an Introduction by Robert A. Jonas

Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your transforming grace that has worked its wonders within me. May I this day be an example of Your light to someone who may need it this day. May I be a blessing to someone amidst their trials. Help me be Your love to the world. Amen.

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