God's Love Endures

So now, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us - they help us to learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5: 1-6 (TLB)

Candyce Sturgeon lives in North Carolina. It started with a twinge of pain in her leg, but the little twinges soon became greater and steadily intensified. Two years later, while Candyce was sitting in her seventh-grade math class, she was told to go to the front office. She could feel her heart pounding as she walked toward the office and felt it sink when she saw her parents sitting with the principal. They told her that her doctor had diagnosed her with chronic osteomyelitis and said they needed to take Candyce to the hospital for an emergency biopsy. Candyce was filled with fear. She didn't understand why this was happening to her or why God allowed so much pain to enter her life. However, five years later, Candyce knew that without this experience she would not have become the person she is today.

Although the pain still takes over at times, Candyce looks to God to fill her spirit with hope and confidence. She knows there is suffering in the world that far surpasses anything she will ever experience, and she continues to pray for those who are afflicted. Jesus suffered on the cross, and he understands our pain. Regardless of our earthly suffering, we can trust that God's love will outlast it all.

Prayer: Dear God, comfort us when we face illness and pain. Give us a renewed sense of hope and faith in your love, in Jesus' name, amen.

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