Sunday, January 25, 2015
God's Covenant Love: Unfailing and Irrevocable
God's covenant love is seen in everything he has done and continues to do in our life. He calls us to a life in him. He forgives us and continues to reveal himself as he leads us to know him. He does this through the joys in life as well as in sufferings. There is always a purpose for suffering. It can be purgative or redemptive.
Purgative suffering cleanses us and leads us to holiness. These are sufferings caused by our own sins. However, in most cases, sufferings come through no fault of ours. These sufferings are redemptive sufferings because through these, we join the sufferings of Christ for the salvation of others.
God did not promise us a life free from sufferings but he promised to be with us through the sufferings and he promised victory over the sufferings. Obviously, one cannot go looking for sufferings, and neither does one blindly accept them. One discerns how God wants us to handle it. It is normal to question why one suffers or to doubt God's love. Sadly though, there might not be any answers any human being can give. All we can do is trust that God is with us through it all.
In his recent trip to Tacloban, Pope Francis did not answer why the people suffered from the typhoon. What he said was God is with them in the suffering. God knows and is one with us when we suffer. He encouraged them to continue to trust in God and Mary.
The Psalms tell us that when God comes, the mountains will melt, the earth will shake, there will be thunder and lightning. These metaphors describe the power of God. As I reflect on this, I realize when life is a mess God is making the mountains in our life melt. He is shaking the things we cling to so that what remains will be what is unshakeable. Sufferings are not punishments but signs that God is moving mightily in our life. He moves mightily in our life because he loves us and is pleased to reveal himself to us. He has a plan and he can use the sufferings for his purpose.
Romans 8:38-39 sums God's covenant love: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor sovereignties, nor powers, nor things present, nor things about to be, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.”