By Jerry Harris
This is the time of year for thankfulness, celebration, joy, and love, but it also can be a time of loneliness and longing, discouragement and depression. We may think this is a product of our own minds and circumstances, but something more sinister is at work. In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Paul described a constant spiritual onslaught that is happening behind the scenes; it’s a battle for our hearts and minds that must be defended with the truth of God’s Word, especially as the enemy tries to rob us of that which God has richly provided.
First Corinthians 13 is more than just a passage read at weddings, it’s also a description of perfect love; and since God is defined as love, it’s a perfect description of him. Let’s use this chapter—specifically verses 4-8—to expose Satan’s lies by bringing them into the light.
The lie: God is sick and tired of you and your constant whining, complaining, and failing.
The truth: God is patient.
The lie: God is punishing you because of the mess you’ve made of your life. You disgust him.
The truth: God is kind.
The lie: God just wants to take away your fun and your freedom. He doesn’t want you to be happy.
The truth: God does not envy.
The lie: Who can be like God anyway? He’s so much better than you. You don’t deserve him!
The truth: God does not boast.
The lie: God is ashamed of you. You never stop making him look bad.
The truth: God is not proud.
The lie: You deserve whatever you get. You made your bed; now lie in it.
The truth: God does not dishonor others.
The lie: Just think of how you’ve wasted your life and the many opportunities you’ve missed. What a failure you are.
The truth: God is not self-seeking.
The lie: How could God feel anything but anger toward you? He never gets a break from your stupid choices.
The truth: God is not easily angered.
The lie: There’s just too much in your life to be forgiven. Forgiveness is for people who are better than you.
The truth: God keeps no record of wrongs.
The lie: God is looking for an opportunity to judge you. Someday, you’re going to pay for what you’ve done.
The truth: God doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
God has abandoned you. No, God always protects.
God is suspicious of you. No, God always trusts.
God has given up on you. No, God always hopes.
God is tired of you. No, God always perseveres.
God has failed you. No, God never fails.
God’s love for you is personal because he considers you his child (1 John 3:1).
God’s love is personal because he has adopted you into his family (Ephesians 1:5). The personal nature of his love is measured at the cross (John 3:16).
God’s love can get through your pain. He loves you through your suffering and hurting (Psalm 31:7). Even when you feel helpless, his love remains steadfast and strong. Even when you feel hopeless, God’s love is fresh and new every day (Lamentations 3:20-23)!
God loves you just as you are, even while you’re still sinning (Romans 5:8). He loves you even when you feel ruined and dead inside (Ephesians 2:4-5).
God loves you enough not to keep you the way you are (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). His love will direct you out of your old life into the new one he has made for you (2 Corinthians 5:17). And God will give you what you need to feel loved and be loving to others (Romans 5:5).
God’s love will not abandon you. His love can take your fear away (1 John 4:18). You cannot be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:35, 37-39). His love will shield you, protect you, and keep you safe (Psalm 5:11-12).
And God’s love doesn’t just come to you and stop; rather, it moves through you to others. His love empowers you to love others (John 13:34), and your love for others will strengthen your ability to love God even more (1 John 4:9-12)!
When you accept the truth about God and who he is, you can begin to accept the truth of who you are in his sight. You are precious to him, but an enemy wants to destroy your opinion of yourself, others, and ultimately God. But here’s the greater truth: Jesus defeated that enemy by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. In doing this, Jesus paid your debt and set you free. The already-defeated Satan relies solely on lies. Don’t listen to him.
You are loved!