…God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Who doesn’t want to love and be loved? But sometimes we find ourselves working with people we don’t even like. They’re unpleasant or disagreeable or—worst of all—don’t do things our way. We know that God has called us to love and has, in fact, made provision for those times when we can’t find in ourselves the ability to love. That’s when we discover that we truly are “poor in spirit” and desperately need God in us to love the way we know we should.
We’re tempted to think that this time he’s really given us more than we can bear. He’s asked us to do something we can’t do. And yet, he stretches us so that he will be glorified, and we can be changed. We must acknowledge our spiritual poverty and cry out to him for what he’s already deposited in us through the person of his Son. God isn’t looking for just a lovely character. He’s looking for the image of Jesus in his children.
God has already given us everything we need to manifest Jesus in every circumstance. Our task is to abandon our commitment to self-sufficiency and receive his grace to be manifested in and through us. His love has already been poured into our hearts. We must choose to ignore the attitude that causes us to shut out the one with whom we have no affinity or who may even cause us grief. Instead, we access God’s love and by faith live out his supernatural love. What a perfect opportunity to die to the selfish nature that seeks to control and impoverish us.
In loving the unlovable (Aren’t we sometimes in that category?), we glorify God and recognize his sovereignty: He put me here; He is in control; He has a good plan; all things [eventually] work together for good. A loving God will never abandon us to environments where he can’t be glorified and where we can’t manifest him. In all things, we trust to his love and his perfect will. God does all things well.
God is bringing many sons (and daughters) to glory, but we occasionally find ourselves kicking against the vehicle he has chosen to get us there. If we embrace the people and circumstances he has brought into our lives, we find the love, the grace, and every single attribute of the life of Christ available for us. And often we discover that he sent the very person or thing that we most needed.
Father, we are your children. Live and love through us that we may glorify you and that we may learn more of your ways. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.