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If understanding how much God loves us and believing in it are so important, how can we tell where we stand in the strength of that belief? Verse 18 begins to answer that question. Fear and worry signal that we are not yet perfect in our belief in how much God loves us. If we believe that the God of infinite power and wisdom loves no one in the universe more than us, what do we have to fear or worry about?

What good parent does not use all the resources available to ensure the well-being of his or her children? We are in the minute-by-minute care of the great God (Matthew 10:29-31). “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Similarly, Isaiah 43:13 (CEV) records an important promise from God: “I am God now and forever. No one can snatch you from me or stand in my way.”

Nothing outside of us can stand in His way of accomplishing His purpose to save except ourselves (John 6:39-40; 10:28; Philippians 1:6). As difficult as Job was, God knew exactly what trial was necessary—in his case, a quite painful one—to get the right result. He knows the buttons to push and the pressures to apply to set each of us straight. Job 36:15 (Today’s English Version) tells us, “But God teaches men through suffering and uses distress to open their eyes.”

The second sign of our lack of faith in His love is how we respond to trials. If we believe in how much He loves us, then we know the trial is for our good. Because of His love, we should know that a trial is not just an arbitrary act without rhyme or reason. Because He is God, it cannot be an accidental circumstance happening without His awareness or concern. It definitely cannot be an act just to make our lives more difficult. These might be the thoughts of a child while receiving a spanking, but they should not be ours.

A third way to measure the strength of our faith is to list the things that would make our lives better yet seem to be out of reach. For some, it is money; others, a job; and still others, a mate. Psalm 84:11 is a verse we can use to get the right perspective: “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

If we are walking uprightly, our lack of the desired thing is in itself a good indication that at this time it is not good for us, no matter what we might think to the contrary. Otherwise, this verse cannot be true. Getting what we want rather than what we need can be spiritually lethal (Revelation 3:17).

A final way to measure our faith is to examine if we ever feel we love ourselves more than God does. A person with this attitude begins to take things into his own hands because he cannot trust God to do it—he does not believe how good God is and how much He loves him. To doubt the depth of God’s love for us is to deny God and the very essence of who He is—love.

This describes Satan’s attitude, one that could be considered insanity. Human nature, which mimics Satan’s spirit (Ephesians 2:2) is suicidal, wanting to sin even though it knows the result is death. Thus, because human nature contains this spirit of self-destruction, God always loves us more than we love ourselves.

It is vital that we build our faith in God’s love for us and realize just how special we are to Him. He loves no one else in the universe more. I John 4:17 promises that perfecting our faith in God’s love for us gives us the power we need to face our trials, our day of judgment, boldly. In doing so, we will be imitating the faith Jesus Christ exercised in facing His trials, showing absolute faith in God’s love for us.🤝

— Pat Higgins

FEAR is WORSE than ‘OMICRON’ – by Andrew Strom

There are numerous places in the Bible where the Lord says, “Do
not fear” or “Fear not!” This is one of those times.

I notice that the usual fearmongers (especially in the UK) are now
out in force making dire predictions over the Omicron variant. To
be sure, there is going to be a massive spike in infections. No
doubt about that. But every piece of data out of South Africa is
telling us that this is a very mild disease – more like the common
cold or mild flu than anything else. I have seen many interviews
with doctors and medical experts in South Africa – and they all
say the same thing. Overall this thing is very mild.

There are a lot of people in the media and politics who literally
make their living these days by provoking FEAR in people. If you
make people fearful, you can get them to click breathlessly on
every news item you put out. You can get them to give up their
freedoms in ways never dreamed of before. And you can sell
truckloads of medical products (whether truly great or not).
Everyone is making out like a bandit over this – especially the
elites. And it is all driven by FEAR.

This week there was a huge spike in cases in South Africa.
“RECORD NUMBERS,” say the headlines. Meanwhile, there
are very few deaths (almost none). And a very small percentage
even needing oxygen or anything like it. Omicron has all the
hallmarks of a BLESSING – not a curse. Everyone will be
exposed to it and everyone will get the benefit of immunity –
while suffering very mild symptoms for a couple of days.

That is it. That is what the panic is all about.

And so I say to you, my friends, “Fear not!” Keep your
Vitamin D levels up, relax with your family, have a great
holiday season, and a happy New Year. This thing is almost
over. The surreal nightmare is coming to an end.

And to my friends in South Africa, I say, “See you in 2022.”

Special blessings to all,

Andrew Strom.