“In the beginning…….So God created man, in the image of God.  He created him; male and female.  He created them.”  Genesis 1:1, 1:27,28

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”  John 3:16

Authors note: Depending on your circumstances today, you may skip the first part which I write for context.  But whether you skip it or not, please, please read the ending part.

The world.  As Jesus Christ uses that term it is not a singularly physical place.  The ruler of it is not flesh and blood.  The world is the dominion of darkness and its ruler is Satan.  And the world hates you.  The leader of the world despises you.  Satan wants to make your life like his; a living hell.  Why?  You and I are a creation of God’s.  We are made in God’s image.  We were created from and for Love; for eternal life. Satan rejected that love and now hates all who call upon and rely on it.

Sorry to be dark but for understanding we must understand, we must go here.  Satan will use all his considerable power to defeat you and I.  He will use outside fear and threat.  He will bring hate against you and I from every conceivable corner he controls.  Worse yet, he will attack our inner spirit.  He will attempt to have us be selfish, jealous, spiteful, lustful, greedy and hateful.  If he cannot get us to turn from God, he will try to convince us that God has turned from us.  That we are utterly alone.  That all hope is lost.  He will try to convince us the only hope is to turn to the world; chemicals, alcohol, perversions to dull the pain and when that is not enough; when life is so full of total despair and void of hope, that life itself should cease.  (Again please do not stop here).

(Start here if you skipped the first two paragraphs)

God, Our Heavenly Father knows all about the struggle.  God is not ignorant to the plans and schemes of Satan.  Through the Holy Spirit, Paul clearly states the type of battle we’re engaged in, in the book of Ephesians: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness…” (Ephesians 6:12)

So dear sisters and brothers no matter where you are today, but especially if you find yourself in the dark morass of the struggle against the powers of darkness where light seems absent and hope seems lost.  No matter what your thoughts to God, God’s thought and feeling to you is: LOVE!  You are loved!  Personally, deeply, completely You are Loved!  Say it!  Repeat it! You are loved.

How do I know?  How can we be so confidently sure?  He, Our Heavenly Father told us. Very plainly, very succinctly, He told us.  God is Love so being Love, He told us that He created us in His image.  Thus we must also have been created in the image of Love.  We are His creation and, again through the Holy Spirit, Paul runs through an entire list, death, life, powers, depth, height shall not separate us from the Love of God. (Romans 8:37)

How do I know?  Look to the lengths God was willing to go to save us!  To bring us back to him!  God was in heaven.  God was and is perfect.  His existence was one of perfection.  God could feel no hunger, no pain, no weariness.  God left that existence.  God, in the Being of Jesus Christ, came to earth; became a man.  God felt pain, became physically tired and dirty, felt hunger, felt anguish, felt temptation.  God cried…..for us.  And God died…..for you and me.  It is truly correct in John 3:16 to use the term “world” so that it would describe the inclusiveness of Our Heavenly Father’s Plan and the extent of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.  But if we are not careful the personal aspect of that sacrifice can be lost on you and I in a personal sense.  That is why the next sentence uses whosoever.  You and I are whosoever.  Fill in the blank:  For Love’s sake Jesus Christ died for (your name)! Say it out Loud:  God loves me, (your name) so much that He died for me!

Please, Please, know this dear sisters and brothers, no matter what you are facing today.  No matter what the world is saying about there being no hope.  You are not alone.  The Creator of the Universe, His Only Begotten Son, The Holy Spirit of All Truth and Light, are right there with you and I.  Our victory is assured, the battle, nay not just the battle but the war is won.  Paul tells us we have armor, spiritual armor forged by God Himself out of Love, to protect us.  Feel His Love.  Embrace His Love.  Let His Love and Strength Pour over you like a mighty river washing away all despair and dejection.  You and I are His.  He is Love.  And He will never let us go.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, the world is waging war against us.  We humbly declare that we are incapable of waging the battle, let alone winning on our own.  Forgive us, Most Merciful Father, when we turn to earthly implements and strategies to fight the powers of darkness.  Send Your Light like a mighty flash of lightning to penetrate the gloomiest darkness to show us Your way.  Let Your voice blast out like the sound of thunder to silence the voices of doom, hatred and hopelessness rising around us.  Thank you Dear Father.  Thank You for Your Love.  Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us.  Give us Your desire to love; in all circumstances, to love.  In the Name of the One in whose Love we are victorious Jesus Christ we pray. Amen