I hope this letter meets you well and that you woke up today to see the beautiful smile of the sun, which reflects God’s love for you, His delight in you, and His desire and promise to fellowship intimately with you (Revelations 21:22-27).
Did you know that each day is a gift to you BECAUSE He isn’t finished with you YET? If He were, then there’d be no Today. “Today” is a context for a special gift that God has given to each individual for their unique circumstance. Scripture says that Today is the day of salvation (Hebrews 3:7-15; 4:7). What this means is that, the moment you encounter the truth that sets you free, whether it’s the truth that frees you from a life of unbelief to one of new birth and faith, or one that sets you free from a lifestyle of bondage to one of new-found liberty, that moment of truth—that day—is the day to accept the salvation being offered. You should accept your gift of freedom today, and not put it off for tomorrow. Every day God presents a new beginning in something or a new level to achieve in something you’ve already started. So make no mistake; if you’re here today, then Today is the day of love, hope, and faith…for you!
With the above being said, I know that lately you’ve been depressed—one, because you may have made so many mistakes that you believe you can’t come back from, or you’re suffering from the consequences of someone else’s mistakes, and no matter how hard you try to stir your life onto a good and successful path, you seem to always fail; two, you’ve lost so much time already in life and you’ve missed out on certain important seasons (childhood, teen years, college days, early parenting years etc.) that you can’t get back, and this has left you derailed and broken in many ways that appear irreparable, leaving you to despair that you may never do life right at all.
You are in this place of despair because you’ve tried multiple times to get it right, and multiple times you’ve failed. At this point, all you probably want to do is hang on to faith alone, give up on life, and wait to die. You probably even wish for death and fantasize about heaven. You wonder what’s left for you to live for, and are afraid to ask God why He’s keeping you here on earth despite your failure and misery.
Is this you?
Well, beloved, I’m here with a message from Jesus for you. The first thing He’s placed on my heart to tell you is that, “You’re LOVED.” “You’re WANTED.” “You’re CHERISHED.” “You’re DEEPLY VALUED.” And, finally, “You’re NOT ALONE.”
Soak that in for a moment.
Cry if you have to.
That’s okay. Jesus is right there with you.
Do you see the sparrows in the air? Our heavenly Father feeds each and every one of them every single day! How much more value and love do you think He has for you whom He made in His very own image and likeness? (Matthew 6:26; Genesis 1:25-27; 5:1-2; Hebrews 2:5-8) If it weren’t so, then He wouldn’t have paid such a huge and gruesome price for your salvation and redemption, because, one would only do that if what they were paying for were extremely valuable and precious to them. Do you remember what that price was? Jesus Christ. As Pastor Joseph Prince would often say, “You can’t know how much God loves you unless you know how much He loves Jesus. Yet, He gave up Jesus for you and me.”
Why am I saying all this?
What has this got to do with this topic?
Hmm. Good question. Jesus wants to remind you that no matter what has happened to you, YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. You are not abandoned. You are LOVED. In fact, if you will allow Him, He will bless you with such power and strength that, no matter what gets thrown at you, you will come out on the other side safe, joyful, and undeterred. You will simply be hard-pressed (and at worst, on every side), but you will never be crushed; you may be confronted with the vilest of ideologies, but because of the power of Jesus, all you’ll be is perplexed, and only for a while, and then He will teach you to adjust your stance, so that you will never despair of hope, good and righteousness. You may even face persecution, but even in that, He is right there with you. In fact, the Holy Spirit will teach you to rejoice and remind you that your reward in heaven is, indeed, great, and that this terrible treatment was also shown to believers before you (Matthew 5:11-12). And in the event that you lose your life here on earth, all you will be is struck down and not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-9), because the only one with the power to destroy the soul is God Himself (Matthew 10:28-31). This is the promise He has given you and me for tough times because He loves us too much to leave us unprepared and unprotected. And He has made this promise because He values us as wonderful treasures that reside in jars of clay (flesh).
Still not sure that you’re extremely valuable to God?
Well, Beloved, let me take it a step farther.
Did you know that if you were the only one on earth unsaved, Jesus would have come for you anyway? Pause and think on that for a second. You may be readily inclined to accept the knowledge that God loves you, but do you struggle to believe that if it were just you, Jesus would have come for you anyway? Well, I didn’t come up with this. Jesus said it Himself.
When He illustrated the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Coin.
I quote from the first parable:
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost UNTIL he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulder rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance”—Luke 15:4-7 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
He further emphasized and affirmed this with the second parable:
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully UNTIL she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
While in most sermons, much emphasis is laid on “the rejoicing of one sinner who repents,” this cannot and should not take away from the truth displayed in first half of both parables which shows that the shepherd and woman were neither satisfied with the ninety-nine sheep that weren’t lost or the nine coins that were safe. It shows that when only one sheep/coin went missing, they each ventured out to look for their lost sheep/coin UNTIL they found it. Did you get that? Until they found “it,” and not “them”. Two things here: firstly, “until” denotes the zealous willingness of Jesus to do whatever it took to get one lost child safely back home to the Father. And Jesus has done this. This is why the only thing left for any individual to do, is to choose to believe in Jesus’ work, because the work itself has been done and is finished. There’s nothing left to do but believe (John 6:28-29). Secondly, a singular term, “it,” was used and not the plural, “them”. In other words, if ONLY one person were left unsaved (and it were you), Jesus would have still come.
Do you believe now? Good!
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about your concern of, “lost time and coming in late.” Don’t worry about that at all because, Jesus got it covered too! He emphasized this in another parable called, The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). In this parable, Jesus likens the Kingdom of God to one where a landowner went out early in the morning to hire laborers to work in His vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers on a payment price, he sent them into the vineyard that first hour. He subsequently went out again to the market the third, sixth, and ninth hours and found some idle folks each time, promising to pay them whatever was right at the end of the day’s work. He went out one final time at the eleventh hour, and still found some other folks. Asking them why they were doing nothing, they replied, “No one hired us.” The landowner invited them back to vineyard, promising to pay what was right at the end of the day. When evening came and it was time to pay, those who came last (eleventh hour folks) were paid equally as those who came in the first, third, sixth, and ninth hours.
How do we translate this and apply it in your story?
The hand of God is not too short (Isaiah 59:1) to grant you maximum satisfaction and fullness of life in the time you have left on earth. If you trust the Holy Spirit’s leading and direction for your life, there is a promise to leave you so full and satisfied, that you’ll wonder if it was the original plan all along.
Was this the plan—to have you come to Him at this hour?
Honestly, I don’t know. But I know this: the God I serve Who is able to command the four winds of the earth to breathe life into dead bones lying in the valley of death (Ezekiel 37:1-14) is able to do immeasurably more than you could ever ask, imagine, or hope for (Ephesians 3:20) if you’ll would just believe in Him.
Stop being worried that you’ve disappointed the Father. That’s what the devil wants you to think. Instead, rejoice in the Truth that your name is written in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20), and that heaven had a huge party in your honor when you showed up at your eleventh hour. Not just that! The Father is more than happy and willing to compensate you fully for the lost years (Joel 2:25), just as He does for those who came to Him early. The fact that you’re alive means He’s not finished with you, but wants to bless you; this is why Jesus prepared this parable just for you, because He knew that someday you’d need it to hear His words of love, forgiveness, understanding, wisdom, and redemption.
So let these words comfort you today. Let them sooth you, heal you, delight you, and give you much joy, hope, peace, and restore love in your heart, and assurance and rest in the Father. And like the folks of the eleventh hour who “no one hired,” perhaps, you, too, have been turned away, rejected, mocked, and wrongly misunderstood by most people or everyone in your life for most or all of your life. Jesus will never abandon you. Your uniqueness does not scare Him at all! On the contrary! As a matter of fact, He rejoices in it because He created you this way for a remarkable purpose. And in this way, you are one hundred percent put together to bring magnificent glory to our Father in heaven!
No matter what happens, always remember that you are a child of God—a son or daughter of the Most High God Who is the King of kings! In His heart, and from Him to you, you are loved. You are blessed. You are special. You are favored. You are accepted. You are precious. You are priceless. You are soooo HIGHLY valued! And more importantly, you are NOT late at all! In fact, welcome to the party!
Miranda (For Jesus)
About the Editor
Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category. In March, 2018, Miranda was selected by Waterbrook Multnomah to be one of few bloggers to help launch new releases of their most elite authors.
When Miranda isn’t working, reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, and her journey as an author, you can follow her author website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
*The article, A Love to the One Who Despairs that They Found Jesus Late In Life, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).