When I was in high school, I developed a huge crush on a girl. When we met, we became fast friends and we talked all the time. On the phone. At school. At McDonald's (yes, it was a big hangout back in our home town).
And when we couldn't talk, we would write letters to each other. I don't know if I'd call them "love letters" at this point, but they were written with care, folded up like origami, and then delivered to each other's locker. We'd slide it in through the vents and when we'd open our locker, we'd find a little surprise!
This girl (we'll call her Cindy...because that's her name...and she's my wife now!) used to conclude every one of her letters with the phrase, "Smile, Jesus loves you!" It was always nice to get these daily reminders. I always thought that was pretty cute. Now, the more I think about it, it's really profound.
This life, even without a pandemic, can get us down. There are tough, stressful times that we deal with on a regular basis. Things can be so hard that we just need to be reminded to that Jesus loves us.
How can we do this on a regular basis?
In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:9). The word “abide” here means “stay” or “remain” in Jesus’ love. It’s a perpetual state where we can find stability knowing that we are loved unconditionally by Him.
This is wonderful news for all of us! Jesus loves us! He loves you! He loves me! And we are to remain in that love - and live in that love. And as the Apostle Paul reminds us, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” (Romans 8:28). If we love God, He will continue to work things out for good. Paul continues, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
So God loves us and He is on our side. No matter what comes our way, we are safely and soundly secure in God’s love for us.
And that should make us smile!