It might be my new favorite word.
It was waiting for me this morning, like a hidden treasure tucked inside God’s Word for me to find today. He knew I would need it, and this was the perfect morning for so many reasons.
We are starting a new homeschool year, and frankly, my “want to” was just broken. I knew it was still what God has called me to, but I wasn’t feeling the motivation I normally overflow with at the beginning of the year. Do you ever feel that way? You KNOW what God wants you to do, but you just don’t FEEL like it?
I have been around long enough to know that feelings can’t be trusted. They are fickle, and easy manipulated. A sixty second commercial can prove this without a doubt. Just this morning I may or may not have cried as I watched a Pampers commercial where Dads showed their appreciation for their children’s mothers. Stupid Pampers.
Imagine for a moment, that you could walk through the day in absolute confidence that God loves you – completely- right where you are. How would it change your day? Most of us acknowledge that this is true, but have a hard time walking in this Truth day to day. We know so many of our insecurities and fears would disappear if we could just somehow walk in that reality. Yet, IT.IS.SO.HARD.
We let our emotions have too much say in the matter when, in fact, they shouldn’t have any at all. No where in God’s Word does it tell us to rely on our feelings. In fact, it warns that the heart is deceitful and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9).
I was listening to a short message this morning and the speaker was talking about God’s love and how it is evident on the cross. And as I listened I had to strain to really let the words marinate because they were so familiar my brain almost wants to gloss over them and rush past it. But I heard something that hit me hard.
Just one word, with so much truth packed in there.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. (Matthew 26:39 ESV)
Jesus didn’t FEEL like going to that cross.
He just did it anyway.
The magnitude of that thought is one I could (and should) marinate on all day. As I read over it, I realized the power of that little word.
God’s love for us isn’t a sappy, warm and fuzzy, fickle kind of love. It is a driven, relentless, passionate, determined, powerful, unwavering kind of love. It can’t be persuaded, changed, removed or taken from you (Romans 8:31). It doesn’t disappear when you feel unlovable. It doesn’t even disappear when you ARE unlovable (Romans 5:8).
What if, just for a day, you committed to remembering the “nevertheless”? For one, most of us have a lot more negative “self talk” than we should. If you are introspective like me you could make a hobby out of it if you aren’t careful. What if every time you thought “I really blew that”, you immediately added “nevertheless“.
“Nevertheless, God promised He will finish the good work He started in me.” (Phil 1:6)
“That person is really irritating me…. nevertheless, I’m going to chose patience.”
“I don’t feel like being interrupted by someone else’s needs, nevertheless…. ”
“I don’t feel like studying my Bible right now, nevertheless…. I am going to do it out of obedience until my feelings catch up. Or regardless of whether they catch up.”
We could add so many, but I propose to you that “nevertheless” could transform your day.
The “nevertheless” is powerful because it strips the power from a wicked heart that can so easily convince us to be selfish, depressed, unloving, or a million other things. It also strips the power from an enemy who is a master at manipulating feelings. It takes our eyes off of us, our problems, and our circumstances and puts them right back on that cross.
It puts us in a position of submission to the One who loves us so relentlessly and knits the act of submission to the thing that provides the very power to do it – the cross Jesus chose “nevertheless”.
So when the enemy whispers that thing – you know the thing– that thing he ALWAYS whispers in your ear when you try to really marinate on God’s love for you… agree with him. (She didn’t just say that. Oh yes, I did).
I did ____.
I am facing _____.
These circumstances do look bad. It does look hopeless.
I did lose _____.
I do have doubts about _____.
And then say…. NEVERTHELESS.
Nevertheless, God WILL finish the good work He started IN YOU. (Phil 1:6)
Nevertheless, God will never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Nevertheless, NOTHING can separate you from His love. (Romans 8:38)
Nevertheless, His plans for you are GOOD! (Jeremiah 29:11)
Nevertheless…… He loves you TODAY. As much as He ever has.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39 ESV
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.” Psalm 73:23-24