“‘Hearken unto my voice. Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him…that [you] may come unto me and have everlasting life.’
“What, exactly, is meant by this verse? We are happy to know we have an advocate, but we would hope our Father is not in need of heart softening. It may be that we misunderstand the term advocate the way it is being used here…We see that Christ as the atoning one — the mediator — is not our defender from God’s justice, but the collaborator in and minister of our Heavenly Father’s plan.”
Faith in the Lord is trust in the Lord. We cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. As a result, no matter how strong our faith is, it cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him in whom we have faith. Remember that when your prayers do not seem to be answered in the way or at the time you desire. The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security and serenity in our lives.
“Personality patterns, habits, strengths, and weaknesses observed by God over a long period of time in the pre-mortal world would give God a perfect understanding of what we would do under a given set of circumstances to come.”
“Your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.”
“The relationship between Creator and creature is, of course, unique, and cannot be paralleled by any relations between one creature and another. God is both further from us, and nearer to us, than any other being…He makes, we are made; He is original, we derivative. But at the same time, and for some reason, the intimacy between God and even the meanest creature is closer than any that creatures can attain with one another.”
“God has created us to love and to be loved, and this is the beginning of prayer — to know that he loves me, that I have been created for greater things.”
At some point, God will ask you to sacrifice on his altar, not only your stories about your own life, but your version of his stories as well. Your softly lit watercolor felt-board version of scripture stories and church history must, like all your stories, be abandoned at his feet, and the messy, vibrant, and inconvenient truths that characterize God’s real work with real people will have to take center stage. If they don’t, then how will God’s work in your hungry messy, and inconvenient life ever do the same?
When God knocks, don’t creep to the door and look through the peephole to see if he looks like you thought he would. Rush to the door and throw it open.
Our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives.
“I am a father, inadequate to be sure, but I cannot comprehend the burden it must have been for God in His heaven to witness the deep suffering and Crucifixion of His Beloved Son in such a manner. His every impulse and instinct must have been to stop it, to send angels to intervene – but He did not intervene. He endured what He saw because it was the only way that a saving, vicarious payment could be made for the sins of all His other children from Adam and Eve to the end of the world. I am eternally grateful for a perfect Father and His perfect Son, neither of whom shrank from the bitter cup nor forsook the rest of us who are imperfect, who fall short and stumble, who too often miss the mark.”