Your Love Never Fails

In this mission to pray Jahar into God’s kingdom, it frequently seems as if we get more bad news than good news. In those times, it would be easy to despair and lose hope – but I refuse to do that, because we serve an amazing God who is capable of far more than we could ever imagine. When I need to remind myself to keep trusting in God, I frequently turn to music to comfort me. Inevitably, I hear Jahar’s story in three-quarters of the songs I hear. However, no song speaks more strongly to me about Jahar’s situation than “Your Love Never Fails” by Jesus Culture. The first time I listened to it with Jahar on my heart, I had to replay it over and over and over again.

“There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
This lyric hits me on three levels. Jerry Bridges once said, “God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son.” First, this speaks to me about the victims of this senseless tragedy. I pray daily that the evil that they experienced that day would be used for so much good in their lives, and by some of the stories I have read, I can see that that has already happened for some of them. Praise God! Moreover, Jahar is likely struggling with significant pain as I type this……both physically and emotionally. Jahar may not realize that he is God’s child yet, but I pray daily that not a single ounce of his pain would be in vain. I pray that Jesus would use every tear, every bit of suffering that Jahar endures to help lead him home. No matter how much pain he is going through right now – I fully trust that he will experience immense joy in the future. He WILL come to know the forgiveness and absolute freedom that he is offered through Christ, and he WILL get to spend eternity in the amazing presence of his beautiful Savior. Likewise, this lyric speaks to me personally in that there are often bad days…days where we get discouraging news – but I don’t need to despair because I know that the end result of this daily commitment to prayer will be joy unlike I have ever experienced.

“The wind is strong and the water’s deep, but I’m not alone here in these open seas.”
Jahar is in a mess of a situation….a situation that it seems fairly inevitable he will never get out of on this earth. He is dealing with strong winds and deep water every single day….but he is never alone. Our God is with him in that cell. He holds him, comforts him, and dries his tears. It is my fervent prayer that Jahar would physically feel God’s presence, that he would realize that it is God and not Allah that is there with him, and that it would bring him unparalleled comfort and love.

“And when the oceans rage, I don’t have to be afraid…because I know that You love [him], and Your love never fails.”
The oceans are most certainly raging, and when you really stop to analyze things – it’s easy to be afraid for Jahar. It’s easy to be afraid that he won’t come to Jesus before it’s too late and that he will have to spend eternity separated from God. It’s easy to be afraid that he will suffer from the almost inevitable effects of solitary confinement including mental illness, depression, and thoughts of suicide. It’s easy to be afraid that he will receive the death penalty. But I don’t need to be afraid – because I am certain that God’s love for Jahar is absolutely out of control….and His love never fails.

“You make all things work together for [his] good.”
This is a reference to Romans 8:28, which in its entirety reads: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” It would make sense to write this off as not pertaining to Jahar because, unless there is something we don’t know, Jahar does not yet love God. But the part that jars me back into believing in the relevance of this verse for him is “and are called according to his purpose for them.” The following verse, verse 29, reads, “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” I am most certainly not God, and I can’t claim to know His plans – but I will share with you what I believe with my whole heart. I fully believe that God has chosen Jahar and is calling him. By the looks of the boat, Jahar should have died that night and spent eternity in Hell…..but God protected him and gave him a second chance at eternal life with Him. Then God placed Jahar on the hearts of His people all over the world and asked them to pray for him. If that’s not choosing and calling somebody, I don’t know what is. So I choose to believe that God has chosen Jahar, and because of that, He will work everything together for his good. He has a plan. He is in control. He will use the lawyers, the judges, and everyone involved in this situation to accomplish His purposes for Jahar. The bits of news that we get may be discouraging – but only God truly knows Jahar’s heart….only God truly knows what he needs to experience to get to a place of crying out for his Savior. I may not understand God’s plans….but because I have experienced a tiny fraction of His immense love for Jahar, I fully trust Him with Jahar’s life and more importantly, with his eternity.

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16 Responses to Your Love Never Fails

  1. Bri says:

    Love this. I can’t say that I have thought much of Jahar when I’ve listened to this song in the past year, but I see the connection now. It makes perfect sense.

    I may have said this before (or done it during Skype prayer), but I actually pray Romans 8:28 over Jahar sometimes, fully realizing that the verse says all things work for good for those who love God. I ask that God would treat Jahar as if he already loved Jesus, IN ORDER THAT Jahar would come to love Him. That’s pretty much what you were talking about with verse 29. As you know, I firmly believe because of several reasons (including those you mentioned) that Jahar has been called to faith in Christ. To me, all that remains to be known is how that’s going to happen and when.

    When I listen to this song, one of the parts that sticks out to me is “The chasm is far too wide.
    I never thought I’d reach the other side.” I don’t think this is what the songwriter had in mind, but it always reminds me of the bridge illustration. There’s this huge chasm between us and God. We try to use religious rituals and good works to reach God, but the only thing that can bridge the gap is Jesus and His work on the cross. In the context of Jahar’s situation, a lot of people would say, “The chasm is far too wide. He won’t ever reach the other side.” But that’s not true. “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). The chasm between Jahar and God is not far too wide. The blood of Jesus is more than enough to bridge the gap, and God’s power is more than enough to open his eyes to that truth.

  2. brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

    It’s so funny how you never thought of Jahar when listening to this song – but it was the first song that ever reminded me of his situation, and it’s my go-to “pray for Jahar” song. I love how different songs speak to us. 🙂

    The chasm verse never really hit me though…..so I’m so glad you pointed it out! It does seem so impossible/unlikely when you think about it – but we already know the amazing things that our God is doing in the hearts and lives of Muslims all over the world – and I fully believe that He will do that for Jahar too. I don’t know exactly how He will rescue him, but I fully trust that He will.

    • Bri says:

      The early Christians thought “the chasm was far too wide” for Paul too. When Ananias is told in a vision to go to Paul, he says, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name” (Acts 9:13-14). Those who heard Paul preach in Damascus said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” (Acts 9:21). The disciples in Jerusalem “were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple” (Acts 9:26).

      They simply could not believe that this persecutor and pretty much murderer of Christians could possibly have become one. But nope, God has the power to rescue even the worst of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        Psssssttttt……what are you doing wasting a good blog entry? :-p

      • Bri says:

        That’s a teaser for my blog entry, haha. That’s not fully hashed out anyway. The blog entry will be more in-depth.

  3. Bri says:

    I decided a while back to avoid comment sections for any story about crime. Comment sections on stories about Jahar are awful because of the things people wish upon him. I’m thankful that as messed up as our justice system is at times, we don’t have to worry about, for example, Jahar being punished by setting off a pressure cooker bomb at his feet like I’ve seen so many people suggest. It’s hard to read stuff like that about someone you love.

    I fully believe God is weaving together a beautiful plan for Jahar, and I’m so grateful for being along for the ride and for witnessing what He’s done so far.

    As far as writing a post, are you able to sign into your WordPress account and are you signed up as a contributor to CU4J yet? Once those two things happen, it’s incredibly easy, at least with the basics of posting.

  4. Bri says:

    It still shows your invitation as pending, so I resent it. You’ve still gotta accept it somehow. I don’t really know how to do that because I’ve never had to accept an invitation; I’ve only sent them to people.

  5. Ada says:

    Love the whole post…especially when you said that God does not waste pain on people. I’m sorry that Jahar must feel this awful pain, but God’s love will be make that pain into praises.

    • Bri says:

      To quote one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes (I have many), “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

    • Bri says:

      He goes on to say, “[Pain] removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.”

      • Ada says:

        The Bible says that there is no sin where there is no law. I would that that, without pain, there is no need for comfort. Pain is often a wake-up call, probably because, as humans, we are so self-centered and blind to the Truth.

      • Bri says:

        For sure. If life were wonderful all the time, would we even see our need for God?

    • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

      Thanks Ada. 🙂 I really believe that in this darkness and pain, Jahar is going to see and hear from Jesus so clearly in a way that he would not have if he was just going about his regular daily life.

      • Bri says:

        Just thought of a line from Disciple’s “Someday”: “Well they say that You make beauty out of ash, but something has to burn before You can.” God might have to break him entirely before He makes him whole again.

      • Ada says:

        Well you have to come to God in full humility. Something bad happened to a family that I knew…a lot of “power” sort of…and I finally found out that, yes, I was scum. I had no power over whether or not God would forgive me. I HAD TO PLEA.
        Again, I’m sorry that Jahar felt pain, but when I read that he’d wake up and cry while in the hospital, I felt that he was THAT much closer to understanding Christ. Because I’d cry for that family every day before I realized Christ’s mercy.

      • Bri says:

        I really hope there was even an ounce of remorse in those tears and that it wasn’t just out of the pain he was feeling or out of a selfish focus on only that his life would never be the same again (without thinking the same about his victims). But I guess even if it’s the latter, God can use the pain in his heart to lead him to a place of desperation where he starts searching and he cries out to God.

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