If Valentine’s Day magnifies our misplaced hopes, we must put our hope in God (1 Pet. 3:5). We do this by focusing on all that God promises to be for us in Jesus Christ. Our difficulties will be “unbearable” writes Martin Luther, “if you are uncertain that God is for you and with you.”
God is for you.
You may not feel like your husband is for you. It may even feel like he is against you. If your husband is against you, it may feel like God is too.
Or maybe you don’t have a husband, a man who is devoted to you, who is for you and no one else.
But God is for you.
It is not just that he is not against you. It’s not just that he means you no harm. He is not merely indifferent or neutral toward you. He is for you.
It is not just that he is for you in other ways, but not this one. No, he is working for your good in this Valentine’s Day.
Once he was against you. The full fury of his wrath was set against your sin. But he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to bear the justifiable “against-ness” of God. Through the cross we have not only received forgiveness but all the “for-ness” of God in Christ Jesus.
Our hope in pain:
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
No uncertainty here. This I know. God is for me.
God is with you.
That’s all you want, someone to be with you. But you feel alone.
Maybe you lost your husband through death. Maybe he left you. Maybe you still share the same home, but there is a chasm of hurt and conflict between you. Maybe you never had a husband.
There is no greater salve for the wound of loneliness than this: God is with you.
“[F]or he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13:5-6)
He is not watching your pain from a distance, just out of sight. He is “near” (Ps. 34;18). He is near to comfort, near to encourage, near to strengthen, near to bless.
John Piper writes: “When you think he is farthest from you, or has even turned against you, the truth is that as you cling to him, he is laying foundation stones of greater happiness in your life.”
What may seem like a difficult holiday is really another “foundation stone of greater happiness,” lovingly laid by the Savior.
God is with us. He is for us. He is our hope this Valentine’s Day.