About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

Do You Ever Feel Unappreciated? - Encouragement for Today - April 19, 2016

Gwen Smith

April 19, 2016

Do You Ever Feel Unappreciated?

“Long ago the LORD said to Israel: ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.’” Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

The Bible is a timeless note expressing God’s interest in us.

And let me tell you, I love a good note.

When I was in high school in the late 1980s, the halls buzzed with everything you would expect, including note passing. When you got a note, you didn’t just let it hang out in the pockets of your Calvin Klein jeans or shove it in your leg warmers — you took it out and devoured it. 

And then you wrote back, circling yes or no to the questions. Do you like him? Did you watch Miami Vice last night? Did you kiss him? Are you going to Kelly’s birthday party? Will you go with me?

Notes were a dialogue. 

They helped you connect with friends, scope out possible love interests, break up, make up and everything in between. Rarely was just one note passed between two people. (And rarely were teachers happy about them.)

Get this: God made sure we got a note from Him.

A love note to pursue our hearts and connect our hearts to His. 

A personal note that’s addressed to each of us and ends with “Love, God.”

His love is poured out in the Bible chapter by chapter, verse by verse, so we might understand and accept that His intentions for us are as unique as a snowflake and as extravagant as an ocean sunset.

When I’m feeling unappreciated, unimportant or rejected, it helps to remember that God’s love speaks. I only need to listen. 

Your days may sting with an unfulfilled longing, a perceived inadequacy, a devastating loss or a gaping heart wound. Might I offer a word of encouragement? Whether you’re a mother, grandmother, sister or daughter … single, married, widowed, divorced … whether your loved ones value and cherish you or wound you with broken behavior … no matter what, God loves you, knows you and cherishes you perfectly

Let His love speak life to you.

The Lord declared to Israel, “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself ” (Jeremiah 31:3). 

Just as He spoke these words to His children, the Israelites, long ago, God speaks across the universe today to each daughter’s heart:

“I notice you!” 
“You are special to Me.” 
“You matter.” 
“I love you … perfectly … eternally … completely, and I really, really, really mean it.”

He showed us His love through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.

His Spirit whispers that love to the hearts of His children continuously.

He speaks it still today through His Word. Are you listening?

Once you open and read God’s love note, the Bible, you’ll want to respond. To go back and forth in conversation, deepening the relationship. To circle yes or no to His questions: “Do you know how much I love you? Are you aware of the distance between My holiness and your sin? Will you let My love meet you in your achy places? Do you know how beautiful you are to Me? Will you trust Me with that roadblock? Will you acknowledge Me as the source of your significance and the validation you are desperate for?”

I want to circle my answers, Yes! 

I want to be so deeply rooted and grounded in God’s love that it stabilizes my faith, no matter how unstable other factors of my life might seem or how unappreciated I feel. 

Don’t you? 

Dear Lord, Thank You for loving me. When I’m overwhelmed with feelings of frustration, please remind me that You see me and will meet me there with Your everlasting, all-satisfying love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 36:5-6a, “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.” (NIV)

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (ESV)

Sometimes, knowing God “more” includes setbacks, being misunderstood and discouraged and suffering. But it also means knowing God more deeply, even in the midst of pain. The deepest question behind this search for more from God is this: Do I trust Jesus? Gwen Smith unapologetically urges her readers to want more in her brand new book, I Want It All, which helps readers explore this question in light of disappointment and unmet expectations in life.

For more encouragement, stop by Gwen’s blog, www.GwenSmith.net, where she is down to earth and all about Jesus.

Enter to WIN a copy of I Want It All by Gwen Smith. In celebration of this book, Gwen’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, April 25.}

What are you afraid of when it comes to God’s love for you? How will you allow the truth of God’s love for you to affect your feelings today?

© 2016 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks David C Cook for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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