True love doesn’t start with us—it starts with God. God doesn’t love us because we’re loveable, or deserving, or especially worthwhile. He loves us because he is love. He loves us despite who we are and what we’re like. He loves us at great personal cost. God’s love is passionate—it shows itself in the passion of the Christ, on Good Friday, with Jesus taking the punishment of death in my place.
We won’t always feel loved by God. Sometimes our circumstances will cause us to doubt or question the love of God.
- It’s hard to believe that God loves us when we are experiencing pain and loss.
- We are tempted to believe that if God really loved us then things would always go well for us.
- It’s impossible to feel the touch of God’s love when he seems so far away and disinterested.
- It feels silly to speak of God being loving when there is so much tragedy and suffering in the world.
- Saying ‘God loves me’ sounds so empty and powerless.
- Who am I to say whether God loves me or not?
It’s all too easy to judge God based on our experiences. And it’s all too dangerous! God doesn’t have to meet my expectations, as though I know more about love than him. I have no right to stipulate the criteria for assessing whether or not God is loving.
External circumstances can always be understood from different perspectives. If it rains heavily then one person will thank God for saving his crops, while another blames God for ruining her holiday. Does this mean that God is loving to one and not to the other?
Don’t be tossed around by your heart, or your head, or the things that happen around you. There is clear, objective, defining, unchanging, historical, and eternal evidence for the love of God.
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Know that evidence and keep returning to it. Rely on God’s own word of truth when it comes to assessing his love. Remember…
This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:9-10)
Do you know what it is to be loved by God? Have you experienced the love of God? I’m not asking whether you’ve had goosebumps or a mystical encounter. I’m asking have you put your trust in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection, for the forgiveness of your sin against God? Have you received a divine pardon? Then you know what love is!
If you’d like to know more about the love of God, then please ask me, and I will be only too happy to share what I know.