Struggling to Believe His Love

The Bible is jam-packed with explanation and assurance of God’s love for us. If there is one theme in the Bible that is not ambiguous or unsettled, it is that this God loves His people dearly. Word pictures are painted for us in terms that we can understand, like the love of a father for his children, and the love of a groom for his bride. Even further, it is described beyond what we naturally understand; a perfect and unconditional love. 

For many people, it is difficult to believe this about God. However, for me personally, it is less difficult to believe it and more difficult to remember it.  

At times, I seem to passively default to this idea of a God that is a somewhat distant observer, who is not entirely interested in me, but is most concerned with evaluating my performance.

I may catch myself in the middle of a selfish thought, or an angry reaction, and I can quickly imagine God like the elementary school teacher glaring hard my way letting me know that “That is enough,” with their eyes. The elementary teacher version of God might give me a subtle nod of approval when I go to turn my attitude around. 

Knowing full well that this version of God is entirely made up by me, not at all like the One described in the Bible, the Holy Spirit usually prompts me to my senses. But, once I am reminded that God’s disposition toward me is one of deep and committed love, I am met with a second challenge. What does it mean?  

He is a just and perfect judge, but one that loves me. He does not simply grade my performance in life, giving me the "F" at the end of my lifetime that I will have earned. No, instead He has completed the performance for me!

He has made provisions for the consequences of my sin, and even further has provided a means for true life that I was incapable of living. He has taken on the full burden, and will carry me to the end.

Giving me all the resources, all the capacity to change from within to reflect the image of His own Son. He has given me His Word, and in it all needed pertaining to life and godliness. 

He loves me. 

But what does that mean? Here are just a few thoughts on the implications. 

This God of mine created everyone individually, and knows them intimately (Psalm 119). He did not mass-produce mankind, knowing them only in a general sense. He knows me. His love for me is not blind infatuation, not a first date attraction that will crash and burn as soon as He gets to know me.

He already knows me, sees me, and loves me. 

This God loves His elect with a covenantal love. According to His character and His promise, He remains faithful even when I do not. He has said what He will do, and He is not a God who breaks promises. I can relinquish my urge to control, I can release my fears.  

Ever the fan of list-making, my suggestion to you is that you begin a running list of the implications of what it means that God loves you. Add to it as you learn, refer back to it as you doubt or forget.