“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me: your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever” Psalm 138:8 (NRSV).
Most of us have sung, “Jesus loves me this I know,” and recited “For God so loved the world,” since we were children. Yet, we often doubt God’s love. Why is that?
We have three mistaken notions about God’s love:
If God loves me He will protect me from painful experiences. But this is not what Jesus promised. He said, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). God uses every experience the good and the bad for good in our lives. He is more interested in the eternal than in the temporal—in our Christ-likeness than in our comfort.
I don’t deserve God’s love. I haven’t done enough to earn His love. The Bible says, we are loved not for what we achieve, but for who we are! We are God’s beautiful creation, children of God, and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). God loves us the same on good days as on bad days. He is lovingly working out His good purpose in our lives, and for that to happen, we need to have all kinds of experiences, even the difficult ones.
But I don’t feel God’s love. Feelings are not reliable. They vary with the weather, a good night’s sleep, or what’s happening in our lives.
Feelings follow thinking. What we fill our minds with will determine our feelings. That’s why it’s so important to dwell on God’s word. By doing so, we tune our hearts to receive God’s love.
Our hearts may not be receptive to God’s love. We’re like a pebble in a bubbling stream unable to absorb the water. We need to tune our hearts to receive God’s love. David writes, “But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
” (Psalm 103:17) By fearing the LORD and obeying His commandments, we are not earning God’s love. We are tuning our hearts to be receptive to God’s love. We are turning them God-ward so He can make His love real to us.
Dear God, thank You that You love me always. I want to tune my heart to receive Your love.
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