Knowing & Believing God’s Love
Love is the beginning and the end of the Christian walk. It is the starting point and the end goal. While other things concerning the Christian walk – e.g. the gifts of the Spirit – will pass away, these three things will remain forever: Faith, hope and love. And the greatest of them is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). And so, it is of utmost importance that we come to know and believe the love that God has for us…
1 John 4:16 NKJV
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Notice how John does not write about feeling the love that God has for us. He writes about knowing and believing it. A relationship with God is about knowing and believing, not feeling. Now don’t get me wrong, if you truly experience the love of God, then your emotions will definitely be affected. The love of God will impact your feelings. But if we evaluate God’s love for us according to our feelings, then we are going to be a mess.
Feelings and emotions are fickle. They are not an accurate representation of the truth. They can never give us accurate and full knowledge and understanding of God’s love for us. If your measure of God’s love for you is your feeling of His love, then you are going to be like a yo-yo. When things are going well and you are happy, then you will enjoy God’s love for you. But as soon as something goes wrong – as soon as hardships and troubles hit – you will immediately doubt God’s love for you. You will go from the greatest highs to the greatest lows. Sadly, this is many people’s experience of walking with God.
Romans 8:38-39 NKJV
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul came to the point of being persuaded of the love of God despite how he felt. His circumstances rarely told him that God loved him. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-30, Paul “boasted” of some of the crazy hardships he had been through. He was beaten with rods, thrown into prisons, stoned, left for dead, shipwrecked and much more. And this is the man who said that he was persuaded that nothing could separate him from the love of God!
The word persuaded means to be convinced, assured and confident. Paul was convinced, assured and confident of God’s love no matter how bad his circumstances were. How did he get to that point? Was it through feelings, emotions and goosebumps? I think not. It was through knowing and believing. It was through keeping himself in the love of God.
Jude 1:20-21 NKJV
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
We are to keep ourselves in the love of God. Jesus has already fully demonstrated the love of God. He is not hiding it from anyone. His part is done. Now our responsibility is to keep ourselves in that love. The more we keep ourselves in God’s love, the more we will know and believe it, and the more we will be persuaded by it.
1 John 3:18-19 NKJV
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
Jesus has loved us in deed (action) and in truth. Now it is over to us to assure our own hearts of His love for us.
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