Can God Really Love Me?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16

There are many familiar Bible passages, but this one is probably the most familiar. Countless people have found hope and solace in the assurance that God loved the world. Unfortunately, many people have rejected God and his love because it didn’t measure up to their expectations. So, what do I believe?

It may be easy to conclude God loves me when everything is going well in my life. My health is excellent. My job is stable. My family is loving and considerate. On the other hand, what is my conclusion when my life is in turmoil? My health is poor. My prospects for employment evaporate. My family is dysfunctional. Does this mean God doesn’t love me? I need to understand how God does show his love to me.

The proper understanding of God’s love is actually found in the word the Bible uses for love. This is not to be understood as a feeling or an emotion. It is a special love which displays an unselfish resolve. In love, God knew what I desperately needed. In love, God responded purposefully and without reservation. In love, God came to seek me even when I didn’t seek him.

God showed his love by sending his one and only Son to rescue me from eternal death. This love required Jesus to take on my flesh and blood to become my substitute. As that substitute he lived a sin-free life to purify me from my disobedience. He died a guiltless death to pay the debt of sin I accrued. He even rose victorious from the grave to release me from the sentence of death. Jesus did everything God the Father prescribed. In the end, when I put my trust in Jesus I will have what he earned. I will also know the true joy and blessing of God’s love.

So, indeed, God does love me! But I should never measure his love by how much or little I have in my life. God’s love is seen and measured in what his Son Jesus has done for me. Through him I have everything – forgiveness, peace, joy and eternal life.

Prayer: O dearest Jesus, thank you for coming to this earth to reveal your Father’s love. Help me trust in that love, live in that love, and rejoice in that love always. Amen.
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