Reasons for this are likely many, and they tend to change depending on our circumstances. Sometimes we struggle believing that God loves us because of bad teaching. Sometimes we can’t accept that God loves us because of a heart-wrenching accident that happened to us or someone we love. And sometimes our fleshly pride tells us that we are simply unlovable.
Whatever the reason, Scripture teaches us to know, believe, and feel that God loves us. Here are three reasons that you can use to fight when doubt assails you..
- God Loves You Because He Created You
In the first pages of Scripture we learn that God is a creator God. He created the sun, the moon, the stars, the sea and everything in it, and the dry land and everything on it. But he only created men and women in his image (Genesis 1:27). Being created in God’s image means that men and women have the unique capacity and responsibility to represent, resemble, and reflect God in the world.
Everything God created on the first six days of creation he pronounced “good”; when God created man and woman, he was extra pleased with what he had done and said his work was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). God providentially cares for and loves all of his creation, but he has special regard for humankind.
- God Loves You Because He Redeemed You
Whenever you doubt whether or not God loves you call to mind Ephesians 5:25, which says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. Call to mind the fact that Christ came to die on your behalf. He chose you. He gave himself up for you. He bore the punishment you deserved.
Paul similarly says in Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Besides affirming God’s love for us by pointing to the cross , Paul removes any reason for boasting. He didn’t love us and die for us because we were the best of the best. He chose us in spite of ourselves, when we were his enemies. In the shadow of the cross there is no room for boasting and no room for denying we are loved.
- God Loves You Because You Obey
Obedience is not just something tacked on to the Christian life, it is a part of what it means to love Jesus (John 14:15). And based on our obedience we can either be in God’s love or, in some sense, outside of it. Jesus says, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10)
D. A. Carson explains how this works for the Christian,
“God’s discipline of his children means that he may turn upon us with the divine equivalent of the ‘wrath’ of a parent on a wayward teenager” (The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, 24).
Jesus isn’t saying our disobedience means we are no longer Christians. No, our disobedience means that God will act towards us in a way that a parent might act toward a son or daughter who has broken a rule—he disciplines in order to bring us back into conformity to God’s will and into his love.
The world, the devil, and our sin all conspire against us to make us doubt the fact that God loves us. This unholy trinity wants us to feel worthless, unloved, and unwanted. But God has not left us in the dark about his love. We can know God loves us because he is our good creator; we can know he loves us because he is our savior; and we can know he loves us because we are his disciples who follow his commands.
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