THE REALITY OF GOD’S LOVE
2 Corinthians 11:23-33 (KJV)
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
Does anything prevent you from feeling confident that God loves you? Perhaps you are convinced some sin from your past blocks His love. In that case, think about Paul. He violently persecuted Christians before he himself finally turned to the Lord. If such a man knew God loved him, would that help you realize you, too, are loved?
Whatever your experiences are, Paul probably encountered something you can relate to. Yet he kept spreading his message of hope: God loves us and sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins.
Maybe you wonder how a God of love could allow you to be hurt or abused. Or possibly you feel alone and unlovable. Paul endured beatings and imprisonment for preaching the gospel, his friends abandoned him, and he was even shipwrecked. But if Paul was able to have faith that God loved him, won’t you believe that God loves you as well?
Whether your situation is unfair, painful, or humiliating, the fact that it happened doesn’t mean God has stopped loving you. Sometimes we face difficulty because He is polishing our rough edges and molding us into His image. Other times trials instigated by Satan are allowed in our life through the Lord’s permissive will. Either way, God is working everything out to our good, according to His individualized purpose for each believer (Rom. 8:28).
The key to accepting the truth of God’s unconditional love is to focus on Him, not circumstances. When you’re learning of Him, talking with Him, and sharing your life with Him, trust and faith naturally replace doubt and fear.
In Touch Ministries