Some thoughts on God's love that He has been revealing to me this past week...
His love toward us is a love that supercedes our circumstance, it's beyond our understanding. If we are measuring his love in terms of tangible blessings in our lives, our understanding of His love (and Him) is too small.
In Luke, chapters 1 and 2, Mary responds/encounters three distinct, yet related facets of God's love...first, inexpressible joy and singing (Luke 1)...second, pondering in her heart (Luke 2)...and third, heartache (Luke 2:34-35 - 'a sword will pierce your own soul too'). There are times in each of our lives, that we will encounter each of these. Times where we are so wasted on Jesus that we feel like we could reach out and touch Him, times of reflection on who He is and His promises to us, and times of pain and heartache.
If our understanding of God's love doesn't include pain, suffering, and heartache - our understanding of His love is too small.
When troubles come (and we know they will - John 16:33), we can become bitter over them and run from God...or we can run TO Him and learn from Him. Romans 8:15-39 gives us a picture of how we can learn to trust in God's love for us, even when it doesn't seem tangible and close:
We need to rest in our relationship with God (v. 15-16).
We enter into a deep and intimate love relationship with God at salvation, leaning on this is the foundation for our understanding of His love in troubled times.
We need to yearn for the glory and the presence of Jesus (v. 17-23).
Our future reality makes our present suffering pale in comparison. One day we will be reunited with our Bridegroom in Heaven...we should desperately be yearning to be with Him. We yearn for something more because He placed that insatiable longing within our hearts for more of Him. We should be taking comfort in knowing that this life is not all there is...and difficulties in our life can stir this yearning in increasing ways. It's far too easy to fall in love with this world, unfortunately when we do - our yearning for Jesus gets replaced with a yearning for comfort and things. We need to lift our eyes up to Heaven and desperately cry out for His return, and to yearn for His glory and presence to be with us until His return.
We need to trust God's heart (v. 28-30).
Satan's greatest desire is for us to forget who God has shown Himself to be and become angry at Him in difficult circumstances. We must constantly remind ourselves of who we know God to be. Just because we don't understand the situation, doesn't mean God isn't at work. God works for the good of those who love Him, we must not get caught up in our definition of good...His definition of good is Christ - He desires us to become like Christ in all things.
We must desire greater intimacy and union with Jesus - that we might begin to understand the love of the Father, our Abba. And with that understanding comes the knowledge that oftentimes it is His love for us that moves Him to remain silent as we encounter difficulty in this life. But his silence doesn't mean He is not there, surrounding us with His love, and willing us through the craziness. Understanding His love amidst His silence is a picture of our leaning on the character of Him we know to be true, and trusting that He has our best interests at heart according to His purposes.
Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. (Ps. 46:10)