“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
Sometimes it is hard to believe it, isn't it. I mean, we want to believe it and yet we can't seem to shake the voice that whispers we do not deserve to be loved. In that respect, that nagging voice, speaks the truth. We do not deserve the love of God. None of us do. That's what the enemy does, you know. He takes the truth and adds to it so that what comes out of his mouth is not what God said, it is what the enemy said.
The people God was addressing in this passage had done nothing to deserve God's love. In fact, they were facing God's judgement due to idolatry and rebellion. Time and time again, God had warned them but they refused to listen. Now they had lost everything. They were not only a conquered people, they were taken far from home as slaves.
Yet despite their apparent hatred of God, He loves them. This is something that is nearly impossible for us to understand. We are mystified by such love. Probably the closest example of this type of love that we can grasp is the parent who still loves their wayward child despite the things they may have done. Even when we see that, there comes a point when we want to tell that parent, "Enough is enough!"
Do we deserve God's love? No, of course not! Not a single one of us deserves God's love. I am very thankful that God does not give me what I deserve and He did not give you what you deserve either. What we deserve is death. What we deserve is eternal separation from God but instead of doing that Jesus Christ stood in our place and took what we deserved. (Romans 5:8)
Today, after reflecting on what God says, rather than on what the enemy says, I wrote these words in my journal:
"I love you." These are the three words that God repeats to us over and over again and yet I struggle to believe it. I am not alone in that struggle! Regardless of what I say or even believe does not change what God has said. He loves me!
That's what it all boils down to. The truth is still the truth regardless of whether I believe it or not. It is not dependent upon my faith any more than it is dependent upon my lack of faith. My opinion does not change the truth. It is still the truth whether I like it or not.
The knowledge and acceptance of the truth, God loves me, is vital in order for us to develop our relationship with God and to truly flourish. Daily we must remember what God has said:
"I have loved you, __________ with an everlasting love" and dare to believe what God says.
Scripture quotation taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.