“Does God really love me?” I remember the first time I truly doubted God’s love. I was sitting on the doctor’s examination table and got a diagnosis that made me think I might spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. How could I believe God loved me when this was happening?
God’s love is often the first thing we doubt when life takes a wrong turn. We wonder, “Is God really good? Why is He letting this happen?”
Maybe you’ve asked these same questions in the hospital, clinic, or therapist’s office. You asked after the call from your child’s school or the meeting with your boss. Maybe you feel like such a mess that you find it impossible to believe God loves you.
When life gets hard is when we most need to hold on to God’s love for us.
I didn’t actually end up needing a wheelchair, but I learned important lessons about holding fast to the love of God. In times of trial, the most important thing we need to believe about ourselves is that we are the beloved children of our Heavenly Father.
God’s love is the compass that helps us navigate hard times. It’s the anchor holding us and the blanket that covers us. It’s the filter that helps us see our trials in a brighter light.
Yet we have an enemy who desperately wants to blind us to God’s love. The one thing Satan does not want us to know is that God loves us so much He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins so that we could have everlasting life.
What if we really grasped God’s amazing love that paid a great price for our sins at the cross, all to win us back to himself? What if we really understood that Jesus’ death means God looks upon us as beloved children?
We’d be stronger. We’d know His love surrounds us at all times and in every situation. We’d know we could trust Him.
How do we hold fast to God’s love when life gets hard?
We can pray for grace to believe and receive it.
The power of the Holy Spirit is the only force that can truly convince us of our Father’s love, yet we can partner with Him through prayer. These words may help, but you can also find your own:
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me enough to give your life for me. Holy Spirit, fill my heart with the love of God; help me to truly believe and receive it. Heavenly Father, help me to rest in the shelter of your great love. Give me the grace I need to reflect your love to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
We can stay present to God’s love by meditating on the Scriptures.
As we behold truth from the Word, we become better equipped to recognize the enemy’s lies. Lies like “If God really loved you, this would not be happening” or “God couldn’t possibly love you the way you are.”
Anchor your thoughts to God’s truth through meditating often on God’s love. Here are 3 passages to start with. Read through them slowly and prayerfully, thinking about what these truths mean for your life:
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:9-11,16, NIV)
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Psalm 136:1, NASB)
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10, ESV)
Friend, if your challenges have disheartened you, may I encourage you to keep holding on to God’s love? Keep praying for grace to believe the promise of His love. Just for today hold fast to the belief that God treasures you and will see you through. Your challenge will end, but God’s love for you never will.
Now it’s your turn: What gives you hope in hard times? What is one truth here that encourages you today?