God’s Love can be Experienced
God’s Love can be Experienced
There are many examples of God’s love in Scripture. More than we can enumerate on at this time. We have given examples in past blogs. One of the most explicit examples is explained by Paul. Romans 8:38–39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many times we fail to see or sense God’s sovereign love that has been exercised on our behalf. We see ourselves beset by all kinds of calamities. We see ourselves as the victim of nature’s cruel fate or the injustices of other people. Adversities occur with no rational cause or exclamation. At times like this we must stand on our faith with the assurances that God’s love has been demonstrated as He has explained in Scripture. We cannot elude the basic principles of Scripture 2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Our faith wavers in times of adversity. At these times we will often question the wisdom of God. We will also question the goodness and love of God. Some of our thoughts at these times will resemble the thoughts of David. When adversity strikes our initial reaction is we feel cut off from God’s face from His love and tender care. We must learn to say like David in Psalm 31:22 I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. God will never forsake us because we are His children that are in union with our Lord Jesus Christ.
God will never cut us off from his sight. We can be cut off from the assurance of His love when we allow our unbelief to gain a foothold in our hearts. Isaiah speaks of God’s people that were questioning God’s love. Isaiah 49:14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” God’s response to His people’s doubt is forceful. Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
God uses the very closest human relationship – that of a nursing baby and his mother to illustrate His love. Even this illustration is insufficient to demonstrate God’s love. A nursing mother can neglect her nursing child. Mothers are sinful and sometimes their natural love can be overcome by their own selfish interests. The greatest of human relationship can sometimes fail. But God’s love cannot fail. God merely will not forget – He cannot forget. The passage in Isaiah 49:15 Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. This is one of the strongest if not the strongest expression of God’s love in the Old Testament. Calvin comments on this passage “in a word the prophet here describes to us the inconceivable carefulness with which God unceasingly watches over our salvation that we may be fully convinced that He will never forsake us though we may be afflicted with great and numerous calamities.”
Jeremiah in Lamentations personifies the nation of Judah after its destruction by the Babylonian Army. If anyone could have felt cut off from God’s face it was the nation of Judah at this time justly so because of Judah vileness and idolatry at that period in their history. Jeremiah does more than just personifies the nation. I get the impression that Jeremiah personally feels the apparent alienation from God. I am not sure if he is merely using a literary device or allowing his own personal feelings to come out. Anyone who has ever felt cut off from the Lord’s face and forsaken by Him can ponder with great feeling the misery Jeremiah depicts in Lamentations. Lamentations 3:19–20 Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! 20 My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
Jeremiah had reached the bottom of the barrel emotionally and spiritually. The mood changes completely in verse 21. Lamentations 3:21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: A passage follows that has provided hope and encouragement to countless down through the years. Lamentations 3:22–23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
What was it that caused such a dramatic mood change in the heart of Jeremiah? He turns from the circumstances at hand to the Lord. Jeremiah realized he was not cut off from God. Even the nation of Judah in the depth of it sin was not cut off from God’s love. God disciplined the nation severely – He did not cease to love the nation of Judah. When adversity occurs, if we would speak of God’s faithfulness and turn from our circumstances to God we would see our circumstances through God’s love instead of as we are prone to do seeing God’s love through our circumstances. How did Jeremiah turn to God? Jeremiah reflected on the love, the compassion, and the faithfulness of God. We must do what Jeremiah did. This is why we need to store up in our hearts some of the passages on the love of God. We must have them ready to use when adversity strikes and doubts and temptations of unbelief rise in our hearts.
What Scriptures of love have you stored up in your heart?