Know That God Loves You
Know That God Loves You
We are continuing to look at how we can trust God when our life is not going as we would like it to go. We have looked at God’s wisdom that provides us encouragement during our difficulties of life. Today we are going to look at God’s love and how we can be encouraged by His love.
How deeply does God love you? You can experience God’s love. Knowing that God loves you will help you during times of adversity.
In the 1980s, people shelled out thousands of dollars to own a potbellied pig, an exotic house pet, imported from Vietnam. The breeders of the potbellied pig claim that many pigs were quite smart and would grow to only 40 pounds. Well, they were half right. The pigs were smart. They had a tendency to grow to about 150 to 190 pounds and became quite aggressive. What do people do with an unwanted potbellied pig? Dale Riffle came to the rescue. Someone had given Riffle one of these pigs and he fell in love with it. Dale’s pig Rufus never learned to use its litter box and developed a craving for carpets, wallpaper, and drywall. Riffle sold his suburban home and moved with Rufus to a 5 acre farm in West Virginia. He started taking in other unwanted pigs and before long the guy was living in hog heaven. There were, at one time, 180 residents on his farm. According to an article in US News and World Report they snoozed on beds of pine shavings. They wallowed in mud puddles. They soaked in plastic swimming pools and listened to piped-in classical music. They never needed to fear that one day they become bacon or pork chops. There was actually a waiting list of unwanted pigs trying to get a hoof in the door at Riffles farm. Dale Riffle told the reporter “we’re all put on earth for some reason and I guess pigs are my lot in life”. How could anyone in his right mind fall in love with a potbellied pig?
I’ll tell you something even more amazing. And infinite, perfectly holy, majestic, awesome God is passionately in love with insignificant, sinful, sometimes openly rebellious, frequently in different people. God loves people like you and me. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Have you ever questioned that God loves? All of us at one time or another have questioned the love that God has for us, especially during times of adversity. We immediately repent and take a look at Scripture to regain the assurance that God does indeed love us. God’s love is as real in times of adversity as it is in times of blessings. It seems the more we believe in and accept the sovereignty of God over every event in our lives the more we are tempted to question His love for us. If God is in control of this adversity and we do something about it why doesn’t He? Kushner in his book “When Bad things happen to good people” believes in a God who is good but not sovereign. Sometimes we are tempted to believe in a sovereign God who is not good. Satan in the Garden of Eden questioned the goodness of God. Satan will today plant that thought in our minds. Are we forced to choose between sovereign God or the goodness of God? Scripture affirms both – God is sovereign and God is good – references to His goodness and His covenant love, His sovereignty are all affirmed in Scripture.
During our struggles with adversity we are tempted to question His love and His sovereignty. Aren’t we maligning the goodness of God? Even when setting in judgment over those that rebelled against Him – He declares in Ezekiel 33:11 ……… I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live………….
When we are struggling with adversity we are tempted to doubt God’s love. When we are struggling with these thoughts Satan seizes these opportunities and whispers accusations against God, i.e. if God loves you he would not allow this to happen.
Satan attacks in the area of God’s love rather than His sovereignty or His wisdom. Look at Job and how Satan attacked Job taking away his material blessings and his health. I’m not sure what I would do if placed in that situation. Setting on a pile of garbage using a piece of broken glass to scratch, and my wife told me to curse God and die. Temptation will occur. We must honor God by trusting Him. Don’t allow such thoughts to remain in your mind, meditate on His word. To question the goodness of God is in essence to imply you are more concerned about goodness or blessings than about God. To suggest that man is kinder than God is to subvert the very nature of God. Job in the beginning of his calamities was able to say, Job 1:21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Later Job came to the point of questioning God’s goodness, Job 34:5 For Job has said, ‘I am in the right, and God has taken away my right;……. 9 For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.’
How do we take a stand against our own doubts and temptations of Satan to question the goodness of God? When Satan tempts us with doubts of God’s goodness what do we do to overcome that doubt?
What truths about God do we need to store up in our hearts to use as weapons against temptation to doubt His love?
There are some very basic principles we can remember that will help us during adversity. We will look at these principles next time.