Many of us have heard our whole lives the phrase “God loves you.” We’ve seen it on bumper stickers, heard it in sermons and listened to it in songs on Christian radio. But it’s one thing to hear it with our ears and another to understand it with our hearts.
Oddly, our doubt of God’s love doesn’t necessarily question whether God can or does love people. We can easily believe that God loves other people; we just can’t comprehend how or why He’d love us.
We hide our real selves from other people to ensure they won’t reject us. How much more we hide from God! We think: There’s just no way God could love someone as undeserving and evil as I am.
2 things that prevent us from believing that God loves us
1. Our sense of guilt.
Job, the man who lost everything said in Job 42:5-6,
“My ears have heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself.”
Have you ever felt like that? The closer you get to God, the more you realize just how bad you are.
Even the apostle Paul – who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament – had some seriously negative feelings about himself. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:9,
“I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
If Paul felt that way, it’s no wonder that many of us have wondered how God could love someone as bad as we are.
2. Our sense of insignificance.
When many of us look at the world – famine, drought, epidemics, AIDS, war, poverty, human trafficking, genocide – we wonder why God would love people as insignificant as we are.
Six billion plus people inhabit this planet; how could God love us all? That doesn’t seem possible, let alone likely, and surely God has bigger things on His mind.
It turns out that many people in the Bible battled similar feelings of insignificance. Here are a few:
- When God asked Moses to deliver God’s people out of slavery, Moses responded “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
- King David, who was described as a man after God’s own heart, asked the very same question when he said: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you?” (1 Chronicles 29:14)
- When an angel of the Lord encouraged Gideon to take on the Midianites, he immediately offered his not-so-impressive resume to prove why he wasn’t up for the task. The insecure warrior said “But Lord … how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least of my family.” (Judges 6:15)
If these stories tell us anything, it’s that we’re in good company if we’ve ever felt like we’re not good enough or important enough to be loved by God.
Many of us believe in God and even believe that God loves people, but always other people, who are less sinful or more important.
To truly overcome these feelings, we must understand who God is.
According to 1 John 4:8, God is love.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
That means God doesn’t pick and choose whom He loves – He can’t! God is love, and we are loved, every single one us six billion sinful, undeserving people. That truth changes everything!
And what’s even more amazing is that God loved us first! He didn’t wait for us to clean up our act or for us to get our lives in order before He loved us.
No! He loved us while we were still sinners. He loved us while we were in rebellion to Him.
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
There’s nothing we can do to earn God’s love. We are already and always loved simply because God made us and He loves each and every one of His creations.
When we finally understand that God actually loves us, it changes everything. Being loved opens the doors of our hearts, removing the locks and bolts that were keeping us isolated and alone.
God is love and every one of us is loved every moment of our lives!
Have you ever doubted that God loved you?
***** This post was greatly influenced by Craig Groeschel’s book “The Christian Atheist“. Specifically chapter 3 “When you believe in God but aren’t sure He loves you.”