God is Love
God is love, but that doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows, butterflies, and cotton candy all the time.
Actually, now that I think about it, a rainbow comes after a rain, a butterfly is born out of a struggle, and cotton candy is sugar that’s been melted down and spun wildly.
So maybe God’s love is rainbows, butterflies, and cotton candy — worth every storm, struggle, or meltdown we experience.
What Does it Mean that God is Love?
Let’s take the simple route and replace the word Love with God (and it with He) in the Bible verses on love in I Corinthians 13:4-13:
God is patient and kind;
God does not envy or boast;
He is not arrogant or rude.
He does not insist on His own way;
He’s not irritable or resentful;
He does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
God never ends . . .
So now faith, hope, and God abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is God.
~ I Corinthians 13:4-13
God’s love is perfect and complete, lacking nothing. He can’t love us any more or any less.
And He won’t suddenly stop loving us since His love is based on His nature, not our behavior. God is love, so He loves. And everything He does is rooted in love.
All His actions are loving — even the ones that don’t look loving.
Love Doesn’t Always Look Like Love at the Time
Mom and Dad swore they loved me.
Sure you do, Mom and Dad. That’s why you’re holding me down on a hospital table while the doctor performs a painful test on me.
Yes, actually, that is why.
I was six years old, and I. Did. Not. Feel. Loved. At. All. But the medical test confirmed the doctor’s suspicions. I needed surgery.
Without that wretched test, the doctor wouldn’t have had the information he needed to determine what was best for me.
But how do you get a terrified, crying six-year-old who’s in horrible pain to understand? Not happening.
I didn’t feel loved in that moment. But that didn’t change the fact. I was dearly loved.
God loves us even more, because, well, He is love. (I John 4:16)
Knowing God is Love Makes a Difference in Us Today
When we settle in our hearts once and for all that God is love and He love us specifically, it changes our view of everything that touches our lives.
When bad things happen, we won’t assume that God must hate us.
I heard the tragic news recently of a couple whose grown son was murdered. As awful as it is, what’s even worse is that the mother believes she must have done something wrong and that’s why “God took her son away from her.”
She blames herself for her son’s death.
Fortunately, he had trusted in Christ so he’s with God now experiencing pure joy. But she’s down here locked in a prison of shame, pain, and guilt — and she doesn’t belong there.
This heartbroken, despairing mom believes in God, but not in His perfect love.
The Proof of God’s Love is at the Cross
We must know and believe that God loves us and that all He does is loving.
God proved it over 2,000 years ago.
Stand at the foot of the cross and look at the nails through Christ’s hands and feet.
See the blood drip from the thick thorns which stabbed His head.
See the deep wound in His side where they pierced Him.
And finally, look at the darkness of every sin, from the first to the last, heaped upon Christ as He gave up His Spirit and died to pay for each one.
No one forced God to sacrifice His Son. His love compelled Him.
No one forced Christ to go to the cross. His love compelled Him, too.
At any point, Christ could have called down a legion of angels to wipe out the guards. He chose to submit to the deepest, darkest evil of man to make salvation available, even to the very ones who tortured and crucified Him.
God Chose the Cross and You
God chose the cross because He chose you.
Even if you don’t choose Him and His gift of salvation.
He chose you because He loves you.
Even if you don’t love Him.
Never forget it.
Never doubt it.
Settle it once and for all in your heart. God loves you.
Doubt something else if you must, but never doubt God’s love.
Accept this Truth.
And as hard as it may seem, accept everything that touches your life as coming directly into your life as coming from God’s hands of love.
Are You Angry with God?
Some of you may be angry with God now. You don’t want to have anything to do with this “God of Love” who would allow the horrible tragedies that occur in the world and in your life.
I could’ve made such a declaration towards my parents when they held me down on the hospital table.
What if I could have chosen to walk away from them in that moment forever, declaring I didn’t want their brand of love?
I would’ve never had the surgery I needed. And I would’ve missed out on a lifetime of an incredible, loving relationship with my parents.
I’m glad they were willing to love me, even though it hurt so much that I remember it too well.
We won’t always be able to see or understand how everything God does is loving. But that doesn’t change the facts. God’s love is rainbows, butterflies, and cotton candy.
Believe and do not doubt. God is Love.
God’s Word on God’s Love
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (I John 4:7 ESV).
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (I John 4:8 ESV).
“This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (I John 4:10 NLT).
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (I John 4:16 ESV).
“We love, because He first loved us” (I John 4:19 NASB).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NASB).
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 NASB).
Check back to find out what trait we’ll look at next in our Never-Ending, Ever-Growing List of the Character Traits of God.
Click the photo to see the full list as it stands now.
Your Turn: How will knowing that God is love make a difference in your life today? Leave a comment below. Thanks!
If you’d like to go deeper in your study of the character traits of God, check out these resources. Click on the photos for more information about these books by A. W. Tozer:
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