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God Loves Me?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by 55Dodge, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. I’ve been a Christian for 30+ years, but have increasingly struggled to believe that God necessarily loves me. It may be due to my upbringing and background- I don’t think I’ve ever experienced real, unconditional love. In fact I don’t think I had any idea what that even was until I laid eyes on my newborn son for the first time.

    I have frequently heard Christians insist that in place of “the world” in John 3:16, I can plug in my own name and the verse remains true. Similar assertions are often made relative to other biblical promises.

    While I would certainly like to believe this to be true, I’ve never heard anyone offer any real solid biblical support for such a claim. It seems reasonable to me that the phrase “God so loved the world” may be analogous to my saying “I love my country”. In truth I do love my country, but that’s very different from saying “I love every single individual in my country (including every mass-murderer and child abuser)”.

    Ps 136:10 is one of many OT examples that seems very hard to reconcile with the notion of a God who loves universally:
    to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
    His love endures forever.

    What do we do with the thought of probably thousands of parents experiencing overwhelming anquish and grief in Egypt? Did God not love those whose children he struck down?

    I hope God will forgive my doubts, but I’m really having a hard time with this.
  2. It's late, and my husband is insisting I get some sleep, but I prayed for you, and want to leave you with these verses--they're just the ones that sprang to mind, but I know there are more!. I think by the time I get back here tomorrow others will have done a great job of answering this.
    1 John 4:9-11
    Ephesians 2:4-5
    Galatians 2:20
    Romans 5:8
    1 John 3:1
    Psalm 86:15
    Romans 8:37-39
    Like you, I found it difficult to personalize God's love. My dad, although a great person and in so many ways a terrific father, was emotionally distant--just a product of his own parents, who were the product of theirs, and on and on it goes. One of the first things my friend Sue did after we met was to pray with me on the phone one day that I would come to know God as a good and loving Father. The Lord heard us (imagine that! lol) and over the years has changed the way I think about Him. If you look back at your life, I'd bet you can see how He has cared for you in a personal way. For me it began with believing what He says about Himself. I pray that will help you, too. And I will surely continue to pray for you, beloved of your Father!
    covered_by_grace likes this.
  3. John 13:34-35
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    As Abba's child said, there are so many verses that do speak directly to his love for us. I have to go back to work though and wanted to share this one verse. I will be back to give you more verses. God bless.
  4. Thank you so much Ellie for your prayers (and for your husband's forbearance!).

    I guess it's kind of like you and your Dad- you know he loved you, but it's head knowledge, not heart knowledge. I think it's that heart knowledge that I long for- it's what enables some Christians to genuinely rest in God's love. What's referred to in Psalms as as finding "refuge" in Him. People like that don't have to be constantly telling and reminding themselves that God loves them.

    Somehow I learned growing up to doubt everything and trust no one, and I fear I may be wishing for something I'm just not capable of. I've been blessed in a great many ways and really have no grounds to complain about anything. But health and other problems are making this a difficult time and it would be so great to have that confidence and lassurance to stand on.
  5. My children would laugh to read the words I underlined, as they describe me so well! I'm suspicious, and sometimes downright paranoid! ;)
    I, too, have health issues, and have been beyond broke with a family to provide for, and have had er, difficult times with family members. Oddly, these things led to a dramatic increase in my trust in the Lord. I couldn't explain how...God is just that big, and His faithfulness and love are unending. I reached a point years ago where I decided I had to agree with what the Word says about Him...basically, what He says about Himself. I agree that you (nor any of us) are not capable of believing this yourself. Just as we agree with God unto salvation, but have no "work" in that, so, I think, we agree with all Truth the Lord declares, but it's He who does the work; the change, if you will, in the way we think and feel. Call it the renewing of our minds, or being conformed to His image, or faith...it's all His work. I see the Truth as presented by God in His word, and agree with God that it is Truth. He made changes in my perspective after that, and He continues to do so.
    I hope that makes some sort of sense. For me, it wasn't an instant transformation, probably because I am His most recalcitrant child. :(
    Take heart, beloved! Your Father is more than up to the task of teaching you about His great love and faithfulness! This faith, like all, comes from spiritual hearing the spoken words (Greek "rhéma", as opposed to "logos") of Christ. (Romans 10:17. biblos.com might help further understand the Greek meanings) The more we hear the Word taught, the greater understanding we have. (eyes, in scripture refers often to inner understanding) The greater our understanding, the greater our faith!
    I pray you will be given strength to look beyond the natural things (which are temporary, and even now fading away) but rather that you will fix your eyes in the eternal, incorruptible Truth. ♥ (2 Corinthians 4)
    in Christian love,
    ps- if God could effect this change in me, of all people, I know He can (and will!) do it for, and in, you. :)
    Leviman likes this.
  6. Ellie, I do so appreciate your encouragement and prayers.

    That God Himself must initiate the changes that must take place in my thinking certainly does make sense, as I certainly seem unable to do so.

    My mother died 10 years ago, bitter and frightened after a lifetime of worry and uncertainty about her own self worth. I'm dismayed to see that kind of distrust and negativity in myself, and much of the time I feel powerless to do much of anything about it. I don't really worry too much about my salvation anymore, but I'm sometimes afraid that my own doubt and fear will prevent or dissuade God from working in me because it seems equivalent to unbelief.

    My wife, while not a believer, is a very kind and other-centered person. She tells me I just worry too much. She's doubtless right to a point, but she also doesn't grasp the spiritual gravity of what I'm trying to understand.

    The fact that I'm a believer at all should prove to me that God works change in us. In my youth I arrogantly insisted that I would believe the gospel only when presented with a sufficiently convincing proof of its veracity. It was only when I realized I would never reason my way to faith, but be willing to trust Him first, that things began to change.

    Thank you again, -chris

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