No matter how devout a Christian you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re “Holy Ghost filled and fire baptized”, or how much you read and know the Bible, there will be times that you will struggle to believe in God’s love!!
When any of us go through a difficult time; it could be a time of grief due to the loss of a loved one, it may be the breakup of a long time friendship, it could be the loss of a job, a financial crisis, or it could be having to make a major decision that could impact the status quo of your life; there a feeling that that you can’t quite explain. We may call it stress, anxiety, or worry. It can be so subtle that we may not even realize how it’s affecting us. The problem may just be that we are starting to doubt that God really loves us. Doubt is a very unpopular word in the Christian community. Many Christians are afraid to admit any form of doubt because they feel guilty for having those thoughts, or maybe they’re afraid of the judgment of other Christians. When doubt surfaces, many consider it as a lack of faith, not really believing God and His Word...so many struggle silently. Through their silent struggle, they can become stagnant in their walk with God.
I have to admit that I have those periods of doubt at times, when things don’t go the way that I would like to see them go. No, I don’t doubt His ability to work in my life. I know that God is good and that He’s my refuge the time distress.
Nahum 1:7 (NLT)7 The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.
I also know that He would never leave or forsake me, but when the pressure comes, I sometimes doubt His love.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (HCSB) Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
During times of stress anxiety or worry we may think things like;. “Is this my fault? Did I not have enough faith? Does God still deliver from this kind of thing anymore? These thoughts come when we allow our minds to wander back to our past and the things that we did that we know were outside the will of God and in disobedience. They come when our circumstances seem out of control. They come when it seems that we can’t stop committing the same sin over and over again. It’s at these times when we wonder if He really loves us and is willing to act and work in these specific circumstances.
It’s at these times, when it seems that all hell is breaking loose in your life, that we need to be reminded that God does love you. I led a study two years ago in which we asked the question “Have you ever wondered if God loves you”? During that study we found that God has given us reminders. Like the sticky notes we use to use before computers, tablets, and smartphones, use the reminders in this post. Stick them on your mirror, your refrigerator, your desk, your monitor, and in your mind. Then we you start to doubt God’s love look at these sticky notes.
4 Reminders from God that He loves us
Reminder #1 Creation
The creation itself should remind us of how all powerful God is. It is also evidence that He does, in fact, exist. The very fact that he created the universe and then allowed us to be masters over the earth should remind us that there is somebody out there who is bigger than we are.
When my wife and I visited Hawaii a few years ago the folk’s house where we were staying had a view out of their kitchen window from which you could see the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It was awe inspiring. On another occasion I had an opportunity to drive to Las Vegas, from Payson, AZ, a little town mountains. We drove through some canyons the view of which would caused my jaw to drop. Looking up at some cloud formations will give you that same feeling.
Psalm 19:1-6 (NLT)1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.
God has made Himself obvious through His creation.
Romans 1:20 (NLT)20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
These things about God’s creation remind us of how big God is, His faithfulness, and proof that He loves you.
Reminder #2: The People We Meet
God uses what we may consider chance meetings or encounters to benefit us later. God had plans for you before you were born. Like the prophet Jeremiah God had plans for you before you were born.
Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT) “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
You’ve never met anybody by accident.
Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
Think about some relationships that you had when you were in school. Not those where you stayed in close contact but people that you haven’t seen for years or have never seen ever again, maybe a teacher, a coach, or just another classmate. Think about the impact on you and your life of something they said, an introduction to someone else, or an example you follow today.
The way I plan my workday and workweek is the result of something that a man taught me over 40 years ago when I worked for Bank of America. My love for studying the scripture is because I met a group of guys in San Jose over 30 years ago. I don’t even remember their names but the result of meeting and studying with them is why I am doing what I do today and using the spiritual gift of teaching that the Holy Spirit gave me.
When you doubt whether God cares about you and loves you think about the people that he has placed in your life over the years. If I just sit and think back about some of the difficult and stressful times I’ll remember somebody doing something, or saying something or giving me something, seemingly out of the blue that helped get me through. That wasn't just a coincidence, that was a reminder that God loves me.
Reminder #3: The Circumstances We Go Through
Our circumstances change and they change us. For example moving from one city to another is a change in location or circumstance. There are two possibilities. We can be put in a situation where it is more expensive to live than where we were before and that creates stress. That’s a change for the worse, at least for a while. On the other hand we move from one city to another and we get a huge increase in income, that’s a change of circumstance that is for the good. But in either case it the change in circumstance changes us.
An example of a major change in circumstance is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar came to worship the Lord, because in large part, the circumstances he went through.
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar what would happen if he didn’t acknowledge God’s hand in his success and the ruler of Babylon which was a world power at the time. When he didn’t acknowledge God, in fact he said it was all his own doing, God got his attention by changing his circumstances. Here’s the end of that story.
Daniel 4:28-37 (NLT)28 “But all these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar.29 Twelve months later he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon.30 As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’31 “While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you! You are no longer ruler of this kingdom.
32 You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’33 “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.34 “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. His rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal.35 All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him. He does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop him or say to him, ‘What do you mean by doing these things?’36 “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”
In Nebuchadnezzar’s case God used these circumstances to get his attention. He sometimes does the same thing for us through both good and bad circumstances.
Reminder #4: Jesus
Jesus is the greatest reminder of all of God’s loves. When things seem so overwhelming we need to change our focus. When we realize that God gave His Son Jesus so that He could pay the ransom for mankind and take the punishment of sin we know that God loves us. Jesus came and willingly laid down His life as our sacrifice He then sent the Holy Spirit by and through whom we are able to live a life that is pleasing to God.
Romans 8:32-39 (HCSB)32 He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies.34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, ⌊hostile⌋ powers,39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
When you wrestle with anxiety and stress especially in situations where you have no control remember all that He went through for you. Remember the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, the humiliation at His trial, the paid of the beatings and finally His crucifixion. It looked as if He had no control over any of this but on the third day He rose from the dead to show that God never lost control. Jesus is the Great Reminder that God loves you.
To really understand God’s love and to know what He wants for you and to know what He’s done for you and what He wants you to do,slow down and spend time with Him in His Word God’s Word the Bible is where we find the promises of God. Listen to Him not your own emotions, or looking back on the times you thought that God disappointed you. Then and only then can you learn to trust God.
Proverbs 3:5 (HCSB)5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;
“Overwhelming circumstances often cause us to take our eyes off of the obvious. It’s my prayer that we will take a few minutes to focus on the sticky notes that God Himself has given us to demonstrate how much He loves us, and how we mean to Him.
Jesus the Greatest Reminder
Jesus who gave His life for us can be trusted with everything in your life. If you’ve never accepted the free salvation that God, by His grace, is offering to you through His reminder Jesus, I pray that you do it today.
Here’s how to establish that relationship through Jesus;
Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
If you’re ready pray this prayer right now.
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody, leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.