It's not difficult to believe that God will take care of you or that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Rom. 8:28, NIV), though we may not believe that they are for our good at the time. We can be detached from life sufficiently to look back and say yes. It all worked out.
No, the hardest thing in the world to believe is that God, the true God, really loves us right now, just as we are.
Are you ready for God to love you? It's easy to say, "I certainly am," but are you really ready to accept and affirm His love?
God wants us to enjoy His love for us. If I love someone but he or she doesn't feel it, then I am unfulfilled. I want others to know that I love them. A mother wants her child to feel her love. How much more does our heavenly Father want us to feel His love!
He chose us before we were born yet He knows what we are like. He does not get disillusioned with us because He had no illusions in the first place. His grace and His plans take into account our failures, unbelief, self-righteousness and fear. The sacrifice of Calvary assures us that our sins are washed away by the blood Jesus shed on the cross.
The demonstration of God's love is, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8). He didn't die for us because He saw we were going to turn out all right. He didn't die for us because we had already come up to standard. He died for us when we were utterly unworthy.
We should let God love us because we so desperately need the kind of love that only He can give, "God is love" (1 John 4:8).
First John 4:16 is a verse you could read a thousand times and yet not fully grasp. The NIV says, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us." I wonder if you have reached the stage of life where you just rely on God's love for you. You don't rely on your love for Him because you know that goes up and down all the time. The heart is deceitful (see Jer. 17:9). You cannot rely very long on your love for God. But you can rely on His love for you. He wants you to.
I find it difficult to believe God loves me. For this reason, a few years ago, I began doing something at the beginning of the day when I spent time alone with the Lord to pray. I still do it now. I refer to two Scriptures.
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). This verse was addressed to Christians, and we are still asking for mercy. We never outgrow asking for mercy.
The second is 1 John 4:16: "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us." I have come to realize that it really is true: God loves me. God loves you. God really does love us. So let us affirm His love when we are depressed, have sinned, are happy or sad.
Let God love you through friends and people who will accept you. A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you!
My own experience is that God has a way of drawing near to me when I feel at my most unlovable. All of a sudden, I sense His presence, and I'm amazed. I think, "Lord, You can't do this. Of all the times for You to manifest Your love to me!" God loves to do that. When you are feeling at your most unworthy and least deserving—I don't know why—He'll just love you. Let Him.
Adapted from When God Shows Up by R.T. Kendall, copyright 2008, published by Charisma House. This book will help you recognize God in your circumstances, as the author shares life-transforming principles he learned when he encountered God through his own unexpected experiences. To order a copy click, here.