“God is love” (1 John 4:8), and the greatest evidence of that love is the gift of His Son for our salvation (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
Another way we know He loves is seen in the abundant blessings He showers on us every day (Matthew 5:43-45; Acts 14:17).
God’s love, however, has less obvious facets. The following evidences of His love may actually seem the very opposite—until we understand how His love works.
“‘For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives’ . . . . He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness” (Hebrews 12:6, 10).
We can accept His discipline so much better when we realize what it does for our ultimate welfare, just as our children need to realize that we discipline them because we love them (Hebrews 12:7-10).
In connection with the command, “You shall have no other gods before Me,” God says, “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God . . .” (Exodus 20:3, 5).
The book of Hosea develops the theme of God as a rejected lover who yearns for a restored relationship with His unfaithful bride Israel.
As J. I. Packer has written, “. . . Scripture consistently views God’s jealousy . . . as an aspect of His covenant love for His own people” (Knowing God, p. 154).
Sometimes God says No when we pray. When this happens, do we feel that God doesn’t care, or do we trust that He knows best? God said No to David’s prayer that his infant’s life be spared (2 Samuel 12:15-23). God said No to Paul’s prayer that his thorn in the flesh be removed (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). God said No even to His own Son’s plea to be spared the cross (Matthew 26:36-46).
If God said No to them, should we be surprised when He denies our requests?
God loves us so much . . . .
That “He disciplines us for our good . . . .”
That it hurts Him deeply when He is not first in our affections.
That He must sometimes say No when we pray.
God is love? Far more than we can know.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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