We moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Week 4 - Finding Comfort in God's Love

This week we talked about the differences between the world's perception of love and God's love. The world's love is based on conditional things. The world says that we can fall in and out of love. It is based on our feelings or emotions at a specific time. The world's love is based on performance, that somehow we have to earn love by doing or being someone we're not. But God's love is unconditional. God's love for us is not dependent on what we have done or how we feel. We are perfect beings created in His image and He is well pleased with us. No matter how far we stray, he loves us. He always desires to draw us closer to Him and reveal his amazing, unconditional love for us.

God's love can be described like this...

"The love of God beckons you to come. It does not send you away, it is not hard to find. It calls out like a mother for a child. Like an angel that proclaims the glory of God, it never ceases. God calls out to you, "Come!" His voice echoes across all that is, "Yes you, come closer, deeper in. Sit upon My lap, let Me look at you. Let Me hold you My child, I love you. I love you. I will always love you."
I am so thankful that God doesn't treat us the way we treat others. Our relationships in this world differ so much from God's relationship with us. When I have felt wronged or hurt in relationships, I have wanted to pull away and give less of myself to that person. We remember hurts and hold on to pain. Yet how often do we ignore God's voice? How often do we wrong and hurt Him? How often do we make poor choices? Yet, God never walks away from us saying that we've hurt him too much or been away for too long. Instead he continues to pursue us. He relentlessly tries to win our hearts so that we may experience comfort in Him.

God's love is exemplified in this song by Matt Redman. God's love will never let go of us. The song states God's truth, that even in the midst of life's storms, God is near. We each reflected on a time in our lives that we experienced loneliness. At times when God feels far away we often rely on our feelings to dictate our basis of love. In these storms we believe feelings that we are unloved, unaccepted, and undeserving of God's comfort. In the midst of these storms it may be hard to experience God's ultimate love, but looking back we can see how God was carrying us.

Scripture shows us over and over what God's heart is for His children.
This is the Father's heart for us...
  • "He chose us before the foundation of the world" Eph 1:4-6
  • "He totally and unconditionally accepts and loves me just the way I am" Eph 1:4-6
  • "He will never abandon me, leave me or forsake me." Heb 13:5
  • "He exults over me with great joy and singing." Zep 3:17
  • "He takes great pleasure in me" Psalm 149:4
  • "He does not recall my sins or iniquities and does not hold them against me." Heb 8:12
  • "He will never fail me or fall short of meeting my needs." Psalm 89:33-34
  • "He gathers me in his loving arms and carries me all my life." Isaiah 40:11
  • "He will not let anything separate us from his love." Romans 8:35-39
  • "He loves us with an everlasting love." Jer 31:3
Using God's promises of love for us, we wrote a love letter from God to ourselves. What would God being saying to us about how much He loves us? How does He want to show us comfort in times of loneliness? What does He want us to believe about ourselves?
This is the letter that I wrote when we ran classes from the fall (October-November 2008)...

Dear Jen,
You were made in my image and I love you just the way I created you. Even at your birth I had great plans for your life and have only had good in mind for you. I unconditionally accept you because you are my child and I take great pride in my creation, as any earthly father lavishes love on his son or daughter.
I know the struggles and pain that you have been through. If you trust in me, I can wipe all of your tears and take away every pain. In any trial that you face, I will never abandon you, leave you or forsake you. I am with you from now until the end of the age. I will never fail you, even when you think that you have failed me or yourself. If you simply put your trust and hope in me, I can meet each one of your needs. I know your needs before you even ask because I know more about you than you know about yourself. I know every anxious thought in you and I can promise you peace so that you will never be anxious or worry again. All of your anxieties and pains are not too much for me to handle. Find rest in me and be strengthened by my promises when you are tired and too weak to go on.
You cannot do anything to make me love you more. I cherish everything about you and love you so much that I sent my son to die for you. He died so that I could have a relationship with you; so that you could love me and I could love you. Your sins are not counted against you anymore because you are forgiven and worthy of love.
I am the same God that was with you through times of loneliness and in times of joy. I will always be with you and I will always rejoice in you, my child.
I love you,
Father God.