How do we know God loves us? Because Jesus died for us. Through his sacrifice sin is paid for and God’s wrath against us came to an end. When we are wondering what God thinks of us as his people, when we are in doubt of God’s affection for us, we look back. God’s love is not seen today in our satisfaction in this life, but yesterday in his own satisfaction in his Son. God’s love is best seen, not in a pleasing providence in our lives, but in divine propitiation in the death of Jesus Christ.
In nearly 20 years of pastoral ministry I have seen two kinds of people who struggle with the concept of God’s love. On the one hand we have those who simply assume God loves them and give it very little thought. On the other hand many doubt God’s love for them as they tend to evaluate his love based on their circumstances.
How do we know God loves us, and what does His love look like? How we answer these questions, and we all hold answers to those questions whether we are aware of them or not, is what determines our view of God and the health of our faith.
How do we know God love us? Many are assured of God’s love through his gentle or generous providences. Many believe the proof of God’s love can be found in the good things he gives us in this life. Prayers answered the way we desire, God loves me!Provision in a time of need, God loves me! Beautiful sunsets, delicious food, a happy family, a successful career—God loves me! Of course, this begs the question, does God not love those whose lives are characterized by loss, affliction, sorrow, and need?
While it is fair to say that God’s benevolence is seen in the many ways he provides for both the righteous and the unrighteous (Mt. 5:45), we cannot look to our circumstances for assurance of God’s love.