“I am not sure if God loves me,” she said, “I feel that He is disappointed in me.” I was quite shocked to hear my friend say that in the light of my studies on God’s love, but she is not the first to feel this way. All of us at one time or another, feel that we have disappointed God so many times, that He is sure to have given up on us and no longer loves us.
Her “disappointment” stemmed from her own behavior, not behaving or doing what God expected her to. Much like we may feel that we have disappointed our parents when our behavior or performance does not match their expectations.
Thankfully, God does not love us based on our performance or behavior, God loves us because we are the focus of His love. His decision to love us, comes from within Himself as God “who is love” (1 John 4:7-8) and His desire to have a love relationship with us. Scripture says that He first loved us, long before we even gave a thought to Him. Ephesians 1:3-6 in the Message:
“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
This love He had for us, motivated Him to make provision for our sin, in the death of Jesus, the only thing that stood between us and God and the love relationship we could have with Him.
“This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
His love is focused on us and we are in a love relationship with Him. However, in the world we live in, love and acceptance are often dependent on our performance. So, it is natural for us to think that God’s love for us, will increase or decrease based on our performance. Scripture is clear however, that nothing can separate us from God’s focus of love on us.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)
So, once again, God does not love us based on our performance or behavior. We need not perform to have His love focused on us. If we perform, we will not get a greater portion of love because we already have all of His love. His love will not be withdrawn based on our performance.
Naturally however, we want to please God by our performance and behavior because of the way He loves us. His love, motivates our performance, (John 14:15), but is not determined by our performance.
More often than not, we are actually disappointed by our own performance and behavior. We know that He is not pleased. God’s love for us provides for our poor performance. Yet again, God makes provision, in love, for reconciliation. (1 John 1:9)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
To confess, is to agree with God about what we did that was not pleasing to Him. God’s response is to forgive and not just to forgive. God’s response is to partner with you and help you make a new start. He will “purify you of unrighteousness.” He gets involved in the process of change because His desire is for a love relationship with us.
He is always after your heart. Not your performance. Dear friend, if you feel that God is disappointed with you, right now, agree with Him about that thing which stands between you. Confess it to Him and get on with making a new start. He is standing ready to partner with you in life.
Father, your love is so good. It never changes and is always consistent. Time and time again You prove your love to me. Thank you that your love never changes and is always constantly focused on me. Thank you that your love for me is not based on how well I perform or behave, but your love is based on who You are. You love because You are love. Help me to remember that I love, because You loved me first.