God's love. Why do we struggle to receive it?
Could it just be that there is an unseen epidemic, insidious, hidden, lurking ready to raise its ugly head with every disappointment or setback?
Unidentified, it wreaks untold damage in the soul, the devil taking great delight in the many doors it can open for him to do his dirty work.
What are some of the symptoms of this disease? Self-rejection, self-hatred, poor self-esteem, anger, depression. And the disease? Feeling unloved by God.
Many of us would, if asked, agree that God does indeed love us. After all, we assert, He gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins. Yes, we would certainly acknowledge that God loves us and yet, given a setback or two, a job is lost, a relationship suddenly ends, a loved one dies, and how deeply the truth of God's love embedded in our hearts can be savagely exposed and called into question. The heart of the matter then truly becomes a matter of the heart.
As someone rather too intimately acquainted with suffering for my liking, many of the issues of life have nearly engulfed me. I knew that God loved me in my intellectual understanding, but I realised that no real lasting healing to many of the emotional traumas I had experienced would be felt until I began to receive God's love.
To receive Christ is to receive love, for God is love, but this truth has to be revealed to the human heart. It is the foundation on which we build a healthy relationship with God and then outwards, to others.
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To receive is the same as to believe, I understood that, again, in my head, but how to make that small, but significant journey from head to heart?
I am still on my journey, but I now understand that I must receive God's love, as I did my salvation, by faith. To wait for a feeling may result in a long wait, but His love can be received right now by simple faith and when that process of receiving begins the scripture in 1 John 4 v 18 that says "Perfect love casts out fear" can become a reality.
As I meditate on this scripture and on God's love, as often throughout the day as I can, I imagine it descending on me, literally displacing all the emotional issues that I have struggled with for so long. I am experiencing greater peace and freedom and best of all, I am feeling loved by God.
So if you are stuck in the same rut I was, I encourage you today to cast aside all your doubts, be still, and know with certainty that your God loves you, regardless of what your thoughts are saying.