This can be a challenging question at times for us. But it is one that we have to learn the answer to! From the youngest among us to the oldest, this is something that we have to learn and continue to believe—continuing to come back to the answer time and again in our lives.
There may be circumstances or moments in our lives where we feel that God is not there, or that He doesn’t care; that He is not answering our prayers, and, by extension, that He doesn’t love us. There are a lot of things that can cause us to feel this way. But are these feelings justified?
In the book of Job, Job came to ask a lot of these same questions. And it was revealed that God was there all along. God didn’t stop loving or caring for Job. In the book of Hebrews 12, we are told that often, when we may feel like we are going through hard times, it is because God loves us (vs. 3-11).
There is an order to the way God has things set up. When we obey God to the best of our ability, He rewards us. When we are failing, He provides corrections so that we can learn and turn. When we choose to do our own things—what we decide and what we think is right—God allows us to do them. But it is not without consequences.
Really, the Way of God is very simple. It revolves around love—love for God and love for other human beings. This is very basic! We teach it to our young children as the “Golden Rule.” When we break it all down, this is what it is about. But it is when we choose to follow our own ways–our own desires—that we stray from God and start to follow the current ruler of this world, Satan. His ways are ALWAYS trying to destroy God’s love and His simplicity. If we think about the wrong ways of life which are too numerous to list, it should be easy to see that the issue is NOT, ”Does God love me?”, but rather, “Do I love God?” Satan wants destruction in every way shape or form—from relationships with each other and with God to disobedience to God, disobedience to parents, and it goes on.
Notice how this Scripture in John 14:21 shows this point perfectly: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” This is how God operates—on the basis of love. Proverbs 8:17 speaks in this way of the wisdom of God: “I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.” It is wisdom to seek after God’s wisdom and to come to understand it, because therein is true knowledge of God’s love.
As we kept the week of Unleavened Bread, it is a good time to reflect on these simple truths and to let them soak in deeply. As a human being, I am extremely familiar with wanting to do and indeed doing my own things, seeking my own ways and my own desires. And I can safely say that those times do NOT produce and have NOT produced good things for me. In fact, the good things in my life have been and continue to be provided by God. My responsibility is to continue to draw close to God. So many times in life, if we would simply stop and allow God in more fully, we would truly find a better path forward. Matthew 6:33 tells us: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This goes for children as well as adults. No one is exempt! No one!
God LOVES us because we are part of His plan. We have been called at this time to be the firstfruits–the first of MANY brethren. If you are a child whose parents [or at least one parent] are in the Church of God and are baptized, then God has ALSO set you apart and sanctified you. When our children are young (and sometimes a little bit older), we have them blessed by the ministry, asking for God to provide a guardian angel for protection throughout that young person’s life. If God didn’t love and care for even our young children, this wouldn’t be something that we would do. In fact, many Scriptures in the Bible point out how much God loves and cares for the young people in our congregations. Quite interestingly, one of the 10 Commandments is dedicated to children (young and old). Deuteronomy 5:16 says: “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Also, we are told that a child is known by his actions. Proverbs 20:11 reads: “Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.”
We ALL must come to realize that God indeed loves all of us to an amount we are unable to really comprehend. In order to fully come to learn how much He loves us, we must continue to seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 says: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” If we truly want to know that God loves us then we must continue to seek Him and let Him lead until we can come to the point where we can say and believe what it says in Philippians 2:13: “… for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
When we take these things in and put our faith in them, even in the hardest of times, we will be able to see that God is there and that He will never leave or forsake us as long as we keep coming to Him and put Him front and center in our lives. When we do this, we can have full assurance that what He says in Isaiah 41:10 is directed at each and every one of us: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”