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God's plan, nature, and actions - past, present, and future - are all based on a foundation of love. As humans, it is difficult for us to adequately comprehend the love God has for undeserving man and his desire for the redemption of all mankind.
Recently I was at my daughter Michelle’s house to help her with her new baby. He seemed really fussy that day, so I made the comment that he was a little grumpy. My daughter looked at me and said in defense of her newborn (while having a gleam in her eye), “Mom, he is not grumpy!”
Michelle is totally smitten with this bundle of joy. She looks at this little boy as if he can do no wrong.
Zayn was a long-awaited gift. Michelle and her husband Ken had been trying for eight years for this little one. My daughter waited patiently as she prayed and trusted God that in His time it would happen (though if it didn’t, she was okay with that, accepting God’s will).
Watching my daughter interact with her newborn reminds me of the old saying, “There is no greater love than that of a mother’s love.” But wait—yes there is! Our Heavenly Father’s love for us is even greater! God looks at us with great hope, love and with a tremendous amount of compassion.
Many times we can view God as harsh, unforgiving and ready to wipe us off the face of the earth when we sin—and, yes, when we have a grumpy day. But the fact is, He loved us so deeply that He gave His Son for us! In Romans 5:8 we read, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (New International Version 1984 throughout). Could any of us give up our only child for someone else? I don’t think any of us could. But our Father in Heaven did!
Someone bought our Zayn a beautiful little blanket that my daughter loves wrapping him in. Printed on it is the passage from Jeremiah 29:11 that reads, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
That is how Michelle feels about her little Zayn—the same way God feels about us!
In Psalms 103:13-14 He tells us, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
What a great Father we have! If God loves us so much, how does He show it? Here are three of the many ways God shows His love for us.
John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And Jesus Christ willingly gave His life for us. As He said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
I can never imagine my daughter rejecting her little Zayn. When he cries, she picks him up to comfort him. That is how God is with us. But if you have felt rejection or abandonment, it might be hard for you to trust God. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Nothing is so bad that He will abandon you—nothing!
As a mother comforts her child, so does God comfort us. In 2 Corinthians 1:4 we read that He “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” We should always go to God for encouragement. When you are down, ask God to encourage you. Psalms 46:1 reminds us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:38-39 states, “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.”
Even when we mess up, or have a grumpy day, God is still there ready to help us, show us love and even defend us, as long as we repent and keep trying!
Beyond Today Magazine