If you had to choose would you pick Divine Love or Divine Sovereignty? Christians are often faced with this false dichotomy by those outside the church. Even more often Christians create this false dichotomy in their own hearts as they try to deal with trying circumstances. We are frequently tempted to think “If God really loved me then he wouldn’t have let such and such happen to me…” We must be ready to combat this false dichotomy with a biblical perspective. W need to preach to ourselves.
Here are a few simple truths you can arm yourself with….
1. God’s Love is Seen in the Unfolding of History
- God demonstrated his love in Redemptive History: Psalm 136
- God demonstrated his love in ‘all’ history (i.e.) common grace: Matthew 5:45
2. God’s Love is Seen in our Rebellion
- God demonstrated his love to his enemies: Rom 5:10
- We deserved only wrath, but aged showed us love.
3. God’s Love is Seen at the Cross
- God demonstrated his love by sending us His Son: 1 John 3:16, 4:9-10
- “If God’s love was sufficient for my ultimate need, my salvation, surely it’s sufficient for my lesser needs…” (Bridges, Trusting God, 151)
4. God’s Love is Secure through Union with Christ
- God demonstrates fatherly love to us because our union with Jesus: Romans 8:31ff
- God will no more remove Hs love from His people than He would remove His eternal love from His eternal Son because that love is the basis of His love for His people.
5. God’s Seen through Fatherly Discipline
- God demonstrates His love by disciplining His people: Hebrews 12:5-7
- God disciplines us and deals with who we are more than what we do. Don’t look for specific sins as the reason for discipline necessarily, look for heart attitudes and motivational sins that God is deal with (i.e. Job & Paul’s thorn)
In the midst of difficulties it is easier for us to externally obey than it is to internally trust God. Usually this is because when we “do something” we feel like we are in control and we don’t have to deal with our hearts. However, the real battle lies within our hearts. We will face trials and we will be tempted to doubt God’s love in our lives. In these moments we must be armed with these truths to preach to ourselves. We must be read just as David was in Psalm 13:
How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me….