John A. Braun
The song “Jesus Loves Me” has come from the voices of little children for as long as I can remember. Their voices move us to smile and to appreciate the lesson they are beginning to learn: Jesus loves them and all of us. So says the Bible, as the children remind us.
A few years later, we learned of his love as children too: “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” (John 3:16). God’s love is sacrificial and gives the best gift—his one and only Son—for the world.
“Jesus Loves Me” is a worthy theme. Love is God’s guiding principle. We notice his love for all humanity in so many ways. God gives us life and breath. He sends rain and sunshine—and not just for those who believe in him (Matthew 5:45). Other regular blessings also flow from his love. People fall in love, marry, have children, work to support their families, and enjoy food, clothing, and shelter.
When little children grow older, they sometimes wonder about God’s love. Moses wrote that no matter how old we become life is still filled with “trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 90:10). As children we may have been sheltered from some of those troubles, but later we often question God’s love. Job had questions. So did Jeremiah, and troubling questions have also burst into our thoughts.
The Lord’s policy of love doesn’t mean a trouble–free life here. He sends troubles. Yet we confess that his love endures forever (Psalm 118:1-4). He helps us when we have questions.
- First, he promises never to forsake us.We all have favorite passages to cling to in our difficulties.
- Second, he has also revealed that he will guide all things for our good (Roman 8:28).
- Third, he is our loving Father who at times uses difficulties not to punish us but to discipline us (Hebrews 12:7).
- Fourth, he reminds us that this life and all we experience here are temporary. “Here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). Our coming deaths and the deaths of those we love point us to the salvation his Son has accomplished for us. We are reminded, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31,32). Eternal peace and joy await all believers.
God in love wants all to be with him. (1 Timothy 2:4). He will dry our tears and soothe our pain. But God does not enable unbelief. And for those who do not know Jesus, God exercises a tough love. He challenges them with the sorrows and troubles of life so they might realize that this life is often filled with troubles. In those trials, he lovingly invites them, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mathew 11:28).
When we suffer, we find one more reason why God in his love sends such troubles. As we suffer and live with others who suffer, we have opportunity to share the hope we have in Christ—to witness and to show compassion and to point others to the glory that awaits all those who trust in Christ. The troubles of life often open doors that in other times remain closed.
Yes, Jesus loves me, this I know—even in difficult times.
John Braun is executive editor of the Forward in Christ magazine.
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Author: John A. Braun
Volume 106, Number 8
Issue: August 2019
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