Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Do You Believe It

ISAIAH 62:3-4 – You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.

THEME OF THE DAY. DO YOU BELIEVE IT? Ask any Christian, “Does God love you?” and the response will be, “Absolutely.” Along with this definitive answer might be the quoting of John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Now ask that same Christian, “Do you ever doubt God’s love for you?” If he or she is honest, there will be a humble confession of “Yes, sometimes I do.” I say, “If he or she is honest” because every Christian gets assaulted by the devil at various times in life along the lines of doubt and especially of God’s love. How did the devil start his successful attack on Eve in the Garden of Eden? Doubt. He said, “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1). How did the devil start his unsuccessful attack on Jesus in the wilderness temptation? Doubt. He said, “If you are the Son of God” (Matthew 4:1-3). He was trying to get our Lord to doubt His identity. When it comes to us, if the devil gets us to doubt God’s love for us, we are done. Spiritual defeat is certain, and the Christian life of joy and influence laid aside. And those times of attack will come with force during times of spiritual failure. We know the experience all too well. We sin. We fall. We allow a lukewarm heart. The devil comes rushing in as the accuser he is with words, “Look at you. Fine Christian you are. God doesn’t love you. How could He? You fail all the time. You are spiritually inconsistent. No way He loves someone as up and down as you. No, you are not loved by Him” (Revelation 12:10).

Now that last dialogue with the devil may be too much drama, but all of us know the attacks on our conscience. And the reason why we listen to whispers of doubt towards God’s love for us is because we easily base our relationship with Him on our “spiritual” performance, not His sovereign grace in His Son. Since our “spiritual” performance always falls short, the devil will remind us of this leading to a questioning of God’s love for us. So, how do we overcome him and doubts of God’s love for us? Today’s scripture.

The Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, tells us two things about His love for us. First, He loves us because of who we are – “you shall be called my delight.” This immediately frees us from any performance of our own to gain or feel God’s love. It isn’t what we do or don’t do that makes us Christians or draws God’s love to us. It is the truth that He put us in His Son, the Lord Jesus, made us right before Himself through Christ, and now looks at us, not based on our performance, but in our union with His Son based on His performance. Rest here. Believe what God says – “You are my delight”. It will free us from the ever-failing performance treadmill.

Another truth of God’s love to us in today’s scripture is the initiative of the Lord’s love to us – “for the Lord delights in you.” Why does God love us? Because He does. Why does God love us? Because He is love. And this love was placed for us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-4). Remember the attribute of God theologians call “immutability”? This means “God is unchanging.” Apply that to His delight and love toward us. It is immutable or unchanging. He really does love us and that with an unchanging love. Rest here. Believe what God says, “I delight in you.”

Friends, doubts come. The devil uses them to make us miserable Christians who question God’s love for us. Defeat him by two truths – God calls us “His loving people whom He delights in” and this love is never-changing and never-ending. Use these expressions of the Sword of the Spirit and the devil will flee from us (Ephesians 6:17).

PRAYER: “Father, I believe You truly love me. Please help me in my unbelief when I am assaulted with doubts.”

QUOTE: “God’s love is unchanging but our experience of it is not. That is the battle of faith. Someday it will be over.”