I remember singing the song "Jesus Loves Me" as a child and it was one of the first songs I taught my children. The words go like this: Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me; yes, Jesus loves me; yes, Jesus loves me; the Bible tells me so. Some of you probably grew up singing the same song and have, in turn, taught it to your children.
I admit that there are times that it's difficult for me to believe these words, I mean truly believe and trust that I am loved by the Lord and that He wants the best for me. Doubt and insecurities seem to resound louder in my mind and heart than the quiet, peaceful, embracing love of my Heavenly Father. It's much easier for me to believe that He feels this way about others around me than He truly feels this for me. Pretty pitiful, huh? But, I know I'm not alone in these feelings. My mind knows one thing and yet it's difficult for my heart to follow. I have my theories as to why and those are left to privacy, but there are many things that can prevent us from fully experiencing God's love for us: sins we've committed and have been committed against us, loss of a loved one or dream, financial struggles, broken relationships, illness, a troubled childhood, etc. It's in times like these that we must truly examine what it is we know and what it is we believe. We live in a fallen world that is full of sin and as Christians, we must filter through what is of this world and what is of the Lord.
Throughout the Bible, there are examples of God's love, and the ultimate example is the sacrifice of his only Son, Jesus Christ. Have you read this story? Do you know that God gave His son for you and for me? If you haven't read it lately, read it here: John 3:16-18 (The Message)
I fully believe that our Christian journey is a journey filled with times of doubt and questioning. Just as the seasons change throughout the year, so do our seasons of faith. There are times when it's so easy for me to follow, easy for me to believe, knowing without a doubt I am a child of God, much like we know in the summer the sun will shine and the birds will sing. And then there are times when I question, I doubt, I have a hard time believing that He would really do all this for me, much like a season of winter when nothing blooms, creation is gray and dark. Yet, revival always comes when I am again reminded of Who has given me life, Who has given me hope, Who loves me and Who gave His son as a sacrifice for my sins just like spring, when creation is revived, full of color and full of promise.
So, don't be discouraged if you have questions or doubts. When they hover, turn to the Word of God and remind yourself that the story is written for you. Pray more often and this will make you feel closer to God even when He feels distant. Above all, remember what faith is...faith is believing even when we can't see (or feel).
Jesus loves me, this I know...do you?