(If you’ve stumbled across this post, let me explain where you are. You have landed smack in the middle of one of my favorite series ever. We started some time ago by learning that God expects us to love ourselves. Now, we’re going through the definition of love in I Corinthians 13:4-7 to help us understand how we can love ourselves in a healthy way so can love others better. Go back to that first post to read the series from the beginning and to find an index of all the posts available. Enjoy today’s post as well.)
Believe and Hope All Things
When we live in fear and self-hatred, the future looks dim and dark. We look ahead and see nothing but dismal failure. Why would anything good happen to us? We are pathetic and pitiful. We don’t love ourselves, we can’t imagine that anyone else could, even God. So why would good things ever happen to us. We can begin to rewrite even the blessings of the past to imagine that God has completely abandoned us. How much worse will this be if, as happens in life, some bad things really have happened to us. I can’t help but think of Job here. In the midst of his suffering, he couldn’t imagine a bright future at all.
In this state, we are certain that we are worthy of nothing good. Why then would God allow something good to happen to us or for us?Why would anyone else bestow much good on us? Why should we even seek anything good? We begin to catastrophize and awfullize our future. We play a video tape in our head that says everything is going to be bad. The very sad part about this is when we believe this, we live like it, and most often we cause the very things we fear.
As we wrap up this look at healthy love, we need to understand that God does love us. We are allowed to love ourselves. We are allowed to believe all things and hope all things. We are allowed to believe in our own worth. After all, God believes we are valuable. He thinks we are so important He has numbered our hairs. Not a single hair falls out that God doesn’t notice (cf. Luke 12:6-7). If God thinks we are that valuable, we can rest our own sense of worth in our relationship with Him.
We can look to the future and see good things. Matthew 7:7-11 explains that God does in fact want to bless us with good gifts. He refuses to give us serpents and stones. He wants to give us fish and bread. He wants us to have His great blessings. No, this doesn’t mean nothing we deem bad will ever happen to us. But it does mean that we know God will carry us through it all and use it all to bring us out on the other side. We know that because we love God and He loves us, He will use all things to bring about our ultimate good (Romans 8:28-30). We don’t have to view the “bad” things that happen to us as our lot in life or the limit of our coming experiences. Rather, we can see them as stepping stones that God will use to accomplish our own glorification.
You are God’s beloved child. He loves you. Love yourself. Then love others. Believe that good is coming. Hope for the best. Then pursue it by the grace of God who loves you.
God loves you. I love you. Why not let you love you.
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If you read this post and found it helpful, make sure to check out the whole series. You can start here.