I received a prayer request recently from a friend whose loved one needed prayer. He was having difficulty believing that God could love him. He felt that he was “too bad” and had “sinned too much”. But Scripture tells us that God loves us and that He pursues us. This can be a difficult concept for us to believe and understand when so much in our life is based on the conditional. It can be especially difficult for those whose earthly father was not as loving as he should have been.
In Experiencing God, Dr. Henry Blackaby says, “The cross, the death of Jesus Christ, and His resurrection are God’s final, total, and complete expression that God loves you. Never allow your heart to question God’s love. Settle it on the front end of your desire to know Him and experience Him. He loves you. He created you for a love relationship. He has been pursuing you in that love relationship. Every encounter He has with you is an expression of His love for you. God would cease to be God if He expressed Himself in any way other than perfect love!”
Charles Spurgeon put it this way in his book, Morning and Evening:
“It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.” Remember, therefore,
- it is not your hold of Christ that saves you–it is Christ;
- it is not your joy in Christ that saves you–it is Christ;
- it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits;
Therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to your hope, but to Jesus, the source of your hope; look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.” Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon your mind; when you awake in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Oh! let not your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you. “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesu’s blood and righteousness: I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesu’s name.”