[Jesus] was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah. 1 Peter 3:18-20 (NIV) What does this have to do with...
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” John 3:16
The Bible also speaks about the wrath of God being revealed from heaven (Rom. 1:18). The God who loves is also holy, and the world is under his judgment. So how do you know that God loves you?
One way to answer this question would be to list your joys and blessings: “I know God loves me because I have a wonderful wife, healthy kids, good friends, a great job, etc.” Every good gift comes from above, and it is good and right to see the kindness of God in every blessing.
But here’s the problem with evaluating God’s love for you on this basis: What if you lose that great job? Or someone in your family becomes sick? Or the person you love is no longer interested in you? How will you know that God loves you then?
If you try to discern the love of God from your experience, you will always be confused. When blessing comes, you will feel that God loves you. When hardship comes, you will feel that he must be against you. And you will lose all sense of his love precisely when you need it the most!
Your experience of life in this fallen world will always be mixed and confusing. The world is a mess because the world is in rebellion against God. If you went by what you see in this world, you would never be able to come to the settled conclusion that God loves the world, because you are looking in the wrong place. Instead, you know that he loves you because he gave his Son for you!
Take some time and rethink God’s love for you.