‘You will be faithful…as you pledged on oath’ Micah 7.20
The Bible firmly assures us of God’s love and delight in us, and at times we also read of his covenant commitment to our well-being – he has pledged his love to us. If we think about this, the slightly uncomfortable tension it can create is the possibility that God only loves us because he has to, and if he didn’t have to we would indeed be in a sorry mess!
It all depends on which came first! Did God make a pledge to love and then have to follow it through with gritted teeth? Or did he love us, and out of the overflow of his love came a pledge to love us even deeper?
It is, of course, the second. Human beings existed before God made any covenant with them; but the real question is whether we can truly believe it. So often our doubts about whether or not we are loved by God can be likened to beating ourselves up, with the resulting bruises as ugly as any other bruises we might receive.
The truth is that out of his love, God has pledged to love us – so let’s believe him. As you approach your time of prayer or worship, begin by acknowledging the absolute certainty of this and giving thanks for it. Then you can really relax in the wonder of God’s love.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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