A Human’s Perspective of God’s Love

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

-Zephaniah 3:17

A Rejoicing God

Sometimes, it’s easy to think God doesn’t love us when we mess up, but God’s love is unconditional. It is not based on our actions or thoughts, even if we feel like it is. In reality, he rejoices over us because of what Christ did for us. He died for us so we can be righteous in God’s sight.

Christian Cliche

Most of us have heard that we are to rejoice in everything because God’s in control and he has plans to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11). However, it’s easier said than done, right? Yet, we know we should rejoice in him even when he does something we don’t like or lets something bad happen. When we do this, we delight in him. We love him. We rejoice in him even when we think he’s done something wrong because we love who he is.

God’s Love

In the same way, when we do something God doesn’t want us to do, he continues to rejoice over us because he loves us. When he does something “wrong” or “messes up” we can continue to delight in and rejoice over him, just as when we do something wrong or mess up, he rejoices and sings over us. This is love.

Overcoming Depression, Sadness, and Despair

Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'”

-Nehemiah 8:10

Research

According to research, not everybody who attempts or commits suicide has or had a mental illness, so if someone was to look up “suicide caused by despair,” there are many theories and studies that come up showing that despair can lead to or is the cause of many suicides.

Despair

In the dictionary, despair means hopelessness. As humans, we all have a chance or may have experienced this. Despair brings us down. It makes us question life, or really sad. It can make us depressed. But the Bible says God’s joy is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

How to Feel Joy

The answer to overcoming depression, despair, and general sadness is to receive joy from God to strengthen us. How do we do that? We rejoice! To rejoice is “to feel or show great joy and delight” (dictionary). The problem is, if our strength is joy from the Lord, how do we get it, or have this joy when we’re down? We pray, for one thing. But notice the second part of the definition: “to feel or show… delight” (dictionary).

My Conclusion

Our joy comes from the Lord, and this joy strengthens us, even if something bad has happened. To conquer despair, depression, and sadness, we need to receive this joy. We could start by praying and asking for this joy, asking for help in receiving it and knowledge about what’s keeping us from getting it, but we could also simply delight in the Lord. When we delight in God, not only does he give us our heart’s desires (Psalm 37:4), but we can feel joy resting in who he is and what he’s done, resting in his love for us. Sometimes it helps to think about his word. Sometimes it helps to think about what he’s done for us in dying for our salvation, or to praise his goodness and feel his comforting presence.

 

What is Love?

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

-1 John 4:16 

A Breakdown of Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

-1 Corinthians 13:4-7

A Broken Childhood

I, like many others, have a broken childhood. This is because we live in a fallen world where “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12)These means our fight is against Satan and his demons. The good news is we already have the victory in Christ (we have salvation). “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). 

Now, growing up in a world filled with sin and human limits makes it hard for us to truly know God. This is why we put together the two verses above. “(God) is patient, (God) is kind. (he) does not envy, (he) does not boast, (he) is not proud. (He) does not dishonor others, (he) is not self-seeking, (he) is not easily angered, (he) keeps no record of wrongs. (God) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (He) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Human Love

Human love is imperfect because of our sins. When we sin, we are being selfish and not loving others. But to actually love others, we should be patient and kind, avoid envy, boasting, and pride, honor others and don’t seek our own desires, be slow to anger (James 1:19), don’t keep record of wrongs. We should also not delight in evil but rejoice in the truth (the truth of our salvation and God’s love for us). The hard things mentioned here are in the bottom of the verse. To love, we need to protect, trust, hope, and persevere. It’s impossible to do all these things, however, without the work of the Holy Spirit and help from God.

When We Say, “I Love You”

When we say, “I love you,” we really need to evaluate if what we say is true. Love is an action, not a feeling. Be honest with yourself: are you walking in the love of God, or basing what you say off an opinion? Of course, it’s okay to tell someone you love them! But I think we should all take a moment and see what else we can do to actually show our love because words can prove empty if we aren’t careful.