God promises to come to our aid during distress as we walk in harmony with him. Love motivates him to make and keep this promise.
If he were indifferent to our plight, he would let us suffer without mitigation, purpose, or resolution.
Afflictions are easier to endure when we understand how much God loves us.
Unconditional And Unfailing
The Bible says a fundamental aspect of God’s essence is unconditional, self-sacrificial love. He chose to lavish this love on us long before our birth.
Thus, God’s love for us is an expression of his eternal nature, not a reaction to our current behavior. He loves us because of who he is, not because of who we are.
God’s love is unconditional because his nature is immutable. His attributes are impervious to fluctuations in our sinfulness or righteousness.
Accordingly, his love for us is also immune to variances in our behavior. Our conduct never modulates its intensity.
Unfailing is the first adjective the Bible uses to describe God’s love for us.
This word means inexhaustible, unchanging, unwavering, ever-present, and utterly dependable. These qualities also characterize God’s nature in general.
The Bible quantifies God’s love for us in terms of theology, relationships, nature, and infinity.
God loves us so much that through the death of Jesus, he paid the penalty for all our sins—past, present, and future; intentional and unintentional; egregious and innocuous—so we could live with him in heaven for eternity.
An imperfect analogy illustrates this facet of God’s love.
A judge sentences a defiant felon to life in prison. Then the judge steps down from the bench to personally serve the required jail time as a voluntary substitute, so the convict can avoid incarceration and live blissfully in the judge’s home.
Most of us would gladly suffer to protect innocent children, particularly our own. But few of us would agree to be punished on behalf of guilty adults, especially if they disdained us.
We would only make this sacrifice if we loved them to the same extent that God loves us.
We strive to know everything about those we love deeply because our world revolves around them.
God loves us so much that he knows every detail of our lives, including the number of hairs on our heads. He can even recite our DNA codes from memory.
We learn about those we love by watching them in different situations over time.
God knew the entirety of our earthly life before we were born, including the unrighteous details of our past, present, and future.
That God chose to love us despite knowing every bad thing we would ever think, say, or do, means that no sin we have committed, are currently committing, or will commit in the future, can diminish his love for us.
Conversely, because God decided to love us perfectly before we were born, there is nothing we can ever think, say, or do to make him love us more.
Jesus said God cares about us more than he cares about birds, flowers, and grass. These analogies seem weak until we think about them contextually.
Jesus lived in a semi-arid region where soils are rocky, rain is scarce, and vegetation is sparse—a problematic place for birds, flowers, and grass to flourish.
Today we live in the fallen world where abundance is elusive, but suffering is commonplace—a hard place for us to flourish.
Jesus contended that if God provided for the birds, flowers, and grass to abound in their physically harsh environment, he would certainly provide for us, the pinnacle of his creation, to abound in our spiritually harsh environment.
God intended for birds to survive and thrive in their desolate habitat, so he gave them the required eyesight, mobility, and instinct to find food and shelter.
God wants us to soulfully prevail and prosper in a world filled with individual, family, and societal turmoil.
Therefore, he gave us the personal traits, earthly resources, Bible truths, and spiritual fruit we need to endure distress and be truly content.
God created desert flowers to beautify the rocky landscape. He designed them to find moisture and nutrients wherever they take root so they can bloom and grow.
God wants to beautify the world through us. He provides constant access to his living water and spiritual nutrients, so we can bloom and grow wherever we reside.
God intended grass to stabilize the topsoil, so he designed it to absorb moisture, reduce runoff, and prevent erosion.
When we live righteously, spread the Gospel, and do good works, we build healthy families and cohesive societies that stabilize the world.
Like other aspects of his character, God’s love is boundless. Its length, breadth, height, depth, duration, density, and intensity are infinite.
Infinity is hard for us to comprehend in the context of time, space, and mathematics. Applying the concept to personal love is even harder because we rarely encounter anyone who is always pleasant toward us in every circumstance, much less loving.
The sun is an imperfect representation of God’s infinite love.
The variable intensity of the heat and light emanating from the sun is beyond human comprehension, but these forces radiate across 93 million miles of space to warm and illuminate the earth.
The immutable intensity of God’s infinite love is also beyond our comprehension, but it radiates across the great divide between his holiness and our sinfulness to bring us eternal life.
Read More About God’s Love For Us
God wants us to love him the same way that he loves us, e.g. unconditionally. This type of love is not native to us. It does not occur spontaneously. Read how we learn to love God unconditionally over time.
The sidebar on the page entitled Surviving Affliction describes the similarities between the love a nurturing mother has for her newborn child and God’s love for us.