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cropped-rose-4.gif1 Peter 4:19, “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good”

1 John 4:8, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”

The story has been told of a handicapped girl with leg braces became discouraged with her condition and wished she could quit her physical therapy. On day when her father insisted that she continue, she fell into his arms and asked, “Daddy, don’t you love me just the way I am?” Knowing how she felt, he hugged her and replied, “Yes, honey, I love you just the way you are. But I love you too much to let you stay that way.”

My beloved God loves each of us just the way we are, imperfections and all. He loves us even though we struggle with sin. He has forgiven us and accepted us because we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior. However, He loves us too much to let us remain as we are.

The Lord Jesus Christ wants to change us. In our struggles against sin and through our sufferings, He desires to develop our character so that we become more like Him. And He wants to reward us when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ to “receive the things done in the body … whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

My beloved as you face life’s difficulties, always remember that God loves you, and He wants to use the tests and trials you are experiencing to make you a better person. If you keep that truth in mind, you will be able to follow Peter’s admonition to “commit” yourself to the Lord, and continue “doing good.”

Further reflection:

A country farmer placed a weather vane on top of his barn inscribed with the words “God is love”. One hot summer day a traveler stopped by the farm and watched the weather vane moving with the breeze. Then, with a smirk on his face, asked the farmer, “Do you mean to say that your God is as changeable as the wind?”

The farmer shook his head and replied, “No, What I mean to say is that no matter which way the wind blows, God is love!” My beloved, the statement “God is love” implies much more than that God demonstrates His love regardless of the circumstances. It means that love is the essence of God’s character. We will never be able to plumb the depths of his love, not even in eternity.

But the apostle John pointed out that we can begin to understand it as we view the cross (1 John 4:9-10). As we see Christ dying there for us, we catch a glimpse of the beauty of the loving heart of God who gave up His only begotten Son, for sinners such as me.

John went on to point out that if God is love, His children should resemble Him (vv. 11-21). Consequently, if there is no warm glow in our hearts for our brother, if we do not thrill to the lovely name of Jesus, we may well question the reality of our conversion experience. The question that remains would be, “Do we know God and are we reflecting the love of God?

God LOVES us too much to let us remain as we are.