Faith, Love, and God

There’s as song from the 20th century that asks this question: “What’s love got to do with it?” When we think about the things we believe and put our faith in, we usually think about its truth. However, over and over in the Word of God we are told that our faith is placed in God because of what His love does in us.

Paul says in Romans 5, “1  Therefore, having been justified by faith,  we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)

The reason I chose this passage as the focus of how we walk in faith because of the love of God is these 4 words: and not only this.  Not only this… We rejoice not just because we are justified by faith. We rejoice not just because we have peace with God. We rejoice not just because we look forward to Heaven.  Now, all of those things are enough to rejoice in, but Paul says that we (that is all Christians) can and should rejoice in our tribulations! He says that we rejoice in our sufferings right alongside these glorious truths. How can that be? It is because of the love of God!

Do you see the ‘because’ in verse 5? Paul understood the far-reaching implications of God’s love.  It isn’t just a “second-hand emotion.” God’s love is God’s commitment to do in us as He promised. Paul mentions the Holy Spirit at the end of verse 5. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a few important things.  He calls Him our Comforter.  He calls Him the Spirit of Truth. Jesus calls Him the One who prays with us.  Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the pledge of God’s promise.

That’s why Paul knew that God would keep all of His promises. That is why Paul knew that all our suffering is even something to rejoice in. It’s because the Spirit reminds us constantly of the love of God. If He didn’t intend to keep His promises, God wouldn’t have sent Him. Yet, here He is. He empowers Christians. He gives comfort when we are hurting. He leads us and works in mighty ways among us. He proves over and over that God loves us.

So, will we respond to that love with faith? God’s people have always done that. They see the love of God poured out in the Son on that cross, and they respond in faith. They see the Holy Spirit affirm that love in their own lives and they respond with faith. Will we?

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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