When Love Fails

Author: Dr. Richard M. Smith, Lead Pastor
May 24, 2019

Some may ask the question if God is love, why does it often feel like He doesn’t love me? Think about it. Why would someone who love me allow pain in my life? Why would someone who loves me allow evil to flourish? I definitely don’t feel like I'm loved when I wake up every day with the same physical and/or emotional pain. If God is love and I’m His, why does my life look like this? How can this be love?

“God is love” can seem like an exaggeration to some. However, everything is filtered through God’s love for us. A.W. Tozer said, “Nothing God ever does, or ever did, or ever will do is separate from the love of God.” An apostle by the name of John wrote in a letter that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) So, if our situation has us feeling like God is not loving, but the scripture tells us that God is love, where’s the disconnect?

The problem is that we have used a human definition of love as a way to define a love that comes from God. According to Webster’s dictionary, love is a “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”. When we focus on how we define love, it’s typically based on two things: conditions and feelings. We have created certain conditions for us to feel like we are loved and in order to give love. We have to have a certain feeling to determine if we are loved. What’s unfortunate is that when the conditions change and our feelings go away, so does our sense of love and our expression of love. Marriages end because the love was based on certain conditions being met and feelings being felt. People leave churches because they are no longer meeting their conditions or giving them a certain feeling. We run when our conditions are not met or when we don’t feel good.

However, God’s love is not expressed the way our love is. Love really has nothing to do with the conditions that we set or what we are feeling. God’s definition of love is unconditional and sacrificial. God chose to love us and demonstrate His love towards us through His Son Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter who you are; God loves you. There’s nothing we can do to gain or lose God’s love. Why? Because He has already demonstrated His love towards us so that while we were sinners, He died for us.

Instead of focusing on our human conditions and feelings, maybe we should take on the true definition of love and choose to love others unconditionally and sacrificially. Love is a sacrifice but it’s also the main way we show that we are children of God. In fact, many people will not know how much God loves them until they see how much we love them. When we do this, not only have we shifted our definition, but we are also able to live like Jesus. (1 John 4:16-17) And we will realize that even though human love fails, God’s love cannot fail.