During Valentine’s Day each year, nearly $18.6 billion dollars are spent—$1.6 billion of which is spent on candy and $4.4 billion spent on jewelry! We’re so driven by consumerism these days that we can come to believe that romantic love revolves around gifts. We can even begin to think that the best way to know if someone really cares about us is if they’re willing to buy something we want (and even better, something really expensive!).
Unfortunately, we often apply this same principle to God—assuming that He best shows His love for us by giving us what we want when we want it. When we get the goods, we’re confident of God’s love. But when we don’t, when things don’t go our way, or if we don’t receive what we want, we’re tempted to wonder if God really loves us. Although I am loath to admit it, I am definitely guilty of this tendency. While gifts can be a demonstration of love, they’re not the only way we can be sure of someone’s affections, nor are they the best way.
The best way to know that someone loves you is if they’re willing to suffer for you. And that’s precisely what we read in Romans 5:8, that God demonstrated His love for us most clearly not by giving us a diamond ring or a shiny new toy, but by sending His only beloved Son to die for us—something more precious by far. This is a calling that Jesus took up willingly for the sake of the sheep that He loves. For us. Jesus said, “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily” (John 10:18).
The next time we begin to wonder if God really loves us, may we look to the cross. God loves us enough to suffer for us. There’s no greater nor better symbol of true love.
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”