â€œAnd so we know and rely on the love God has for us.â€ 1 John 4:16a
In one of the conversations that I had recently, the question was raised: â€œIs love reliable?â€Â And as I thought about 1 John 4:16, I pondered the question from a different angle; one that requires more than a yes or no answer.Â So I decided to ask the question: â€œWhat is Love reliable for?â€
God is love and God is faithful.Â He is an immovable, steadfast and eternal rock.Â He doesnâ€™t change like shifting shadows.Â These are things that I know.
God is reliable to transform me into His image, to finish the work that He has begun in me.Â His love can be relied upon to live in me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to keep me abiding in Him, to fellowship with me in the Trinitarian dance.Â He is reliable to hold and keep my soul eternally safe in Christ Jesus. He can be relied upon to meet me in the posture of a bridegroom calling me His Beloved.Â His love can be relied upon to seek me out when I run away and to embrace me every single time that I return.Â These are truths that I rely upon.
However, there are some things that Love is not reliable for.Â Godâ€™s love cannot be relied upon to give me whatever idols my heart may crave.Â He cannot be relied upon to allow me to build upon a sandy foundation or to place my hope or security anywhere apart from Him.Â As a good Father He gives me what is good and best and right for my soul within His Kingdom and He refuses to be swayed by my manipulations and justifications.Â He cannot be relied upon to surrender His throne to me.
I think of Isaiah 53:11: â€œAfter the suffering of his soul he will see the light of life and be satisfied.â€Â Even the Son suffered deeply and yet He saw the end result of the sacrifice and was satisfied.Â He knew and relied on the goodness of God even in the midst of incredible, personal suffering. He trusted in the Fatherâ€™s sovereign will and plan as both loving and good. He trusted and relied on the Fatherâ€™s love.
I long to be like Jesus in this way: to both know and rely on the love God has for us at all time in all seasons.