“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love?…” (Philippians 2:9, NIV; emphasis added)
Definition of Comfort:*
1: strengthening aid: a) assistance; b) consolation in time of trouble or worry; solace
2: a feeling of relief or encouragement
Is Christ’s love for you a strengthening aid? Does it assist you? Give you consolation in time of trouble or worry? Does His love provide solace? Bring relief or encouragement? Does His love inspire you with courage, spirit or hope? Spur you on? Make you more likely to do something?
Christ’s love is and provides all of the above but experiencing these benefits of His love, requires that we believe that He loves us. Experiencing the benefits of His love requires that you personally believe that He loves you.
Do you believe that God loves you? Doubts about His love can arise and torment us when our belief in His love for us is based on our circumstances. Our circumstances, however, do not provide proof of His love. The unchanging, unequivocal proof of His love is found in His Word. A powerful example of this proof is expressed in 1 John 4:9-10 (AMP) –
9 By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].
Doubts about His love for us can also arise as a result of our failures, our sins, especially those we have confessed and returned to repeatedly. His love for us, however, has never been based on us, as is demonstrated in Scripture verses such as Romans 5:7-8 (NKJV) –
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Whatever your circumstances or failures, you can know and believe that God loves you. You can accept His love for the first time or be reassured of His love for you. You will find His love to be a strengthening aid that provides assistance and solace, gives consolation in time of trouble or worry, brings relief and encouragement. Inspires you with courage, spirit and hope. Spurs you on. Makes you more likely to do something (for example, accept yourself and love others).