If God loves me, shouldn't He prove His love by showering me with blessings? If God loves me, why hasn't he shown me that love through my early father? And why doesn't he tell the girls at school to stop bullying me?
These are questions that several teens struggle with daily. In fact, I had a teen reader of this column email me that exact question: Does God love me?
The answer? Yes. He loves you.
You then might ask, “So why does my life seem to be falling apart? I thought He was all-powerful. Can’t He prevent bad things from happening?”
Yes, God is all-powerful. But we have to remember that Satan controls the evil of this world. Not God.
This is a question that the teenage protagonist in my book, Purple Moon, struggles with as well. In the book, she asks, “If there is a God, and if He really loves me, then why did all that stuff have to happen? None of it makes sense.”
No, it doesn’t always make sense. And it’s easy to blame all earth’s events on God. He is, in fact, the Creator of this Universe!
However, we have to remember that sin was not God’s original plan. If it wasn’t for the serpent tricking Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to disobey God, sin would not have entered the world (see Gen. 3).
Yet it has. And because of that, we will face tribulation. God isn’t going to force everyone to turn to Him and to stop sinning. He has given each of us free will, and the negative decisions others make that affect you does not disprove His love for you.
In fact, trials and tribulations can often prove just how much God does love us, because He promises to never let go of our hand through it all.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace, they could’ve easily questioned God’s love for them. But they didn’t. Instead, while they were supposed to be burning in the flames that Satan meant for harm, they noticed something: There was another man in the fire with them. They were not alone. And they came out of the fiery furnace completely unharmed. (See Daniel 3.)
Daniel could have also questioned God’s love. However, when he was thrown into the lion’s den, something strange happened: The lions did not attack. God had sent an angel to close the mouths of the lions. Daniel also came out of the lions’ den completely unharmed. (See Daniel 6).
What do those two stories have in common?
The fact that none of God’s followers allowed their circumstances to cause them to question God’s love or faithfulness. They walked through the fire/lions’ den, and instead of freaking out, they trusted God would save them. They didn’t focus on their circumstance; instead, they focused on the fact that God was with them. They knew that God was aware of what was happening to them. And instead of burning or being attacked, the plans that were meant to harm them were turned around for good.
“Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people.” ~Genesis 50:20 (MSG)
Being thrown into the fiery furnace or into the lion's den does not disprove God’s love for you. It is only when you take your eyes off the fire, off the lions, and see God standing there, do you realize just how much he loves you: so much that He refuses to let you walk through it alone.
When you lift your eyes to Christ, your focus shifts. You no longer see those girls bullying you. Instead, you see Jesus. And you realize that He has been with you every step of the way.
“You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.” ~Psalm 56:8 (NCV)
God never said that this life will be easy. In fact, He said the exact opposite:
“In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
~ John 16:33 (MSG)
Sometimes, God allows us to walk through the tunnel just so we can strengthen our faith and learn to rely on Him. And although He isn’t going to stop every kind of evil in the world—not yet, anyway—He can make beauty of the mess in your life. He has the power to make all things new (2 Corin. 5:17, etc.). And yes, God does have a plan for your life (Jer. 29:11; Ps. 139:16, etc.).
Every piece of your life can fit in a pattern for good, including the situations that you are facing now.
“That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” ~Romans 8:28 (MSG)
Every season of your life—including the difficult ones—can fit into a beautiful picture that God has painted for your life.
“There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NCV)
It's time to place your brokenness in God’s hands. In place of it, He will fill you with His peace. He will fill you with His incomprehensible love. And nothing can happen to you that God wasn’t already aware of.
The negative situations you might be facing only proves how evil Satan is. But the promises that God has given you—to be with you through every battle; to unfold His plans for you; and to love you, even when you turn away—those promises prove just how good God is.
So back to the original question: Does God love me?
“Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…” ~Romans 8:35-39 (MSG)
“I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.”~Ephesians 3:17-20 (NCV)
Yes. God loves you.
If you have any questions or prayer requests, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[photo source: Violet, WeHeartIt.com]