“…I will love them freely…” Hosea 14:4
God loves us naturally, not of necessity. In others words, He loves us because of His character, not our conduct. God isn’t looking for something in us to prompt Him to love us, nor is He looking for something that would prevent Him from loving us. He loves us freely, fully, and forever. His love is the one constant we can count on regardless of circumstances.
Regardless of how hard we try or how good we are, we are never the cause of God’s love. He loves us in spite of us, not because of us. We neither earn or deserve God’s love. We cannot do anything to cause God to love us or to stop Him from loving us. God is love. Knowing this removes the tension that comes from trying to win God’s love, relieves the fear associated with thinking we might lose God’s love, and reassures us that our trials are meant for good not evil. Knowing that salvation is a matter of mercy rather than merit, grace rather than goodness, love rather than labor, a gift rather than a goal, gives us peace that passeth all understanding. There is no peace like that of knowing we are freely loved, fully forgiven, and forever secure.
Living in the light of His love should enlarge our wonder, excite us in our worship, express itself in our walk, encourage us in our work, effect our will, edify us in our warfare, and ease our worries. When we stop meditating on the riches of His grace and the benefits of His mercy, and the reality of His love, we grow cold and become weak–an easy prey for Satan. We faint in time of tribulation and fail in the hour of temptation. However, by looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our salvation we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and are transformed into His likeness. Nothing can separate us from the love of God and nothing should distract us from rejoicing in it. Being forever loved by God should be all it takes for us to be forever looking to God, and that leads to us becoming more and more like God.