“This is the message that the LORD gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi.
‘I have always loved you,’ says the LORD.”
You Have Always Been Loved
I have always loved you. They are the words we want to know in our bones, on our bad days, in the moments we wake up during the thick of night. And yet we, like Israel, can find it hard believe.
Really? How have you loved us? (Malachi 1:2)
God answers with what He has done, how He has shown His faithfulness, the ways He has fulfilled His promises.
He talks about Jacob and Esau, the hill country and a desert for jackals. I wonder if they scratched their heads then. Because they, like we often do, might have different ideas about what “love” looks like.
God, if You loved me, I wouldn’t have this struggle, that heartache, or the salty tears on my pillow.
God, if You loved me, I would be married/have a baby/live in a Caribbean beach house.
God, if You loved me, I would be rich and successful and never have bad hair days.
Surely life would look like what we long for if God really loved us. When that doesn’t happen we get scared or controlling, impatient or bitter. We go looking for love in other places, other faces. Maybe we decide we must be unworthy of being loved by God. We will try harder. We will do better.
All the while God is saying: I have always loved you. Here is the evidence . . . My Son on a cross, My presence in Your life, My Spirit within you bringing truth and grace. My love is wound through your history like a scarlet thread even in the dark moments. It is the one constant in the chaos. It cannot be lost. It cannot be won. It is yours in the blink of this life and the vastness of eternity.
So I am praying today, not for God to give me what I want, not for me to be perfect, but to have eyes to see how loved I already am, how loved I always have been. Sometimes what is most true is the hardest to feel. Sometimes what is more certain seems the least real. This is a paradox of being human.
God knows this because He has lived on this spinning earth. He has put on our skin.
He is willing to say what our hearts need to hear over and over again.
How do you see God’s love displayed for you today?Leave a Comment
merrie albrecht says
So eye-opening, as if I were reading this Scripture for the first time ever. Thank you for your insight and giving me pause for deep reflection this morning.
Valerie Bragg says
Wow, I am loved! Reading this brought a newfound revelation of that. Thank you for bringing that to light.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Like you said, God doesn’t speak love to us in the ways we might imagine…in ways WE think He should show love. No, God goes much deeper and loves us on a level beyond the material and trivial. He loves us in a way that gives us our identity. In Isaiah 43:1 the Lord says He loves us and calls us His own. “You are Mine”….It does my heart good to know that the Creator of the universe calls me His own and there’s nothing I can do to increase or diminish that love (I can cut out the striving). God shows me love through the patient love of my husband. He shows me love through the hugs of friends and the face licks of my dog. He shows me love through the encouragement and prayers of friends here at (in)courage. His love for me is all around me. I just need to open my eyes to see it.
Jasmine Ryan says
“Sometimes what is most true is the hardest to feel. Sometimes what is more certain seems the least real. This is a paradox of being human.” This is so profound and insightful! I think sometimes we spend childhood dreaming, then when we get to adulthood, we ask God “is this really all there is?” And He says “no, there is so much more but you’re going to have to put yourself aside to see it.” Thank you for helping me put myself aside to see this simple, yet radical truth!
Thank you so much for this message… I have spent this morning alone, with salty tears on my pillow, asking God how he (or anyone else) can love me. Thank you for this reminder
I pray for Lily that she would feel your love and presence surrounding her. I lay her fears, hurts and concerns at your feet, where you will take these burdens and comfort her. May she feel your love in many ways today (not only in Holly’s words and your words of truth), bless her and comfort her as only you can do. May she know she is never truly alone, with you beside her. May she see that today. Amen
Beth Williams says
God loves you just as you are! I pray that you will feel this today and always! He made you and said it was Very Good!
God please wrap your loving arms around Lilly today. Make your love known to her. Shower her with many blessings.
Mary Hood says
I am loved. I have always been loved! How heart-opening the thought! Thank you. Just what I need today.
Simply beautiful….God loves us to a degree that is beyond human understanding. To look around and see His creation puts me in complete awe. God is the “lover of my soul”❤️
Rebecca L Jones says
I know He’s always right there for me.
Would someone mind praying for a few unspoken requests? Thank you for this.
Anna Rendell says
Joyce Edwards says
Thank you for sharing this ray of hope. There are many times I question his love for me. This is my validation. He love us, simple and we do not have to buy his love..
Why do the sharing options cover the last few lines of the text? Is it that I am not allowed full access unless I share the article?
Anna Rendell says
Oh dear! That shouldn’t be the case – you definitely do not have to share the article to gain access. (in)courage is here for everyone. It may have something to do with the size of your screen, or the zoom settings in your browser. So sorry about that!
Rookia Nurse says
Thank you for your response. I opened it on my PC and it’s okay. I did share it as I would like my friends to read it and be reminded too, of His “Wonderful Love…”.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to hear the voice of God. To feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit. I believe with all my heart in Jesus and am so thankful for the sacrifice that God made by letting His Son come to earth and bare my sin. I just sometimes wish I could “feel” His presence.
I do look back over past things and realize He was there the whole time and got me through it. But I always hear about others feeling Him speak to them or push them in the direction He wants. I long to feel and hear that too.
Judy Gordon Morrow says
Becky, I was touched by what you wrote and how you long to sense God’s presence and hear from him. I believe our Father will honor your prayers, since that is also what he desires for us. I’m praying for you a newfound closeness of his Spirit as you bask in our Lord’s presence. Bless you!
Thank you so much Judy. I appreciate that you took the time to leave me an encouraging response.
Rhonda Crews says
God usually shows Himself mysterious in my life. God recently a two-year prayer for me. It isstill so shocking to me I think I have not experienced to it’s fullness. Thanks for the topic!
Beth Williams says
Sure we all want the “perfect” life with no troubles. God never promised that we wouldn’t have troubles, but He would see us through them. I see God in friends, hugs, His loving forgiveness when I fail. Days may pass when I don’t think about God’s love for me-then something will hit me. I start to really focus on Calvary and His deep and abiding love for me. Love so deep He bore the cross its shame and pain. Zephaniah 3:17 states: The Lord your God is near. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing. WOW!
Yes the lord is love. He loves us all. But he doesnt love all that we do.
Susan Roach says
Yes that is true Mattias but we mustent forget that He loves us no matter what! Nothing I can do can make Him love me more or less!
Laura Davis says
Hi, I’m visiting you from Sherry Stahl’s blog. Thank you for this reminder of how much God loves me. We all need that reminder I think.
Connie says: AMEN…..
Wishing you all Blue Skies
I love your website and this article was so inspiring. After several heartbreaking events I found myself doubting my faith. Then I felt extreme guilt feeling this way. I have prayed for help with these events. Right now I just feel numb. I know that I have to wait for God’s answer but it is so difficult. I have prayed for years for help and the situations are only getting worse. It makes me wonder what I am doing wrong or if I am not worthy.
Don’t give up Terry. I know how you feel. Like you, I have prayed a long time for help and sometimes the situations got worse. However, later on my situations got better. Perhaps getting a second opinion if it is a health issue or talking with someone you trust may on a concern or worry? For me, I have found help and inspiration by getting on my knees in prayer and just talking with God–one on one. Hopes this help and most importantly, don’t give up.
Thank you so much for your response and inspiration. May God bless you.
Susan Roach says
Terry, I don’t your situation but I know one of the biggest tools the enemy uses is discouragement and for us to doubt Gods love. A couple of years ago I was struggling with depression and anxiety so bad that I couldn’t shower for days and I just layed on my couch. I was praying during this time; crying out to the Lord on my knees, “help me, cleanse my heart of any filth, show me if this anxiety and depression is from something in my heart I need to bring to you”. And I pressed forward, even in that dispair claiming who He is and who I am in Him. “Lord if this is the thorn in my side please help me to preserve through this so that I may serve you”. And He show me something in my heart that I need to bring to Him. And boy was it difficult at first but then I was sooo thankful that He brought this situation to me as allowed me to heal.
I pray that you continue to seek Him and He shows you whatever it is that you need to see. Exodus 14:14 “the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still”.
May you be at peace sister❤️
Thank you for your kind words, encouragement and inspiration. I am sorry that you had to experience depression and anxiety but happy that you found your way with God’s grace. May God bless you.
Teri, you are worthy and God has a plan for each of us. I am having a hard time right now also but I do believe that the Lord is still keeping me in his Loving arms no matter how bad the times we are going through. Please keep the faith. I will keep you in my prayers.
Corena Hall says
My eyes have opened to see another day. The same holds true for the ones He has tucked deep inside my heart. The sun is shining through the clouds. He loves me surely, strongly, sincerely. I know He lives because of His love always there no matter the seasons of life! Praise my God!
Today I see how God loves me by how he helped me at the doctor’s. Been having a health concern for weeks but after today’s visit, I feel hope and I feel loved. It will take time to get over this health issue but I know I will not be alone. And through it all, I have grown closer to God and that feels so good!
Bonnie J. Russell says
On my commute to school this morning I was talking with God about my recent fall, and I suffered a concussion as a result. It has been two weeks to the day, but I am still experiencing post-concussion symptoms. He reminded me that His angels saw me there lying in my bathroom floor and ministered to me……. His angels did “bear me up in their arms” because things could’ve been a lot worse. I said, “Lord, why did this happen to me?” He does love us and lifts us up in our weakness!! Amen!
Thank you for your words of encouragement!!
Nancy Ruegg says
Indeed, love does not always look like what we think it should. Usually it’s not until after the fact that hindsight gives us clues to God’s wise and loving ways, and we see his love was strong and active all along. God’s love is expressed to me today through my family. I’m sitting at the dining room table of my son’s and daughter-in-law’s home, helping out after the birth of their second daughter on Sunday morning. Is there anything quite as miraculous as a newborn baby, or a more precious love-gift of God?
First off, you are such an encouragement to us all. I feel encouraged by God’s ministering presence as I am currently sidelined by an illness, albeit a mild one. It’s against my nature not to push harder, do more and pull myself up by my bootstraps, but allow myself to be cared for by God and experience true rest in His presence. This is one way He shows his love for us, in the tender moments of quiet grace.
I lost my husband about six weeks ago and feel the unbearable guilt of not being able to say goodbye and that the night or so previous we were pre occupied with busyness and waking up with him gone beside me is something I cannot get past. The sorrow is unbearable and the guilt is worse. The last night I had said I was tired of listening to the news and went to watch another program. It says the Lord loves us but I wonder why he would take my husband with no warning at all.
Susan Roach says
Ooooh Lois my heart goes out to you! I don’t know what it feels like to loose a spouse. Gods plan for us was to be like Him. One thing we need to remember in times of such grief and loss is we live in a broken/fallen world and that’s why things happen. God didn’t take your husband from you. I experienced great loss 10 years ago of my older son. Grief is difficult. I pray that the Lord continue to comfort you during this difficult time. Guilt does us no good, I’m sure the enemy wants to keep you right there in dispair so you stop thinking of the Lord. I pray that He continues to wrap His loving arms around you (which they are right now)during this time! May you be blessed with comfort.❤️
Thank you Susan for your kind response and for even caring at all. Right now I feel so alone. An empty house when I come home from work, no warning, just seems unreal and unfair. I don’t have children. I am struggling right now more than I ever thought I would. I thought my faith was strong yet this has brought me to my knees. I feel like it is punishment that I was not appreciative enough of him, or didn’t love him enough? He was only 74 and thought we had at least 10 or 15 more years together. I vowed to take care of him no matter what. I know in my heart the Lord does not punish but it sure feels like it. I pray and pray but the gut wrenching feeling does not go away. Thank you for your prayers
Susan Roach says
As I have been told many times troughout my life, “feelings aren’t facts”. God does not punish! I’m sure it seems very unreal and even unfair. And it is, but remember in your heart Gods truth “I will never leave you or forsake you”! That is the truth regardless of what your feeling right now. I know when my feelings are so strong it’s hard to focus on Gods truth but that is really and truly the only thing that sustains us, right? There was a time I was experiencing great dispair and my montra was “Lord I trust You”. That was the only thing I could say when I had those racing thoughts and feelings going through my mind. The enemy wants to beat you down sister even though he knows he’s already lost; he read the end of the book (bible) he knows who wins, but he tries everything he can to defeat us. He knows our weaknesses. He knows you feel bad about things. But he is not omnipotent, omnipresent! James 4:7 “submit yourselves before God, resist the devil and he will flee.”. What better place to be than on your knees. Praise Him for ALL that He is even (especially) when you’re going through this. It might be a while before your gut feelings go away, I don’t know because I don’t know Gods plan specifically, but I know it is good always because He says so (Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.)
Keep praying Lois and focus on Him❤️
Susan Roach says
Thank you for your obedience and following Gods calling for you. I really enjoy all writings and get very inspired when I read them.