Getting God’s love

I know it in my head. The bible tells me. My church preaches it. I sing about it.  I even tell myself.

I’m loved by God

but I don’t always feel it.

And if I don’t feel it, then what’s the point?

There are plenty of alternatives.

I down a coffee and can take on the world. I buy toys for my daughter and instantly feel better.  I press ‘play’ and the real world disappears. I hit ‘send’ and feel smug. They might not last; but there’s always something else to take their place.

So, instead of a quick hit, how do I know God intimately and feel His love enduringly?

In his first letter, John gives many answers to that question.  Here’s just one:

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)

It’s not what I expected to hear.


I want to feel loved — God tells me to love.

I try to get spiritual — God tells me to look out for others.

I want a heavenly experience — God tells me to have an earthly investment.

I look within to find myself — God says I’m given my identity from without.

I want to be special and unique — He says I’m an essential part of a body.

I want to love myself before I can love others — He says love others and the rest follows.

I want the approval of the world — He says I’m His.


If I want to see God in my life, I need to look outwards. Before I feel His love for me, I’m called to love those He puts in my path. Then, as I give of myself, so I am filled.


God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us. (1 John 4:16)


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5 thoughts on “Getting God’s love

  1. I *DO* feel quite strongly about coffee enabling me to take on the world! Like, one coffee today or two? ;p (Ok, sometimes ..) Haha.

    But even if I were to take on the words of 1 John, doesn’t change the fact that I wouldn’t *feel* loved. These are just signs to show that we’re God’s people, loved by Him. Which is well and good and true but … that I sometimes don’t *feel*, even if it’s true. Is that the point, though? That loving God and being loves by Him doesn’t always have an emotional aspect? (Then eh, that’s hard tho, isn’t it .. I definitely think it will be!)

    Cos investing in people is hard. Being part of a body of people is hard (I want to be one and the same with my bedroom and my blanket and away from People, darn it. Lol) Being with (sinful) people is terribly difficult sometimes when to begin with I can’t even bear with my own flaws (sometimes). Etc – then .. how!?

    (not trying to throw a wonky question, truly thinking aloud … yikes!)

  2. Thanks Annabel, nice to hear from you!

    Hi Dee, I think part of the answer to your question is that we need to de-prioritise purely *feeling* God’s love. We’re not to pursue an experience so much as God Himself and feelings are only part of that. Having said that, I think there are experiential promises attached to loving people. When “love is made complete in us” I think there’s an emotional aspect to that and we’re told that this happens as we love others. And you’re right that this stuff is hard, the way of the cross is! But A) we don’t walk the path alone — we do it in community with others and with Jesus and B) there’s resurrection promised as we go the way of the cross!

  3. Emma- this was a wonderful answer. “…and His love is made complete in us.” I am tired to death of being told to love myself, as a cure, AS IF I haven’t been!

    Dee- I totally get what you’re saying about “not feeling” it. But what if our feelers are off? Broken, jammed, or stuck on “pause” for various reasons.
    Last week I went to the dentist and had work done on both the top and bottom of the right side of my mouth. I was told they sometimes forget to warn adults not to chew over there until the numbing has completely warn off , but it’s often an adult that comes back in with the worst torn up cheeks and lips! I was at an even higher risk for this because I was totally numb on both surfaces. It was many hours before I could even talk plain, let alone chew.
    I know this happens inside my head all the time. I believe something that is “off” (not reality, not truth) and it colors how I feel about things. My beliefs must change, before my feelings will change, and that’s hard I want it the other way around.
    Renewing our minds with the truth in order to be transformed is a real thing. I know it probably sounds like a broken record here, but going back to the Truth of the scripture is amazing for resetting how we feel about the things that happen to us and through us (such as loving others).
    I am married to a recovering addict, and one day early on in his recovery efforts, he said “You know, I think I have only ever felt God’s love through you.” This was enormously surprising and humbling for me because my love, (especially for him!) is so very flawed and complicated. But somehow he has felt something of the transcendent in it.
    I pondered this and realized that I had done very hard things in the context of our marriage with a strength that was not mine. With a LOVE that was not mine. I too felt loved by loving him because a love was flowing through me that was not mine!
    Like driving through a rainstorm in a borrowed car to pick up a stranded friend: we both have shelter.

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