perfect love

What one biblical principle do you grapple with more than any other?

The first issue we have to deal with in answering this question is that of perfect love. The Apostle John explains, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) It is completely natural for those of us striving for sanctification to struggle with spiritual principles as we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), but it is a reminder that we have not yet attained the “perfect love (that) drives out fear” (1 John 4:18) whenever something the Bible teaches us causes us to worry, fear or doubt. What we are talking about here is the apprehension that God either is not enough (doesn’t have the time, resources or know how) to meet our need, or he doesn’t have the will to meet our need and so he’s going to leave us swinging in the breeze.

That is where the issue lies for most of us. It’s not that we don’t believe God has the ability to meet our need, we’re just not sure he will. The bottom line is this – we don’t trust God to do what’s best for us. In other words, we question his perfect; (i.e., complete) love for us.

Which leads me back to my original question. Perhaps the most challenging of all Scriptural principles for me to live out on a regular basis is found in Psalm 37:7: “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him to act.” David then adds, “do not fret.”

The temptation for me is to look around at my circumstances and pray as if God is completely unaware of what’s going on in my life. I explain to him the problem I am faced with and then outline all the possible negative outcomes if he fails to act in a timely and appropriate way. Of course, all of this is based on my timetable, my limited understanding of the situation and, ultimately, my desire to be in control.

David had learned the secret to all of this, however, as he reveals three Psalms later: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1) Paul states it like this in Galatians 6:9: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”

God really does love us and because of his great love we can trust him.


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