Do You Know That You Are Loved? Do You Believe It?

Do you know that you are loved? If I called you on the phone right now and asked whether you know that God loves you, what would you say? I think most, if not all, of you would say that you do know that God loves you. And that’s wonderful! But I’m not sure that’s the pertinent question to ask. What if I said, “Do you believe that you are loved?” That’s a deeper question, and it gets to the heart of the matter. There’s a big difference between knowing you are loved and believing it.

Do You Know That You Are Loved?

Do You Know That You Are Loved?
A woman I’ve known for years called me a few days ago and opened up her heart with a heartbreakingly honest admission about her life. She said that she knew that God loved her and she knew the promises in scripture, but everyday she woke up unable to shake the feeling that she was unloved. She asked me, “How can I love out of a deficit?” We prayed together and cried together and the Lord was there, but I haven’t been able to get this conversation out of my mind. Do you believe that you are loved? Or do you just know it?

Years ago I read an article explaining that handwriting size is indicative of a child’s sense of self worth. I have no idea if it’s legitimate or just speculation, but it’s interesting. Big handwriting reflects a child’s belief that they have value. Small handwriting reflects the opposite. As every child is required to write and draw in school, the teacher and parents have a psychological weathervane of the child’s state of mind AND heart readily available. But what about adults? Are we as mysterious as we think we are, or is there a weathervane shouting out our spiritual state to anyone with eyes to see?

You Are Loved but Do You BELIEVE that?

You Are Loved but Do You BELIEVE that?
What are the markers for a life lived in the belief of God’s love and not mere knowledge? Do you believe that you are loved? If so, how does your life look different from the person who, like my friend, cannot shake the feeling that they are unloved? This is what I’m wondering today. It’s what I’m asking God to show me.

If I look at your life, do I see a believer living as a child loved beyond the telling of it? If you look at me, is that what you see, too? Or are we living in the knowledge of love without believing or receiving it? Are we desperate to be filled and broken that we’re not? Or have we lived with the deficit of love for so long that it feels normal?

Do you believe that you are loved? Do I? Is God’s love evident to the world around us, or are we stuck in the knowing and running on empty?

And we have come to know AND TO BELIEVE the love that God has for us.
1 John 4:16 HCSB (emphasis mine)

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    16 Comments

    • tammy

      Wow, it would seem I could come at this question from multiple directions. As I contemplate a response my thoughts jump from one thing to another. If He leads I will come back and comment again. But, for now…
      God is Truth. His Word is Truth. Because He say’s HE loves me – by faith I choose to believe I am loved. Anytime I choose to believe otherwise I know it’s not Truth. It’s just my flesh believing a lie.
      If/when I don’t “feel” or believe I am loved, then I don’t believe God. He understands everything about me and will carry me through my unbelief as I ask His forgiveness and healing from whatever has caused me to believe the lie.
      I am in love with the Man Who loves me so much He died for me. It is His indwelling Spirit that is the only source of my truly believing.
      “If I look at your life, do I see a believer living as a child loved beyond the telling of it?”
      I pray this is where He finds me, all day, every day.
      Bless you Jenn!
      I love you! ?

      • Jennifer

        That’s my prayer, too, Tammy! But it’s my prayer because it’s my struggle. Maybe THE struggle, I don’t know. Love you!

    • Alex

      The truth? I know it. I have to fight to believe it.

      • Jennifer

        That’s it right there, Alex. It’s our work to believe, but maybe it’s more accurate to call it a battle, at least in my life. Thanks for such an honest response! Helps give me courage to do likewise.

    • andrea

      Brennan Manning has a beautiful teaching on this very question …. he wonders if at the moment we see the Lord face to face, He will ask “do you believe I love you?” and I think this is a question being asked of each of us, every moment of every day …. in the storms of life ? in the cancer diagnosis? in a betrayal? ” do you believe I love you?” ….. such a profound question …a question that can only be answered from the heart, not the head …..

      • Jennifer

        Andrea, you brought me close to tears with this comment. It is SUCH a profound question and at the heart of every relationship with Jesus. I think that’s why it’s so sobering to me.

    • Doug

      Just WOW!!!!
      This is me up and down. I know God loves me, but I have been so horrible that I honestly don’t believe that He really does.

      • Jennifer

        I’m going to stay with this topic for a bit, I think, and I hope it blesses you!

        • Doug

          I’ve got to get my children signed up for this as well

    • Rachel

      Oh, Jennifer, this blesses me soooo much!!! I NEED this!

      • Jennifer

        I’m so glad this is a blessing to you, Rachel, because it has really rocked me! This isn’t the first time I’ve asked this question (and I doubt it will be the last), but it grounds me somehow. Every time. Maybe because it pulls my heart and eyes to God? Makes me look at Him and consider Him looking back at me, you know? Rather in line with John’s last post, which is so beautiful. So thanks and love you!

    • Pauline

      Oh my, Jennifer, nothing easy here. My first reaction was: that’s pretty basic — of course: “the Bible tells me so.”
      But when I really think about this question honestly, well, it’s kind of: since God IS Love, He HAS to love me — that’s just Who He is. BUT, if He had a choice, would He?
      I think what He’s done gives me a little courage to believe that He does: He didn’t just die for me; He called me, chose me, gave me His robe of righteousness, set me apart for Himself, accepted me . . . that has to count for something (getting a little convinced now).
      My question is more: “Why?” I mean, if there’s no good thing in me [us], and there isn’t; if He is only impressed with His Son, then how does that align with me, you or anyone else, being valuable to Him?
      Well (I’m debating with myself here — excuse me for a minute), if I don’t believe that He loves me and / or I’m not really sure if He values me, why would He be preparing a place for me, right now? Why would He bother to concern Himself with what matters to me?
      I’m glad you’re going to continue with this . . . lots to learn!
      Thank you, Jennifer, for letting Him use you to search our hearts for His Truth.
      Love you!

      • Jennifer

        Wow, Pauline, that’s a fascinating way of looking at it. A little disconcerting, too! I shall have to mull it over, I think. Love YOU!

    • Megan Graves

      Jennifer, I LOVE your vulnerability here. This is a centuries long question. I think it is the reason we have self-help books and plastic surgery and hair color. Haha! Sorry, don’t mean to make light of your deeply thought provoking question. But seriously, I believe it is the reason we are constantly trying to change ourselves. In reading this post, I was desperate for the answer. I read so quickly hoping to read the “how-to” at the end. Then I realized there is no “how-to”. It’s different for each of us. Because we are all different. Like Alex, I FIGHT everyday to BELIEVE it. And I want to fight for my son to believe to. He suffers so much with the belief that he is unlovable. Anyway, thank you for this. Even without the “answer” at the end, it is a true answer to months and months of prayer. Peace and Love, Megan

      • Jennifer

        You’re exactly right, Megan! We were made to be vessels of Love and we do everything we can just trying to fill the emptiness with love, or anything that FEELS like love. Then we meet true Love and struggle to believe that it’s really for us. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly – what a gift to us all that is! Big hug and much love to you (and your son)!

    • lori

      Rejoicing and believing (!) yes, and thanking Him this morning In His Love … and for His Love … which is Himself, yes? His Very Self?! So grateful for your prayers – and for His … may this, from the Holy Spirit through Paul be for us all … Bless you! Bless you! Bless you ! Oh, Lord Jesus, that we may love You more!

      19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

      20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

      21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). Eph. 3:19-21 ampc

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