Last week I chatted a bit about how God has shown me that in the tough and dark times of our lives, He is still good. That in the midst of darkness, when it seems like everything around us is crashing down, and it feels like the darkness is going to take us with it; He wraps His arms around us, shielding us from the chaos and stands us firm on our feet again.
This, my Friend is just one example of how we can be confident of God’s love for us, but often, like His goodness, we tend to doubt that God really does loves us. For many of us, it is hard enough to accept the love of a person in our lives when we have hurt them deeply. We feel as though we don’t deserve it and we push them away.
And sometimes, it is the other way around. Someone has hurt us so deeply that accepting their love or the love of another person just seems too risky.
Often, we have the same response in accepting God’s love for us.
Either we realize how deeply our sin has hurt Him and we have a hard time accepting His forgiveness and grace. Shame overwhelms us and we believe for whatever reason that there is no way that God could possibly love us the way the Bible says He does. We tend to look at our suffering and pain as punishments deserved.
Or we have suffered so much pain and torment at the hands of another person; or quite possibly, our lives seem to always be in chaos and we can’t understand how a good, loving God could allow so much pain into our lives.
In either of these situations, it is common for us to doubt God’s love. However, I want you to be encouraged that you can be confident that God loves you deeply. Speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel, God expresses His true affections toward us.
Being Confident Of God’s Love A Study of Ezekiel 34
“For thus says the LORD GOD: ‘Behold, I, I Myself, will search for My flock and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his sheep in the day that he is among his flock that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep; and I will rescue them out of all places where they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick darkness.'” (Ezekiel 34:11-12 AMP)
Our God uses a beautiful description in Ezekiel 34:11 to show us that He Himself came searching for us. He didn’t send someone else to look for us, He Himself, stepped through time and space to seek us out. The Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who parted the Red Sea and caused the walls of Jericho to fall, the very One who commands the wind and the waves to cease, loves you and me so much and is so concerned about us, that He frantically came searching for us to bring us back to Him.
God, Himself tells us in verse 12b that He loves us so deeply that He rescued us from the darkness that is threatening to take us over. That He steps right into the center of that darkness, plucks us out of it and brings us into His loving embrace.
But our God doesn’t stop there. Our Heavenly Father tells us exactly what He will do for us after He has frantically searched for us.
“I will feed My sheep and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which has strayed, and I will bandage the hurt and the crippled and will strengthen the weak and the sick,” (Ezekiel 34:15-16a)
Our God knows that after we have been through a time of suffering, we are going to be weak in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. We are going to need His spiritual food to strengthen us and He freely, willingly, lovingly provides what we need to regain our strength. We are going to need time to rest in His very presence, held and comforted by His mighty Hand and protected by His watchful Eye. He tells us, that He alone will search for us, He alone will rescue us, He alone will provide us with the rest, comfort and care that we need. On top of all of this love that He is already pouring out on us, our Heavenly Father will heal our wounds.
“And I will raise up over them one Shepherd and He shall feed them, even My Servant David; He shall feed them and He shall be their Shepherd.” (Ezekiel 34:23)
We are given by our Heavenly Father a beautiful promise in verse 23. We are given the promise of our Savior, Jesus Christ. God, Himself, once again is confirming His selfless, endless, sacrificial love. He steps through time and space to literally pay our way with His own life so we can come into constant fellowship with Him. Our Heavenly Father desires for us to have a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Him. He wants us to run to Him and fall into His loving arms, knowing with full confidence that He loves us more than anyone ever could.
And He does, because in verse 31, God tells us exactly why He has done all of this.
“And that you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, are [only] men and I am your God, says the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 34:31)
Oh Sisters! Did you read that? Our Heavenly Father calls Himself our God. He’s your God. He’s my God. He’s our God. We are His sheep and instead of being led to slaughter, He has paid a beautiful price for us instead to be led to His pasture where we can rest in His presence, protection, comfort and most certainly His love.
We can know without a shadow of a doubt that, if our God was more than able to destroy us, but instead paid the ultimate price for us to be saved, freed, rescued, rested, protected, comforted and cared for; Beloved, that is pure, perfect love that we can be confident in.