On July 27, 2019, Dalton and Cheyenne, college students, married in Kanas City, Missouri. Three days later, while on their honeymoon in Florida, Dalton drowned. An ocean current pulled both of them out into the deep waters, while they were swimming. Cheyenne tried to save him, but he panicked and died. On Saturday, he said, “I do,” but now on Tuesday he had not breath. The new bride is left a widow, and their future dreams together have vanished as only the memories remain.
For people who believe that God is sovereign, these types of tragedies may tempt them to think, “How is God loving? Why did God plan for this husband to die? Why the pain and devastation after the joy of the wedding day? How can God love us if He is in control of disasters?”
In this last devotion, we will examine seven reasons why we should not believe these lies, but we should trust in God’s perfect, wise, and absolute love for Christians.
First, while God has a general love for mankind, he has a particular, salvific, and eternal love for His people. David writes, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.” The objects of God’s steadfast love are those who fear him. To fear God is to repent of sin, believe in Christ, and follow Him as Lord.
Second, God demonstrated His love through Jesus’ crucifixion. The Apostle John reminds us in 1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The holy, pure, righteous, King of Glory voluntarily faced mocking, scorn, whips, nails through His flesh, God’s wrath, and death for sinners. Jesus paid a debt of sin, which He did not owe, to save rebels on whom God’s wrath abided.
Third, Jesus died for the wicked. In Romans 5:8, Paul writes, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus died for sinners in the present. We did not clean ourselves up to make us worthy of being saved. Jesus chose to save His people despite their vile condition. Paul describes a sinner before knowing the Lord in Titus 3:3, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” Would you die for this type of person? Would you die for the mass shooter at the Walmart in El Paso? Yet, God died for wicked men, women, boys, and girls.
Fourth, God has adopted believers into His family. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” As children of God, Christians have God not as an enemy, not just a friend, but as our Father. We have His inheritance, His love, and His care.
Fifth, as a Father, God disciplines His children for their good. Proverbs 3:11-12 warns, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” To protect us from greater sin and help us grow in the fruits of the Spirit, God wields the rod through trials, health problems, loss of a job, and/or church discipline to teach His children invaluable, eternal lessons.
Sixth, God’s love cannot be taken away from His children. Romans 8:38-39 promises, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you are a Christian, nothing can remove you from God’s love. It is permanent, secure, unwavering, and without end.
Seventh, as Lord over the universe, God lovingly exercises His sovereignty. Isaiah 40:10-11 teaches, “Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him… He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” God rules with power, and simultaneously He shepherds His people with compassion, empathy, and sacrifice.
As the Good Shepherd, Jesus sovereignly and lovingly died for His sheep at the right moment in history. Yet, we can still doubt God’s love when sorrow strikes our lives. Jerry Bridges points out, “If God’s love was sufficient for my greatest need, my eternal salvation, surely it is sufficient for my lesser needs, the adversities I encounter in this life.”
If you are a Christian, take courage. Believe in God’s character and rest knowing that God is sovereign and exercises His power with wisdom and love. If you have not repented and believed in Jesus, take refuge from your sins in the one, true, holy, and merciful Lord.
Brandon was born and raised near Springfield, IL. He graduated from Illinois College in 2007 with a B.A. in History and from Moody Theological Seminary in 2010 with a Master of Divinity. He is a PhD student in Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City and an ACBC certified Biblical counselor. In April 2016 Brandon accepted the call to pastor at Faith Baptist. He loves history and reading and has a heart for street preaching and evangelism.