Does God really love me? To be transparent, believing that God loves me is the deepest spiritual struggle I have. Even though I have been a Christian for almost 30 years, doubt still taunts me. Chronic illness, pain and disappointment fuel this desperate question. Thankfully, the Bible’s resounding answer is “Yes!”
It has been a joy to highlight lessons from the book Always Sick, Always Loved by Michael and Margaret Robble in our most recent posts. In this final series post, we climax with the core message of the book: you are always loved by God, even if you are always sick. We know this love through the life and good news of Jesus Christ.
The Message of Jesus
The message of Jesus is that our sins separate us from a holy God. Even one sin disqualifies us from relationship with Him. The only just punishment for sin against a holy God is eternal punishment and separation in hell. But God loves people so much that He sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to be crucified on the cross. He gave His life for ours, to serve the punishment for our rebellion. If we place our faith in Jesus and choose to follow Him, God credits His sinless life to our account. And we can spend our lives and eternity in friendship with Him.
The atoning death of Jesus and his resurrection from the dead establish the rock-solid, unchanging love of God for every believer: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20
The Robble’s Perspective
In spite of Margaret’s intensifying medical issues, Michael and Margaret share their reassuring answer to my most pressing question …
“The reason I know God loves me is because Christ’s death on the cross was the greatest act of love ever seen. God’s unconditional love is not based on my circumstances. It is not based on my performance. It is based on what Jesus did at Calvary.” (61)
“The deep assurance of God’s love is found in the gospel. He loved us while we were still sinners, living in rebellion against him…Once we are saved through faith in Christ, he promises he will never leave us or forsake us. We are eternally secure in his love. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.” (58)
“The living medical reality before me shouts very loudly to my soul that God doesn’t love me…. I must talk to myself over and over again, reminding my soul of the Lord’s eternal, unchanging love for me.” (59)
If Jesus has already taken on the punishment for all your sins, then God is not punishing you with chronic illness. Your sins have already been paid for. God loves you immensely even though you’re sick or caring for someone who is always sick. God’s love is objective, demonstrated in history, outside of our circumstances…and that is good news.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
The Fight of Faith
So what do you do when pain and illness try to convince you that God does not love you and is not on your team? You anchor your soul in the truth of God’s love displayed through Jesus. You remind yourself of this love again and again through every means possible. You plead with God to help you feel his love. You ask others in your life to tell you once more the story of Jesus’ love for you.
“[Margaret’s] illness does not mean that we are failing God. Rather, we have the opportunity to experience God’s love in a special and profound way.” (46)
Even if you are always devastatingly sick, you are still always unfathomably loved.