As I was preparing some lessons on God’s love to share with the youth I work with, I was reminded of this refreshing section from Jerry Bridges excellent book, Trusting God Even When Life Hurts.
The infinite, measureless love of God is poured out upon us, not because of who we are or what we are, but because we are in Christ Jesus. Note that in Romans 8:39, Paul says that “[nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The love of God flows to us entirely through, or in, Jesus Christ. The term in Christ is one Paul uses frequently to refer to our spiritually organic union with Jesus Christ. Jesus speaks of this same union in His metaphor of the vine and its branches in John 15. Just as the branches are organically related to the vine in a life-giving union, so believers, in a spiritual sense, are organically united to Christ…
It is very important that we grasp this crucial concept that God’s love to us is in Christ. Just as God’s love to His Son cannot change, so His love to us cannot change, because we are in union with the One He loves. God’s love to us can no more waver than His love to His Son can waver.
We are constantly tempted to look within ourselves to seek to find some reason why God should love us. Such searching is, of course, usually discouraging. We usually find within ourselves reasons why we think God should not love us. Such searching is also unbiblical. The Bible is quite clear that God does not look within us for a reason to love us. He loves us because we are in Christ Jesus. When He looks at us, He does not look at us as “stand alone” Christians, resplendent in our own good works, even good works as Christians. Rather, as He looks at us, He sees us united to His beloved Son, clothed in His righteousness. He loves us, not because we are lovely in ourselves, but because we are in Christ.
Here then is another weapon of truth that we should store up in our hearts to use against our doubts and the temptation to question God’s love for us. God’s love to us cannot fail any more than His love to Christ can fail (p. 142-143).