Furious Love of God
by Whitney Miller (originally published November 2015)
Your love is deep, Your love is wide and it covers us. / Your love is fierce, Your love is strong and it’s furious. / Your love is sweet, Your love is wild and it’s waking hearts to life. - Jeremy Riddle, “Furious”
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know that God’s love is not the coddling, indulgent kind of love that feels warm and fuzzy, like a familiar blanket or a well-worn sweatshirt. It is the kind of love that is unrelenting. It is uncompromising. God’s love is jealous, unstoppable, irrepressible and, once experienced, irreplaceable. No other love can possibly satisfy. God’s love is not dependent on the virtue of the beloved. It is sovereignly bestowed on the object of His affection. For better or for worse; in sickness or in health, for richer or for poorer. Not even death can part God from His beloved because His “love is stronger than death” (Song of Songs 8:6)
Understanding the love of God is crucial to understanding how He works in our lives. Many believers come into the faith with a “sunshine and roses” view of what it means to have the Lord’s favor, and become shipwrecked when they fall upon hard times. They become confused when disappointments come, when their hearts grow cold toward God, or when He allows pain in their lives.
But God’s love is a ferocious love. It is an exacting and perfecting love. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that it was never truly we who sought God. From the beginning, it has been He who desired us, who invited us into relationship, and made a covenant of marriage with us. This marriage covenant, between the bride and the Bridegroom, is sealed in the matchless blood of Jesus and even the gates of hell cannot prevail against it! Nothing and no one can ever snatch us from His hand. But the God who wooed and won us loves us too much to leave us the way He found us. We are cleansed and purified at the moment of our salvation, but God continues to work on us, causing us to grow in faith and holiness for the rest of our lives. The things we experience in this life, whether welcome or unwelcome, comfortable or excruciating…these are the tools He uses to teach us and grow us in Christlikeness.
What hardship are you facing in your life right now? Is it possible that God wants to reveal Himself to you in a deeper way through this trial? Can you see the faint outline of the lesson God has for you in it? Do you long to lay hold of every good thing that He has for you?
The prophet Hosea talks about how God sometimes leads us out into the wilderness (Hos 2:14). Why? The text reveals that He does so to win us back to Himself and to speak tenderly to us. In this month where love is the focus, could there be more that God wants you to understand about Him and the way that He loves you? When the season is hard, the lesson is deep. Like the woman in Song of Songs we can, if we submit to His love and all that that brings, come up out of that wilderness leaning on our Beloved. (Song of Songs 8:5)