Fatherhood of God- God’s proof of His Love.
Read 1 John 3:1-16
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us…that he laid down His life for us.”
In the song, “The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald,” a ship that was lost in a massive storm on Lake Superior, the song writer, Gordan Lightfoot, asks the question, “Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?” This is the question that plagues the thoughts during times of prolonged and intense struggles. Perhaps the most difficult question challenging our faith is the question; “How can a loving God allow us to face such difficulties in life?” The question is perplexing, and the answer is elusive. While not answering the question directly, John does give us the foundation for regaining a right perspective. In verse 1, John affirms the lavish love God poured out on us when he gave us the privilege of becoming his children. The emphasis of this declaration is that this event is a firmly and unchanging completed act. We are now the permeant objects of his familiar love. Furthermore, he is the one who initiated this new relationship rather than it being a result of our own efforts or works (see also John 1:12-13). By declaring himself to be our father and legally adopting us as his children (Galatians 4:4-5), we entered into a completely new relationship with God. He no longer relates to us as the creator relates to his creation. He now relates to us as loving father relates to his children.
But this brings us to another question that John addresses: What is the proof that this love in genuine? In times when our circumstances seem to contradict his watchful care and heaven seems silent, what is the anchor upon which we can secure our faith. The answer is found in verse 16. The proof of his love is found at the cross when Christ died for us. In 4:9-10, John further provides the certainty of his love when he states, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation (i.e. the substitutionary sacrifice) for our sins.” In other words, the cross was the final and absolute proof we need of his love. If God’s love moved him to meet our deepest need—the need for salvation—then his love will motivate him meet our daily needs. No matter how silent heaven may seem, no matter how distant God may appear to us in our trials of life, we have the assurance that he is ever present, ever engaged, ever a loving and doting father who hovers over us to provide his care and protection.
In the wakeful hours of the night, when sleep is fleeting as our minds distress over the events that press upon us, we find rest by looking at the cross. While we still do not fully realize all that God has instore for us (vs 2), we have the confidence and assurance that we will be completely transformed to share in his character and live eternally as his children in his presence. This is our hope and what gives us perspective in the present (vs 3). When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with the worries of the day, just remember who your Father is and what he has promised you. Trust him to give you strength each day so that nothing can harm you in the night.