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3 Reasons We Can Trust That God Loves Us with “an Everlasting Love”

| Contributing Writer
2022
11 May
3 Reasons We Can Trust That God Loves Us with “an Everlasting Love”

One of the most difficult things for people to understand is the love of God. Even if you settle on “God loves the world,” when you make it personal it can be a struggle to fully grasp that God loves you. This barrier affects people before they come to faith in Christ, and it can hamper people after they come to faith in Christ. God’s love can seem unrealistic, and the sense of being unworthy of this type of love can cause you to run from it or simply reject it. You can easily fall into the trap of wondering, why would God want to love me? 

When you come to the book of Jeremiah, God makes a definitive statement about the nature of his love.

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness’” (Jeremiah 31:3).

As you continue reading the rest of this article, I want you to ponder this one question. What does it mean that God loved us with an everlasting love? According to God’s own words, this is how he has chosen to love us. But how do you take that truth and make it personal? Without question this is one of the most important truths you must learn from Scripture, because this will affect the rest of your life and your relationship with God.

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3 Reasons We Can Trust That God Loves Us with “an Everlasting Love”

What Does This Verse Mean?

If you look at this verse and take it as a literal interpretation (and there is no reason not to) then it becomes clear what it means. “God loved you with an everlasting love” points to the depth and breadth of God’s love. In this passage he is talking about his love for Israel, but it is quite easy, and I will show you later, to see how this same everlasting love applies to you.

God is reminding his people of the enduring nature of his love. At the same time, we see the way God wins their heart, through kindness. Most often in someone’s life it is the love of God which becomes the catalyst for repentance and transformation. When you look at the history of Israel, they were a rebellious people and God brought judgment on them because of their sin. During these times of harsh judgment, Israel would cry out to God for relief from the penalty of their sin. However, this was usually a temporary repentance, and when the effects of judgment stopped, they would return to their old ways. 

Before we go and point fingers at Israel, this can be true of you and me. When we are in trouble for sins we have committed, we call on God for help. When he brings deliverance, we are thankful for a season, but after the smoke clears and the harsh period subsides, many return to their old lifestyle. 

For this reason, it is critical to understand that lasting change comes when you understand God’s love and his kindness. This is the thing that draws people into relationship with him and leads them to repentance. Paul highlights this same truth in Romans.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).

The true catalyst that God uses to draw people to him is his love and kindness. These must become the foundation of your relationship with him. Judgment may get your attention, but God’s love and kindness will win your heart. You cannot build a relationship with God if you only know his judgment. When you recognize and accept how great his love is for you, that will capture your heart, and this should become the foundation of your relationship with him.

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3 Reasons We Can Trust That God Loves Us with “an Everlasting Love”

What Is the Context of Jeremiah 31?

Jeremiah 31 is a continuation of what God began speaking in Jeremiah 30. He is talking about his promise to restore Israel. The beginning of chapter 30 sets the context for what God tells Jeremiah over the next two chapters.

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:1-3).

From this passage and others, we see a God who is committed to fulfilling his promise and bringing Israel back. God is demonstrating with his own words how faithful he is to his promises and how he looks over his word to bring it to pass. The beauty of this restoration is it will be based on an even better covenant. This covenant is not based on man’s ability to keep the law (which we all failed at), but on God’s ability to change the heart.

What Is an "Everlasting Love"?

Let us return to the question that is at the heart of this article. What does it mean that God loved us with an everlasting love? When you think of the word “everlasting,” the imagery is of something that endures and never goes away. For it to be truly everlasting it must go through various times and seasons. It cannot be everlasting if it only sticks with you when things are going well, but then disappears when everything falls apart. Everlasting means it is unchanging and continues to love even when the object of the love behaves in a manner that is unlovable. This is the enduring nature of God’s love. 

In the context of Jeremiah, the everlasting love God is talking about is in relationship to Israel. What is fascinating about this statement is they were not loving and committed to God in the same way he was loving and committed to them. It would be logical and sensible if God were loving a people who were loving him back with the same type of love, but overall, this was not the case with Israel. He was more like a scorned lover because they rejected his commands and did whatever they wanted. However, despite this, as we see in this verse, it was out of his everlasting love and his kindness that he drew them back to him.

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3 Reasons We Can Trust That God Loves Us with “an Everlasting Love”

Where Else in Scripture Do We See Evidence of God's Everlasting Love for Us?

In thinking about God’s everlasting love, there are three qualities that I believe help to define it.

  • God’s everlasting love loves first
  • God’s everlasting love loves most
  • God’s everlasting love loves always

When you read the Bible, one of the consistent themes we see is God’s love. There are so many Scriptures that point to God’s love. Here are three connected to God loving us first, God loving us most, and God loving us always.

God loved you first 

“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

The nature of an everlasting love is that it moves first and it has no expiration date. The reason you are a Christian now is because you responded to God loving you first.

God loved you most

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).

God’s enduring love is demonstrated because he died for us when we were sinners and no one else could or would do that for us. What sets Christianity apart from all other religions is the simple truth that Jesus did for you what you could not do for yourself. He died for your sins (and mine) and redeemed you from your old way of life simply because he loved you most.

God loves you always

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:23-24).

The beauty of this verse is the renewable nature of God’s love. When the sun rises every morning, let it be a reminder of God’s everlasting love for you. He loves you now and will love you always.

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3 Reasons We Can Trust That God Loves Us with “an Everlasting Love”

Build Your Relationship on This

Why is it so important to understand what it means that God loves you with an everlasting love? If you do not grasp this truth and allow it to be the foundation of your relationship with God, then what will your relationship be based on? If your walk with Jesus is not founded and rooted in his love for you, then all you are left with is striving to impress God and win his approval. 

Thankfully, our relationship with him is not based on winning his approval, but on receiving his love. When you approach God, you are not coming to a God who hates you or wants nothing to do with you. You are coming to a God who is always reaching, ready to correct, ready to forgive, and able to restore. His arms are open wanting to embrace you, not because you deserve it, but because he loves you with an everlasting love.

I challenge you today to stop striving, and receive this love and watch as his love and kindness begin a transformation process in your heart. When you fully engage with his everlasting love, you will never be the same again.

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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.

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