I’ve been in a bit of a struggle to love God and to love people. It can be hard to love God in difficult times. In moments of weakness, it’s easy to distrust God, and disbelieve that He truly loves you, that His will is for your best in the light of Eternity.
The greatest discouragement comes when I am unable to love as God wants me to love, when my fallen nature refuses to obey God, and thus end up being unhappy. Then I blame God for my failures, for the difficulties, for the limitations of my own nature, going as far as to doubt some articles of faith and, ultimately, His love.
Yet, I know that to love God and love myself and neighbour – in thought, word, desire, deed and renunciation – in itself is the answer to my doubts and struggles. Here again is the paradox; faced with an inability to love, to carry on trying without passing the blame or doubting His goodness – that in itself is an act of love, more true and real than if there were no struggles or doubts and all was well and merry. And in loving God in this way, we can have the bedrock of joy amidst waves of changing circumstances and the feelings accompanying them. To trust with faith, to be committed to love, and to hope with perseverance – these are rewards in themselves.
O Lord, help me to trust you more (and to take heed of my own words!)
|Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.
(I Peter 1:3–9 RSV)