I often doubt my love to God. When I do, I take recourse to scripture. I know God did not and does not love me for what He finds in me. “I will love them freely” (Hosea 14:4). Nor did He love me for anything He would someday find in me. God is love. His love is eternal. He loved before the world began. “Having loved His own which were in the world, He [the Lord Jesus, the express image of His person, the One whom seeing, we see the Father] loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). It was His love that moved God to choose His people in Christ and to adopt them as sons to Himself by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:4-5). It was His love that moved God to give His only begotten Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9-10). His love is free and remains free: loved before I had a being, loved when I was ungodly, loved when a sinner, loved when in my mind and by wicked works I was at enmity -- hostility -- against God (Romans 5:6,8,9-10; Ephesians 2:1-5).
God the Father loved His elect and ordained Christ for them, before the foundation of the world, to redeem them out of the debt and bondage of their sins by shedding His blood, paying the ransom price (Matthew 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-20). He gave His own to Christ (John 17:2,6,10,11,23-24). He ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48). He prepared them a kingdom (Matthew 25:34), and He did all these before the foundation of the world. Believers thus take refuge in the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35,37,39). The Holy Spirit moved the apostle John to write this, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). And again, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Romans 8:27 reveals the triune God in our salvation. The Spirit of God searches our hearts; His mind is the mind of God. The Son of God knows the mind of the Spirit; He died to fulfill the will of God, which the Spirit of God recorded throughout scripture. It is the will of God the Father that is known by the Spirit of God and which the Son of God fulfills, and which the Son of God in His intercession for the saints prays to be done.
In Romans 8:28-39, God comforts His people to know that all things, spiritual and physical, heavenly and earthly, inherently good or inherently evil, animate and inanimate, every event past, present and future, “work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It is as if our lives, the lives of every individual saint and the church as a body, indeed, history itself, is the stage on which God arranged to display and proves His immutable love to His people. The comfort in this scripture is unsurpassed in the word of God. It is God’s love to us in Christ, not our love to God, that is the bond between us and Christ, between us and God, between God’s purpose and the fulfillment of that purpose. The love of God is joined with God’s sovereignty. It is joined with God’s wisdom and power and faithfulness and justice and grace. It is joined with Christ’s death. It is joined with Christ’s unceasing intercession. It is joined with the constant attention of the Spirit of God Himself. Nothing -- nothing -- can separate us from this love from God to us. It was never born; it existed eternally in the heart of God. It will never die; it will never fail, it will be fulfilled throughout eternal ages in the presence and in the closest communion with God in Christ.
Do you see the beauty of God’s holiness in His love towards His saints? Does it lift your heart to love Him, to rest in Him, to worship Him? Then you too may know that all things work together for your good, for God’s glory, according to God’s eternal purpose for His people. Chosen in Christ, given to Christ, ordained to eternal redemption by His blood, ordained to eternal life, ordained to believe, adopted as sons, brought to glory by the Captain of our souls, whom it pleased God to make perfect through sufferings (Hebrews 2:10) in order that He might bring His many sons to glory. “Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God” (Joshua 23:11). “O love the LORD, all ye His saints!” (Psalm 31:23). If we love the LORD because He first loved us, then doesn't it stand to reason that we only love Him if we know His love to us in Christ by what He has done for us in Him (Ephesians 3:19)?