To love God is not the same as loving what he does for you. Love for God is probably best tested during trouble. When life is good…when the bank account and body are healthy…when relationships are strong…when work is satisfying…when life is good it’s easy to feel positive about God. I love it when God makes my life smooth. But, what happens when problems and pain are your experience?
Love is not dependent on what someone does for you.
Last week, I was reading Psalm 142. You can read it here. I was challenged to simply love God because he is worthy.
David writes Psalm 142 from a cave…a cave. When you are living in a cave, life is not going well and it’s not going well for David. He is on the run, hunted by the king. He is emotionally tired and alone. David feels abandoned by his friends. His destiny is being denied him. He is in a cave literally and figuratively. Maybe you have found yourself in some kind of cave like that. Here is the question:
Do you still love God in the cave?
“I say ‘you are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’ “ -Psalm 142:5
The Matthew Henry Commentary says
The cave I am in is but a poor refuge. Lord, thy name is the strong tower that I run into. Thou art my refuge, in whom alone I shall think myself safe. The crown I am in hopes of is but a poor portion; I can never think myself well provided for till I know that the Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup.’ Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God shall find him all-sufficient both as a refuge and as a portion, so that, as no evil shall hurt them, so no good shall be wanting to them; and they may humbly claim their interest: “Lord, thou art my refuge and my portion; every thing else is a refuge of lies and a portion of no value.
The reality that shouted to me when I read Psalm 142 was that the Lord was David’s refuge; the Lord was his portion. There is a big difference between God providing refuge and God being your refuge. There is a big difference between God providing what you need and God being what you need.
You see, God is a giver. God is generous. God loves to answer our prayers and come through for us. David does ask for rescue and help at the end of Psalm 142. It’s great to have a Father that we can go to like that, but as Matthew Henry says “I can never think myself well provided for till I know that the Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup.”
When we love God for God, we can find contentment with where we find ourself whether it be a moment of blessing or trouble. It’s easy to love God when times are good. If we love God when times are rough, it demonstrates that we understand what David understood.
The Lord himself is our portion.
Above all else, he is what we need.
He is our life.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” -Lamentations 3:24
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