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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of September 6, 2021

God loves you not because of what you do, but because of who He is.

At its heart, the Gospel is the story of a God who so deeply loves you and me that he was willing to humble himself, to suffer, and to pay the ultimate price just so that we could personally know him. We were powerless; there was nothing we could do to know God. Yet, he loved us so much that he gave us an opportunity to know him.

Romans 5:6-8 gets at the heart of how deeply God loves us: 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 man, though for a good man 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.

We didn't earn or deserve God's love (we were still powerless and we were still sinners). However, God loved us anyway, because God is love (1 John 4:8) -- that is, his nature is love. God can't help but to love us, because that's what he is.

In Ephesians 2:4-5, Paul writes about the nature of God's love for us: Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved.

Nothing you do can cause you to earn or deserve God's love. You can't earn God's love, but he loves you anyway -- that's why it's called grace. God loves you, because he is love not because you have earned his love.

We want to be spiritually grown, but we don't like growing because growing hurts.

Growing can be painful. For example, some children have "growing pains" because of their rapid growth.

This can also be true spiritually. Specifically, God may stretch you by putting uncomfortable circumstances in your life. Why? He uses the hard times to stretch your faith, your patience, and your love. This stretching is what causes growth: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

In other words, God uses the difficult circumstances in your life to cause you to grow closer to Him. If you look back over your life, you'll probably notice that the times you grew the most spiritually were often the times that were the most difficult.

If, however, you fight against the hard circumstances in your life, then you will never fully grow up. So, instead of fighting against life, take the advice of James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Decide to press on and go through so that your faith may grow. Go through the hard times in life trusting God, and then you will grow to be "mature and complete, not lacking anything."