God loves you! We hear that all the time. You have probably seen someone holding a poster at a football game with John 3:16 written on it. In that verse Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NLT).

Jeremiah told the Israelites, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness'” (Jeremiah 31:3, NLT). God loves us more than we will ever fully understand or comprehend! His love is eternal.

God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal. What should we do in response to his love? Love him back! Jesus said that the greatest commandment of all it to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind (see Matthew 22:37). All God really longs for from us is our love. Even though God is all-powerful, he will not force us to love him. He just wants us to love him.

We were created to know and love God. But, for most of us that is a difficult thing to do (if we’re being honest with ourselves). The temptation to focus on our own wants, wishes, and desires is great. Having a quality relationship with Jesus Christ takes work, and I mean a lot of hard work. I have been married for almost 30 years. My wife and I have a good relationship. Even after all these years we still have to “work” on it. It takes a lot of work for our marriage to work. Here’s my point: if human relationships take a lot of work, shouldn’t we expect the same in our relationship with God?

You see, the quality of our love relationship with God affects everything else in our life. This should be the most important relationship in our life. If we neglect to deepen our love for God and allow him to love us, we will never experience life as God designed. That is why I say so much that our goal is to help people find real life in Christ. It is the real foundation of our life.

When things are going well, it’s easy to love God. But when things start going wrong or trouble comes, loving God is not easy. When those times come God is really building character. Good parents understand this principle because they don’t always rescue their children from every uncomfortable situation. Not only do they want their children to grow up, good parents want their children to face life with confidence and character. When you are going through something that is uncomfortable, God may be preparing you for something in the future.

So, no matter what happens (good or bad), just love God.