“God so loved the world that He gave…” (John 3:16).
If you love like God, you will love and hurt at the same time.
The tragedy of God’s love is that it is not universally received. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). What a tragedy. Do you think God feels that tragedy? Personally, I think that is why the prophet Isaiah called Him a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. That is why Jesus wept over Jerusalem, because He wanted to gather everyone up and bring them to Himself, but they would not all come.
How is it that God being God would create a world where His love was limited by the free will of those He created, making Him appear helpless to do anything about those who would reject Him? I honestly do not know how this works, but I do know God feels these feelings because He has expressed them in the inspired scriptures handed down to us.
My point today is not to enter into a theological debate over this, because that is where these discussions often lead, but to capture some of the nature of God in His love for us and suggest that we should at least share in these same attitudes and emotions, primarily that we should be governed more by the tragedy of those who reject God’s love than by their judgment or their wrong doing.
Do we weep or do we condemn? If you ever catch yourself shaking your head in judgment and condemnation, stop. Stop judging and weep instead. That’s what God did, and He even has the right to judge (and will someday). The cross has put that judgment aside so that He can love. Can we do any less?
So if you love like God, you will love and hurt at the same time.