The apostle Paul could not have endured the hardship and suffering He did without having a glimpse of his security in the love of God for him in Jesus Christ. Our problems so often come back to this: We have no comprehension of how much Christ loves us.
We know so little about the love of Christ for us. It's amazing. You know, Paul's praying for the Ephesians, and he keeps building these things up. I pray that you'd be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man that you might be able to... and finally it gets to the end, that you might know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. That you be filled up with all the fullness of God. It's like he puts the love of Christ at the epitome. If you could just get a glimpse of the love of Christ. Why is he praying like that for the Ephesians? Because evidently, Paul had seen something and felt something and known something of the revelation of the love of Christ for him, and that's what sustained him. That's what enabled him to take beatings and stonings and stripes and shipwrecks and everything else. He could not have done it otherwise. Howell Harris, who lived there in Wales in the 1700's, he was out praying in a bell tower there. He said love fell in showers on my soul so I could scarcely contain or control myself. And he said I cried out to God. He says I'll go through fire and though water. But this is what he said - now, you know Hal Harris would go out and preach for 9 hours. He'd be so exhausted, one time he was crossing one of those stiles that goes over a fence, and he fell asleep on the stile. He's out preaching in the open air and William Seward with him gets hit in the head with a rock and killed in his twenties. He said were it not for the love that I had known, I could never have stood against the flood. I would have turned back. And you know, our problems, many times, it just goes back to this, we have no comprehension of how much Christ loves us. Paul prays for those Ephesians. He says I'm praying for you that you might know the love of Christ. It changes everything. When you're filled with the love of God - when the love of God is poured out in your heart by the Holy Spirit, the first thing that happens is you're so full of love for every person you meet. They couldn't do anything to you to make you not love them. I mean, every person who you see coming at you on the sidewalk, you want to hug everybody, because you're absolutely secure in the love of God. Nothing can touch you. Nothing can harm you. Because He died for me. He loved me and gave Himself for me. That's security.