"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Cor 1:3-4
God gave us our feelings and emotions for a purpose and He can use them to enhance our walk with Him. Using the example of marriage to demonstrate what I mean. I know that my dad loves my mom, but if he doesn’t show that he does, then their marriage is likely to go through some pretty hard times. My mom needs to ‘know’ deep within her that she is loved. She also needs to trust my dad. Without trust the relationship is on a collision course with disaster. (FYI, my parents do love each other… it was just an example… that was all I could think of...)
Anyways, in the same way, to have a relationship with God, we have to be able to trust Him. If we do not know that He has our best interests at heart (that He loves us) then we will find it very difficult to trust Him in our lives. So many of us either did not know a father’s love, or received a perverted idea of what a father’s love should be, that when it comes to receiving love from our Heavenly Father, we tend to put our earthly experience of fatherly love onto Him.
Unfortunately, our natural fathers are very human and, very often any love that was shown to us as children was flawed. If your natural father is/was never there when you needed him; was angry or drunk; was unkind or uncaring; sometimes reliable but sometimes not, then your view of God is likely to be somewhat distorted. Another factor in our experience could be that your parents or grandparents used God as a threat in order to get you to behave; in which case you will tend to think of Him as some sort of a mad God to be feared and avoided if at all possible.
If you really long to know that the Father really loves you, then the first step is to forgive your earthly father for whatever made you uncomfortable with him. Then you can ask your Heavenly Father to show you how much He loves you!
Jesus said: "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24
Open yourself up to God and ask Him to show you how much He loves you by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told us that when He was seated at the right hand of the Father, He would send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth
"You may ask Me for anything in my name, I will do it. " If you love me, you will obey what I command 16. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor (Holy Spirit) to be with you forever. The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you." John 14:15
If you have asked the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and to take over your life, then you have the Holy Spirit within you and can ask Him to show you how much God loves you. God is love. He is not there to slap us down whenever we get out of line or to send us to hell if we sin. When we do sin, we can ask for forgiveness, turn away from it and start all over again with a clean slate. His mercies are new every morning.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, is your faithfulness." Lam 3:22-23
Example: If you were asked to give over your son to be killed in order that the people next door could be saved, would you do it? ( Dumb example) God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for all of us. What more could He do to show you how much He loves you, just as you are?
"We love because He first loved us. "1 John 4:19
So before we knew Him, He loved us!