God is Love: 5 Attributes That Show Us This Truth

A boy is in his community and is sitting on a small ship on the beach. He smiles while holding a poster that says he is “loved” at the Compassion center.

Maribel was ecstatic when she heard Compassion was helping add classrooms to the small church where her Child Sponsorship Program was located in Bolivia. Now she and her friends could attend without the distractions of overcrowding. When asked why that meant so much to her, Maribel said, “We are learning more than before. We like learning about God and how he loves us.”

When children join Compassion’s program, they start to understand who God is and what he is like. But learning about God’s attributes isn’t just for children. Even the most basic grasp of God’s characteristics provides comfort in hard times and compels us to love and serve those in need.

More than anything, the Bible makes it clear that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). He isn’t just loving, but he is the very definition of love. He loves us because he created us. His affection is unconditional. He both generates and demonstrates love — and that love endures forever (Psalm 100:5). With Valentine’s Day approaching and our thoughts turning toward love, we wanted to consider a few other godly attributes that demonstrate his love for us.

God Is Always Present

Jesus said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Paul wrote that God’s Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). In the Psalms, David proclaimed it impossible to escape God’s presence (Psalm 139). In other words, the Creator is not bound by his creation. He is fully present wherever we go, and his Spirit even lives inside us. As Hebrews 4:13 says, “nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.”

Girl in a yellow, green and blue dress, blue vest, and red, pink scarf, stands in a field of tall grass with her eyes closed and hands held together in front of her, praying. There are trees in the background.

Knowing this means so much for believers, especially those facing difficulties. Sponsored children learn that no matter who they are or where they live, God is with them. This comforts those experiencing the isolation of poverty. Living in dark, tiny homes, they may spend hours alone as their parents try to earn money. Some may even have been orphaned. The knowledge that God loves them and is always with them can lift their spirits. Imagine the confidence boost when a child hears that God is present when they are sad and when they are happy. He loves them and will never abandon them.

God Is Just

Scripture declares over and over that “all [God’s] ways are just” (Deuteronomy 32:4). The Psalmist wrote, “the Lord loves righteousness and justice” (Psalm 33:5). God’s holiness and righteousness mean his judgments are also always fair. This attribute found fulfillment in the life of Jesus, who confronted the Pharisees over their neglect of justice and lack of generosity toward the poor (Luke 11:42).

Because God is just, the Bible insists that his children should strive to make right that which is wrong. “Learn to do right; seek justice,” the Lord told Isaiah in a vision. “Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). This forms the heart of our work within a larger, worldwide effort to seek justice for the suffering and the vulnerable. You are part of those efforts, too! Child advocacy is just one way for the global Church to address the injustices that have left so many in poverty. We join these efforts because we serve a God who is just.

God Is Faithful

Project tutor is visiting a student as part of her duties at the Compassion program. She just arrived at his home and they are hugging.

At the heart of all God’s actions in our world is his faithfulness. This means he keeps his promises. Scripture applies those promises to countless parts of our lives, from his promise to protect us from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) to his promise to forgive our sins (1 John 1:9). His faithfulness is never temporary but endures forever, “through all generations” (Psalm 119:90).

As Christ followers and child advocates, we take enormous comfort in this faithfulness, because so many of God’s promises occur in the context of his love for those who live in poverty. He promises to bless those who give (Deuteronomy 15:10). The Bible says a generous person will prosper (Proverbs 11:25) and kindness to the poor will be rewarded (Proverbs 19:17). But God’s faithfulness extends beyond any earthly transactions. It also applies to our eternal hope and his promise of a coming kingdom. We may live in an unreliable and untrustworthy world, but we serve a faithful God who keeps his word.

God Is Good

Woman holding her baby who is wearing pink. They are playing with a rattle.

Like the attribute of love, God’s goodness is often considered one of his most significant characteristics — one that informs all the others. The Bible describes this trait in a variety of ways, using words like “kindness” (Romans 2:4, Romans 11:22) or “compassionate and gracious” (Exodus 34:6, Psalm 86:15). When the rich young ruler called Jesus “good teacher,” Jesus replied that no one was truly good “except God alone” (Mark 10:18). Reflecting on this attribute, the Psalmist invited us to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

God is also the source of goodness. For the children we serve, that goodness provides security. We know as believers that God “works for the good” of those who love him (Romans 8:28). This comforts believers no matter where they live, from families enduring the trials of poverty to those facing illnesses, lost jobs or an uncertain future. Many of the families we serve may struggle to find food or water. They may battle a chronic illness. But in the face of desperate circumstances, they remember that God is good. His kindness gives them hope. Through our work and the generosity of sponsors, these families experience a taste of his goodness.

God is Sovereign

“Sovereignty” is a big word, but the idea behind it — that God is in control, and that nothing in our lives happens outside his knowledge or permission — brings great comfort to those who are going through hard times. He oversees the natural world (Job 37). He cultivates national rulers (Daniel 2:21). He directs our steps (Jeremiah 10:23). He even uses suffering to accomplish his purposes (Romans 8:28).

Power alone isn’t necessarily a source of comfort. But with God, that power rests in the hands of a loving Father. Not only does he wants what is best for his children, he also knows and understands human suffering — because his son, Jesus, endured it. And God promises to deliver his children from their fears and afflictions: “The poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 34:6).

Unfailing Love

Three children in their community on the island where they live. They are holding posters to show they are known, loved, and protected at their Compassion center.

It’s hard for most adults to wrap their minds around God’s attributes, and teaching concepts like God’s sovereignty or benevolence to children can be a challenge in any setting. But these elements of his character don’t just help us know him better. They help us achieve our full potential in him.

As we think about love this month — and as we serve a God whose love is unfailing — we are reminded that who God is informs everything we do as believers and in our ministry, as we help children reach their God-given potential outside the grip of poverty.

Photos by Lina Marcela Alarcón Molina, Galia Oropeza and J. Sangma

Boy holding a chalkboard with the word loved written on it

23 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Valovalo Pulemau May 12, 2021

    Acts 20:35 NKJV
    [35] I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

  2. Ofhsoupkitchen April 21, 2021

    God has proven this nature about himself to humanity throughout the ages. He has maintained a covenantal relationship with humanity since creation.

  3. John Wood April 2, 2021

    We serve God who is an endless supply for those willing to share.

  4. Andrea Hernandez March 11, 2021

    What a beautiful and encouraging reminder of some of the attributes of the Father God we serve! Sometimes even as adults, we need to be reminded!

  5. Karen Adoo March 5, 2021

    This message is an eternal reminder that we can always rely on the love that God provides because He is love. This love is pure and it purifies us as we spend time with Him.
    Thank you for sharing?

  6. Wanda lebron February 17, 2021

    Where would we be without God’s love? We would be wanderers in this world, with no purpose, and no future. It is God’s very love that gives our lives meaning. He birthed us out of love. BecauseHe is love, he created a being who would operate in and thru love.This is why God’s greatest requirement of us is that we love one another, operate in justice, defend the fatherless and the widow, supply the needs of those who lack, etc. Lord help us to be all He has created us to be, and to be faithful agents of his kingdom. Lord help us to be the “hope” of mankind.

  7. Ingrid Inglis February 13, 2021

    We all need to be reminded of God’s love for us.
    Thanks for your encouragement.

  8. Donna Burk February 13, 2021

    I’m stuck at this point in my life, everything seems to overwhelm me emotionally. It was calming, peacefully and a reminder reading ‘God is Love: 5 Attributes that show us this Truth’. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Mackenzie February 15, 2021

      Donna, I am very sorry to hear that life has been overwhelming! I am so glad this blog post was encouraging! Please know our prayers are with you! ?

  9. Diane February 13, 2021

    Thank you very much for reminding us all of God’s character and love. I love the encouragement of God’s word and the stories of people who have experienced his goodness and love. Although we may suffer hardships God is still good, faithful to his promises and so abundantly kind and merciful. God’s loving kindness never ceases. It is good that not only children hear and experience the God kind of love but even as adults. Thank you very much for sharing God’s love and blessed Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

  10. Tabitha February 13, 2021

    Amen! Thank you for these reminders! I spent an hour doing this devotional and looking up and writing and sharing the verses. Such a great reminder of our loving God and who he is!

  11. Michael February 12, 2021

    Thanks for the devotion and the encouragement

  12. Michelle February 12, 2021

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of how great our God is. e is faithful, good, present, just, and filled with unfailing love.
    Happy Valentines! ?

  13. Valerie C Dickson February 12, 2021

    Thank you for this encouragement. It’s awesome to know this is what you are teaching the children.

  14. Joseline Acevedo February 11, 2021

    Thank you so much for reminding me of His love and goodness ?

  15. Rhonda Inman Lowery February 11, 2021

    Awesome read !!
    God is so Faithful

  16. Lou Crawford February 11, 2021

    Thank you for reminding us of God’s great love for us. Thank you for connecting us with these precious children.

  17. Barbara clark February 11, 2021

    This information is so helpful since we are trying to have a relationship with a child we haven’t met, who lives on the other side of the globe. We can’t picture the center or their home, so every bit of info makes it easier for us to communicate with them. Thanks for all your work in this area.

  18. John February 11, 2021

    Thank you! Well put and encouraging for all. Keep up the good work you do. 🙂

  19. Misty Dial Brown February 11, 2021

    Love this!! Thank you so much have a Happy Valentines!! ❤️❤️

  20. Lynne February 11, 2021

    This was really good and encouraging to read. Well done, and thank you.

  21. Gladys February 11, 2021

    Wow! An awesome read and a much needed reminder. God is Love, Just, faithful, good, present, and filled with unfailing love.
    Thank you for the encouragement Compassion Team?

  22. Sharon February 11, 2021

    Keep up the good work!!

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