If the love of God is not known in the heart, it’s to live with a sense of condemnation and terror of His judgement; and therefore, fear death. Tormented with guilt, knowing the wages of sin is death. Having not accepted by faith, the free gift He offers.
We then naturally look to our own merit and righteousness to try and please Him. When without faith it’s an impossibility. Due to the fact there is an absence of faith, struggling with unbelief, which causes sin.
We can’t try to believe God loves us by practicing righteousness, in order to believe He does. God miraculously transforms the heart by the power of His love to have faith in His love. Faith comes with the assurance of God’s love through His Son Jesus Christ.
Our prayer should be, God help my unbelief in your love for me. let your love be known through the warmth of your loving embrace. So I can finally rest, be at peace and free. Instead of lying to my self for what others may think.
In conclusion: As long as we lie to ourselves, claiming to believe we know God’s love, when we don’t believe it, we will never have the full measure of Joy, the depths of peace and everlasting satisfaction as a by product of knowing His love.