I was reading an article the other day in which the author was disappointed with God. She said God had let her down. I tend to think that we seem to expect things from God that we shouldn’t. I don’t really think we have a right to expect anything from God except what His promises are in the Bible. And even the manifestation of those promises may look different for each person’s life. It is like our view from here on earth is so limited that we can only see one or two dimensional. But God is eternal and without the constraints of time and space. He is the only One Who can see everything and know everything, so He gets the multidimensional big picture. In our finite vision, how can we possibly know what is best or what to expect?
Anyway, the article made me stop and think of this question of our perception of God. When you think about it, it seems that most people, whether Christian or not, have a preconceived notion of God as either being good or bad.
This notion likely comes from things like their religion, beliefs, faith, how they were raised, and even events that have happened in life. It forms the basis of their general worldview.
There are preachers, teachers and parents who perpetuate the “fire and brimstone” stereotype of a “bad” God. These people see God as a mean judge watching our every move and raining down punishments and anger on our sins. They must picture Him with a frown and furrowed brow, forever irritated by humans, just waiting to make people “pay” for their sins.
I have heard testimonies of people who have been scared to step foot in a church for fear that they would be struck down when they entered because of the bad things they have done. Again, this assumes a “bad” God who does nothing but rebuke and punish.
I am saddened by these images of a bad God. I believe God is saddened, too.
My worldview and understanding of God has always been that of Love. He is the source of Love and He is Love. He loves us all and His heart is broken when we reject Him. But He gave us freewill to choose to love Him back, because without a choice, love wouldn’t be true love.
He stands at the doors of our hearts and softly, gently knocks. He’s waiting there, with His arms outstretched to welcome us and love us.
The only “hiccup” with the “good” God view is that when bad things happen, people are not easily able to reconcile how a good God could allow something bad into their lives. That’s a deep and complicated subject and this post is not the place for that, except for what I already wrote.
We just finished celebrating Easter. I saw a news story that said many kids don’t know the true meaning of Easter and why it is celebrated. Our commercialized culture has drowned out the good God. The One standing there trying to scream over the other noise, “I love you!” His great love for us is why we celebrate Easter.
God sent His Son, Jesus, into our world to be a perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins. He did it because He loves us so much that He wanted us to choose to be together with Him for eternity. Jesus was crucified and then defeated death, coming alive again so we can have that choice. The tomb was empty and He is filled with love for us. That’s Easter.
If you have any questions about God’s love for you, consider reading the book of 1 John in the Bible. In chapter 4 alone, we see it mentioned three times that God is love. God’s love for us is laid out plainly.
In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 AMP
God is good. God is love. If you don’t know that, I pray you come to really know God. If you do know that, I pray you will go out and show that love to the world.
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