God’s Character Woos Me to Greater Love

     It is easy to blame God for the things that we do not like. I believe most of us have faced that temptation in our lives. We become overwhelmed and frustrated with the state of our lives, and blame God for letting it happen. Yet, the Bible reminds us that God’s character is our source of strength and hope during those dark hours. This is a blessing that goes unrealized when we point the finger at the Creator.

     I have been reminded in one of my current memory verses that being a follower of Jesus is hard. Jesus put it this way, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13–14) The challenge for followers is that we are immersed in a culture that has chosen the “wide gate” and the “easy way.” What we often forget that is that there is a significant cost, as Jesus puts it, “the way is easy that leads to destruction,” and we should not be surprised that most choose the easy path. I wonder if many of us have been too influenced by our culture and have become too soft. But Jesus does not stop there, He then offers this challenge to choose the “way [that] is hard that leads to life.” So let me ask you, what do you think He means by hard? It has to be the difficulties, disappointments and challenges that we face!

     I have been through several potential life-breaking times. The only thing that has kept me afloat has been what I have known about God’s character. I often refer to it as the life lines to pull us through difficulties. I was reminded of one great passage that is overused by those attempting to bring comfort and underutilized by those in the midst of the fire. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) It is here that we are reminded that we CAN trust God. He is not our adversary but our deliverer! Let me encourage you to read Romans 8 a couple times (go ahead it would do you soul good). It is here that your perspective on our God will be transformed from anger to love. It is here that we are reminded of the incredible blessing of God’s choosing to have a relationship with us.

   Let me encourage you to think about the fact that God is All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Everywhere Present and that He loves you so much that He did not even spare his own son (Romans 8:32) so that He could enjoy a relationship with you!

    If you are struggling right now, I suggest, instead of pushing God away that you draw closer to Him. And as our passage in Romans 8:28 reminds us, “He is working in your life to work things out!”

-Pastor Joe Parkinson n

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