Where is God’s love?

27 07 2008

It’s a bright sunny morning and it’s easy to feel positive, but then I don’t have any great fears, doubts or worries hanging over my life. Do I have an easy life, and is there a reason for that?  Rather than think about that, I’d prefer to be concerned for those many people, it seems, for whom the sun doesn’t seem to shine and who are burdened by fears, doubts and anxieties. Several times recently my wife and I have commented about people we’ve seen either in the street or driving cars, people who seem stressed and people who seem angry. There seems a lot of stress and anger about.  Why, I think to myself, can’t these people experience the love of God that is there for them?

It’s all about perception and awareness.  Are you aware that wherever you are, God is there wanting to reach out to you to help you?  The lie that many have received is that God is only around to condemn, but that is exactly the opposite of the New Testament revelation in the Bible.  God has come to release us from guilt and condemnation.  But I am guilty, your conscience screams from deep down, despite all you do to suppress it.  That’s right, we are guilty, that is the truth, but that is exactly why Jesus Christ came to the earth, to take the punishment that deep down we believe we deserve.  Conscience is merely a tool to point out to us our true state, a motivating force, if you like, to help you along the path to bring change.  But I can’t bring it, I’ve tried, you cry from deep down.  Of course, which is why God holds His hand out to us to help us and empower us and guide us. We don’t only need forgiving, we also need guidance, direction and power to live by, and all of that is the promise of the New Testament.  All it needs is our acknowledgment of our true state, and our desire for God to come in and help – not just bandage up the latest wound, but to totally transform. Forgiveness and transformation! Not a bad offer!!!

That is the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, that our lives can be transformed.  That’s what makes it a ‘sunny day’ even when it is raining!  I remember the testimony of a girl from the bad streets of New York, who had heard a street preacher and received this good news. Several weeks later the street preacher came across her again and expressed his concern for her living in that area. Her reply was that it was all right because her life had been transformed.  The streets were the same but she was different.

That’s what happens. All the outward world stays the same, but inwardly we are different, and that’s what makes for a ‘sunny day’. Where is God’s love? people sometimes challenge harshly. The answer is right here, standing right next to you with His hand held out to you, wanting to bring that life transformation to you. No, it’s not too good to believe, it is just true.

For the last few weeks, on my sister blog, I’ve been working through the book of Job. It’s a book that I consider is possibly one of the hardest in the Bible to read yet, as I have worked slowly through it, it is has been one of the most rewarding sets of studies I think I have ever done. It is about a man upon whom dropped total catastrophe – for no reason other than God wanted him to stand out as a supreme example in the world.  It wasn’t because he did wrong – it just was!  This man thought he knew God and in his anguish he refused to accept guilt and blame, and he refused to accuse God of wrong. He knew his suffering was of God, he didn’t know why, and therefore he refused to condemn God.  An incredible example, and one that is so far from so many people today. (And yes, he ended up in a far better place than before!)

How easy it is to get upset when life doesn’t go as we want it to go.  How easy to blame God when it wasn’t His fault.  If God has a fault it is that He gives us free will and lets us get on and make a mess of our lives. The good thing about it, though, is that He’s always there, just waiting to reach out and take our hand that is stretched out to Him.  He never refuses to love us.  When we take that hand, we find life being transformed.  Sometimes the circumstances do literally change; other times it is our perception that changes.  As long as we say, “I’m all right, I’m OK, I can manage'” we can never take that hand, but it is still there and remains there, waiting until we come to our senses – and then the sun shines.

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