“Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.”
~ C.S. Lewis
“He causes His sun to rise on evil and good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
~ Matthew 5:45
“How much less to Him who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands.”
~ Job 34:19
IT’S JUST NORMAL that many, if not most, people have a hard time understanding that God can truly love – imperfect, unworthy or sinful – human beings.
They think that God will only love those – selected few ones – who are good and do great things for Him. Their mindset, then, is to do something good and great things for God; expecting that – in return – the latter will love them even more.
Conversely, in its truest sense, God’s love for all people is unconditional and constant.
The Scripture provides, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 86:15
In a word, God truly loves humanity – righteous and sinners alike.
In fact, God seems to love sinners more than the righteous. The Scripture sustained, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” ~ Luke 5:32.
Interestingly, Meister Eckhart, German theologian, philosopher and mystic seems to prove how magnanimous and truly loving God is – as he once remarked, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
Moreover, there are many relevant stories in the Scripture that proved an exceptional nature of a truly loving God.
In the Old Testament, for instance, at-a-glance, the Book of Hosea had exemplified the ever-unique love story of Hosea, a prophet of God, and Gomer, his unfaithful wife.
Despite of the latter’s continuing infidelity to her husband, the former still continue to – truly – love his wife.
God, eventually, revealed to prophet Hosea that – similarly – despite of the unfaithfulness of humanity, still, He unconditionally and constantly love them.
In the New Testament, the Scripture has concretely proven – to Christians, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
~ Proverbs 3:11-12
Despite of the foregoing Scriptural affirmations, of a truly loving God, many would still contend why, then, God allowed bad things happen to good people?
The foregoing contention, especially for those who have been encountering adversities of life, is understandable and considerable.
Please be reminded, however, that it is – sometimes – a special way how God would discipline those He truly loves; as a father would do to the son whom he delights in.
In other words, God seems to bring out the best in you and me. Or, better yet, to gradually restore His original image in us; as destroyed by the disobedience of – our first parents – Adam and Eve.
On a serious note, everyone would seem a “masterpiece–in–progress” of a truly loving God. Whatever experiences – good and bad – then, we should undergo, would seem the way God wanted it to be; but always for our own betterment.
As the Scripture aptly said, “All things (good and bad) work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
Whenever gold is purified by fire, its originality or newness is being restored.
Similarly, the moment a person is purified – by fiery testings of faith – through sufferings, tribulations, trials and the like – he will be, eventually, restored to the original image of God, his Creator.
The Scripture provides, “So God created man in His own image, the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”~ Genesis 1:27
Needless to say, the aforesaid purification process is painful. A person may, in particular, experience being abandoned, rejected, ridiculed, alone, or isolated – just to mention a few.
For so long, however, that man will not succumb or surrender to trials and challenges of life, he will attain its gradual restoration of himself towards aforesaid original image of God; and will experience the freedom to enjoy life with his Creator.
Whenever we encounter, then, seemingly adverse experiences or sufferings, we should not lose hope; but, rather, visualize that something good is going to happen. And the glory that will be revealed in us – sooner than later –is incomparable.
As Paul aptly put it, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” ~ Romans 8:18.
A Hopeful Future!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~ Jeremiah 29:11.
If we consider the foregoing affirmative insights, it would seem to imply that we should always look beyond our sufferings – which is a hopeful future!
Also, if we put our fate unto the hand of a truly loving God, it must be coupled with a continuing gratefulness. The Scripture reminds us, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.” ~ 1 Chronicles 16:34.
In fact, God revealed a tremendous expression of His love to each one of us. The Scripture again provides, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. ~ Isaiah 49:15-16
Perhaps God has been expressing His unconditional love for us so that we – too – may reciprocate to His love. And, likewise, extend the same to our fellowmen; which seems to remind us that our love is only dependent upon Him. As the Scripture sustained, “We love because God first loved us.” ~ I John 4:19.
Moreover, the fact that our Creator is a truly loving God, there’s no doubt that His plan for us is always for our best. Many people, however, cannot see how He – sometimes silently – operates in their lives. As Confucius once remarked, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
Conversely, the truth is, there would seem a miracle always – for those who believe – even in the midst of aforesaid adversities. As Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Harmoniously, the book entitled : Man’s Search For Meaning, the author – Victor Frankl, a neurologist and psychiatrist, revealed an inspiring true story how he and some prisoners of war – in concentration camps – surpassed enormous adversities or sufferings, by summoning up thoughts of “a hopeful future!”
He was imprisoned at war camp in 1942 at age 37, liberated at age 40. He, eventually, wrote books, gave lectures and helped many people to search for meaning of their lives – while, at the same time, living a meaningful life – and died at age 92.
Victor Frankl is known for his self–invented theory called: Logotheraphy, which is less retrospective and less introspective but rather focuses on “a hopeful future;” and always strive to find meaning in one’s life – which is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force of human beings.
As Friedrich Nietzsche succinctly remarked, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
Even Death Is A Blessing From God
“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.”
Human creature cannot – by any stretch of the imagination – enter eternity in any other ways except through death as its door; to happily join the Creator forever. This time, no more tears, trials, hardships, sufferings, sicknesses and the like.
To enable us to understand profoundly as regards the aforesaid exceptional nature of a truly loving God, let us recall, at-a-glance, the so-called “salvation history:”
As we all knew, when Adam and Eve – our first parents – obeyed God’s command, they can not be found wanting of anything in their lives.
In other words, they were “free” to eat all fruits from any tree, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The Scripture provides, “And the Lord God commanded the man,You are ‘free’ to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” ~ Genesis 2:16
However, when they disobeyed God, repercussions followed. They were driven out of the garden of Eden; and, at this juncture – for them to live – they have to toil or labor.
Many people opined that when they were driven out of the aforesaid garden of Eden – to toil, suffer hardships and, ultimately, die – is a curse from God.
Conversely, if we try to reflect deeply, we will understand that death is – still – part of God’s plan for human beings. Or, better yet, even death is a blessing from God.
To sustain the foregoing insight, what do you think will happen if God did not allow human beings to die, after committing sin of disobedience?; and, as a consequence, continue to suffer hunger, hardships, illnesses and the like; even retaliation or rebellion from some animals – who became wild and untamed – after our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God.
Is it correct to say, that all human beings may experience the so-called “life–lasting sufferings” here on earth; for a simple reason that God’s “plan A” (man’s freedom to enjoy fullness of life on earth) was destroyed.
A truly loving God, therefore, has to create “plan B.” This time, however, mortals need to die in order to save them from the aforesaid life–lasting sufferings, then ascend to eternity (immortality); and, finally, enjoy eternal life at the bosom of the Creator.
In other words, death is only a door God has chosen, so that human beings can colonize heaven – their ultimate destination. If so, believers of a truly loving God shall triumphantly live with Him – in eternity – forever and ever!