“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King.
Warning: this devotional could make you uncomfortable. Just saying.
When it comes to God, most people have one or two images. One is that God is a sweet, accommodating, giving Santa Claus who will just smile and give you what you want. This God wants your happiness above anything else. The other is that God who seems to turn a deaf ear to your circumstances and ignore your prayers to reduce or eliminate the trials and tribulations in your life. This is the God that seems comfortable when you find yourself uncomfortable. Given that those are two extremes, many people view God as somewhere in between.
The problem is we can’t define God because God is beyond definition. We can’t compartmentalize, classify, mold or stereotype God. We can’t confuse, equate or associate God with the quality of life any more than we can mostly expect beneficial outcomes because we are a follower of Jesus. We know the Bible says otherwise, but we still expect God to remove the obstacles and bumps in our path. We want to live out a “Christianity” that is about us and expect God to go along. We read our Bibles, go to church to personally experience the joys of worshipping with others, we tithe, and as a result we expect God to make life a little easier. When we think that this is all about us and our benefit, then we are wrong.
God never intended our trust in Him to be centered on whether life is fair or things are going well. Our trust isn’t ultimately about ourselves, but ultimately about God. It is all about God. The gospel is about Jesus – the fully God and fully human Son of God – who has been resurrected from the dead and sits at the right hand of the father. “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:3)
Some people have lost their trust in God because they saw Him as a personal genie that they thought would give them what they want. But God is God and He knows what is best even if we think we have earned what we ask for. And He deserves and has earned our trust regardless of our circumstances.
The Rev. Billy Graham was asked how to describe God in one sentence. “In some ways it’s not possible, of course, to put everything about God into one sentence,” he wrote. “God is infinite, and we’ll never fully understand His greatness — not on this side of eternity.”
- In circumstances like Hurricane Michael, do we tend to make it about us?
- What can we do this week to make it all about God?