Psalm 56, Romans 2:1-3:8, 1 Samuel 10:17-11:15
It’s possible that you have mixed feelings about God today.
There could be a host of reasons for this. You don’t understand why thousands would die unjustly at the hands of religious zealots. You might be wondering why God hasn’t freed you from a particular situation despite endless crying out. It troubles you that so many Christians, proclaiming to have the very presence of the Creator of the world, let alone the universe, could be such terrible hypocrites, even with a constant influx of information about their God each Sunday morning from their respective ministers.
Perhaps you’re a Christian, and you’ve been pondering these very questions. Your foot may even already be out the door. “I want to do things my way,” you say to yourself. You’re tired of playing the church game. You just want to go home.
I understand. I’ve asked all of the same questions.
Yet for sixteen years now — just about half of my life — I’ve subscribed to a different perspective, one that permits God’s sovereignty, one that suggests that Jesus truly has saved me, despite my decrepit condition, and that one day I’ll join the redeemed in heaven for eternity because of a simple decision to lay down my life for Jesus Christ.
My upbringing wasn’t much unlike yours. I woke up in a bed under a four-unit apartment roof, within the same walls that my mother and father dwelt, who, trying to make ends meet, weren’t able to escape their own struggles. I spent a lot of time pressing two red buttons on a black and grey control pad. I went to public school, ran the gamut of education all the way to a B.A., learning that God is reserved to folklore, that life developed on this earth through mutations over millions and billions of years, and that good scientists have found the bones to prove it.
I’m not any different at the core, either — I’m a human, often making errors, limited in knowledge, recognizing that there are billions of awesome people on earth, and that sometimes makes me feel very alone. I wonder why God would care — not really that he couldn’t care, being God and all, but that there are tons of other issues that would make my own problems seem minuscule.
And maybe this is a topic that is way too large for a blog to fully explore. However, I’d like to at least propose a reality that you probably haven’t considered: you’re thinking about it.
If you’re reading this, you are either curious about God, or you’re already committed to God and are hungry for more. Perhaps billions more will never read this, but likewise, they’re at least thinking about purpose, their reason for existing other than to live and die, to breathe and suffer.
This verse caught my attention:
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
There is an understanding that David comes to, that God is aware of his laments, and even counts his tears. He believes, in his personal sufferings, that God is paying attention. And that’s a difference-maker to me.
Do you believe that Jesus understood the full weight of His death, and that hypocrisy would likely bloom in the face of grace? Well, you’ve contemplated hypocrisy, just like Paul did in the reading in Romans today, and you have a hunger for integrity. This is the same hope that Jesus Christ had — that the world would lean on grace, that humanity would recognize God’s relentless mercy. You want it. Isn’t that strange?
And it’s not unlike humanity to waver and flip-flop; even entrusted leadership does it. Have you seen our government recently? Samuel appoints Saul in response to a nation’s clamoring for a king (dismissing the Lord as their primary authority), and even in this, people became divided. We change our minds often, and we long for stability. Don’t you find it interesting that stability is a desire, especially when God Himself, according to the Bible, embodies the foundation we need to stand up?
If you have mixed feelings about God, about the Bible, it’s not unusual. According to many sections of the Bible, it’s completely expected. But remember this: there is a desire to chase Him within you, and the difference isn’t personal behavior, but rather a matter of perspective.
Again, I haven’t addressed everything, but I hope this encourages you today to consider your worldview, whether the God (as described in the Bible) is really God or not in your mind, and if this understanding dictates how you see things. It might resolve some of those emotions swelling within you.