During high school, I had the amazing opportunity to work on what was called “A Biography of God.” The devotional book walked me through certain passages, asking me questions about God and forcing me to really think.
Who IS this God that I say I love?
What does he love? What does he hate? What brings him delight? What are the different facets of his personality? Yes, God does have a personality. That’s part of why we can say we are created in God’s image—we have a mind, a will, emotions, and a soul that all work together to give us a personality.
Did you ever stop to realize that God gave us His Word, not JUST so we could know what He wants us to do, but ultimately so we could know HIM?
During the past several days, the subject “who is God?” cropped up multiple times: at the ladies’ retreat last weekend, in a sermon I listened to on the way to an OB appointment, in my personal Bible reading, in Sunday school, and in our ladies’ Bible study at church! So I asked myself a question that I hope you will ask yourself as well:
Do I KNOW who my God is?
Do I search for him in the words of Scripture he has given to me? Those words are living, powerful words that contain the very mind of God.
Jesus wants us to know him.
In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and LEARN OF ME; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Understanding who God is according to his Word is the only way we can make sense out of the happenings in our lives and the lives of the people around us.
Think about it. There are some really bad things that happen to us, right? Maybe we lose someone close to us, people say mean or untrue things about us, or we are diagnosed with a long-term illness. Did God DO those things to us?
The answer to those questions can only be found in the pages of Scripture. When people try to make sense of the hurt in their lives apart from Jesus, they become angry at him and blame him, allowing bitterness to poison their hearts. But that is because they don’t know who he is!God is not the author of bad things, only good and perfect things. Take comfort in who God is! Click To Tweet
The truth is, bad things happen because of sin. God is not the author of bad things. Death happens because of sin. People are mean because of sin. Sickness is a result of the curse on the earth, because Adam and Eve chose their sin over God. God could not and would not do something bad to us, simply because it goes against his nature. Even in the Old Testament, when he struck people dead who had sinned against him, he was acting in harmony with his just and righteous character.
God does, however, allow bad things into our life like loss and sickness and pain. That, my sweet sisters, is when we must gaze deeply into the mind of God, so that we do not lose sight of who He is.
We must interpret our circumstances according to the true character of God.
I know that God is in sovereign control over all things.
But our God is in the heavens, he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” Psalm 115:3
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? …. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:33-34, 36
But, since he is sovereign, that means that he COULD have prevented those bad things from happening to me, right? Yes, absolutely. So we must look deeper.
I know that God is only, ever, always good.
The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble: and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1:7
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep …. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. John 10:11, 14
Since God is both sovereign and good, I know that whatever he allows into my life, good OR bad, is good FOR me. If you are in the middle of something hard and painful like I was a while ago, you may be thinking to yourself: There is NO way this is good for me. I hate this! Why am I having to suffer like this? How could this possibly be good?!
When thoughts like those enter our minds, we must make sure we are thinking biblically, soundly, truthfully.
When I think of something that is good for me, I imagine myself relaxing on a sandy beach during a long vacation. All the stressful things of life—deadlines, relationship tension, never-ending housework, multiple demanding responsibilities—all of them have been put on hold while I dig my newly pedicured toes into the warm, white, sandy sea foam and sip on a strawberry slushy from Sonic. Now, THAT’S good!
Well, yes. 😉 But what is God’s ultimate purpose for me? Is it to enjoy life on a beach, sipping a slushy and getting a tan? I think you know the answer. Let’s hear it from God’s mouth.
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23-24
Wisdom, strength, and riches–all good things, right? But those things are not God’s ultimate purpose for me. To understand and to know God—THAT is my ultimate purpose. That is why God can, in his sovereign mercy and loving goodness, allow a bad thing into my life. He knows that fullness of joy and perfect, lasting peace come only from a deep knowledge of who He is. When something bad happens to you, you can trust that God is taking care of you, because you KNOW who he is!
The verses that I come back to, in seemingly every season of my life, are Psalm 84:11-12.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
That is why I don’t have to worry, to be afraid, to fall into despair, or be crippled by anxiety. I KNOW my God. He is more than enough for me! And it is during those hard times, as I trust in what the Bible says about who my God is and experience his comfort and guidance, that I learn even more about him.
So, what comes to your mind when you think about God?
A. W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
What is the depth of your knowledge of God? Is it just a vague idea that you have formed from snippets of Sunday sermons and Sunday school Bible stories? Or are you seeking him out in prayer, begging him to reveal himself to you in his word? Do you search the Bible for truths about your Savior, like you would search for a hidden treasure?What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. - A. W. Tozer Click To Tweet
So tell me, what is your favorite thing about God? What character trait of his has become special to you through a recent trial? I would be so honored for you to share that with me!