8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Thank you, … well… you. You know who you are. Thank you for pointing this out to me.
God is our Father. God is love. Therefore, God is a loving Father. How do parents view their children? Sometimes, children have trouble understanding the larger picture because they have no experience to base their current situation on. It requires experience to gain the larger view.
Still, how do parents react when things are tough for their children? Knowing that children often cannot see the end because of the current pain still does not mean the pain isn’t real. Most parents feel bad for their children going through really tough experiences. Then again, how do they feel when a child overcomes great odds and completes something successfully? Do they not then feel joy along with their children?
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Yet, does it seem like everything we get is “good”? Really? If you answered, “Yes”, then you are admitting that trials are good for you.
Some recent posts should have prepared you for this one. Sometimes, we are given hard times so we can build “Mental Toughness”. Sometimes, we do it to ourselves, and that is what causes “Some Not So Popular Reasons Society Mocks Christians”. Jesus promised hard times. We in the COG should be very familiar with Matthew 24.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Do we really stop and read these verses? Or, do we just nod and move on? Directly after the “beginning of sorrows” is the Tribulation where brother will be pitted against brother and all nations will hate those who represent the truth. Can we still love even through all this? According to v 13, our love had better endure if we are to be saved!
You know, things are gearing up. Just a sampling:
- COGWriter recently posted “Blueprint Proposes Additional Loss of National Sovereignty in European Union”.
- COGWriter also recently posted “Putin: Leader of the Eurasian Union?”.
- Yesterday, NBCNEWS.com posted “Syria loads chemical weapons into bombs; military awaits Assad’s order”.
- Today, the Chicago Tribune posted “IAEA reports no progress on access to Iran nuclear facilities”.
- Today, The Washington Post posted in it’s Middle East section “Egypt’s Morsi stands by decree as tanks, troops protect his palace”.
- Today, the Baptist Press posted “Israel-Gaza ceasefire fails to kindle hope”.
The world is a dangerous place, and it is getting more dangerous every day. The Middle East is like an oven that is still on preheat. The dynamite inside has not yet started exploding. Increasingly, the world is coalescing into three major power centers, and they will eventually form three supernations to which all others in the region will be subjugated, some voluntarily but some perhaps not so voluntary.
The end is not yet, though.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Did you catch that? It’s going to get worse – much worse before it gets better.
God will still be love all through these events.
Will you come out on the other side loving as God loves?
We are given a hope and a promise. God is love, and He is our Father. God is our loving Father. He knows how to give good things, and He knows how to give the right things.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
~ Ro 8:28
We have to be called. We acknowledge that. However, where should that lead us?
- We know – it is in our hearts and minds. It is not a mere guess or even a hope. It is perceiving. It is discerning. It is to inspect, examine, look at and come to a conclusion about. It is treated as a hard fact.
- All things – is there anything that is exempt from “all things”? It is each, it is every, it is any, and it is all “things”.
- That love God – those who have agapao for God. It means those who return godly unselfish love to God. They don’t let their love grow cold. Their love endures to the end.
God puts up with us, and He puts up with a lot. How little in comparison does He expect in return? It may not seem fair while we are going through a trial, but what about fairness towards God? Jesus Christ? Was it fair that Jesus Christ was sent to die for us? Be beaten for us? Be mocked for us? Have His skin ripped apart by scourging for our healing? Yet, what does God say of these things?
10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
~ Pr 24:10
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
~ Isa 49:6
God has a very different view of our troubles than we do. We are small. We think small. God is omnipotent and omniscient. He thinks large – infinitely large.
Yet, does any parent like to discipline their child? Does a parent enjoy watching their child go through hard times?
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Discipline, hard times and chastening are not pleasant things, but the results are what counts.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Again, the result is what counts in the long run. However, the only way to get there is to endure and overcome. Patience is the key to a “perfect work”.
God is patient. He is doing a work for the long haul. It is far too easy for us to view this moment and lapse into despair.
What is the end result?
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The end result is for God and the Lamb to dwell with mankind. This is the Kingdom of God. We often get this confused with Christ’s Kingdom during the Millennium. That is not the Kingdom of God, but it is a stepping stone towards that ultimate goal.
God, as in God the Father, will finally dwell with us! He will be our God! He will comfort His people, and He will wipe away all tears. There will be no more sorrow.
Whose tears? Whose sorrows?
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
~ Ge 6:5-6
Does God feel sorrow? Is man created in the image of God, and can man cry and laugh? Does God Laugh? Or, Is He a Being With No Sense of Humor? If God can laugh, and God can be grieved, then it stands to reason that God might actually cry at some of the things human beings do. After all, He was grieved enough to move to wipe most of humanity off the face of the earth.
Someone on Facebook last week posted that we should not kid ourselves because God does not need us. I thought about that a while, and I answered. God does not need us individually. However, He needs a family. He needs us in a corporate sense. He will work with us individually, He will plead with us individually, but in the end He will not force us into His Kingdom.
“Need” does not always mean that deprivation means death. However, Jesus Christ and God the Father have always existed together. They have always had a relationship. God is a relational being. That’s what building His family is all about. He needs the family relationship. He is so full of love and desire to be with others that Jesus Christ died for us! You know, if that does not define need, then you and I are working from different dictionaries.
I believe that God is very sorrowful over many of the things we humans do. Sorrow can turn into anger, and the Day of the Lord is described as a day of wrath. However, in the last two chapters of the Bible, we see a time of no sorrow and no tears.
It isn’t just the pain and sorrow of humans, if you ask me. God will finally feel a sense of relief as well. And, it, as in all things, will be worth it.