How often we impose our ideas of love onto God! Oh, how we mock his providence and wisdom by insisting that he fit into our small ideas of love. We believe that God is loving only if he meets our demands and expectations. But if God is sovereign over all, holds the future in his hand, and has wisdom that is immeasurably greater than ours, then surely our perspective of the events of our lives is limited. Unless we see what God sees, possess his wisdom, and have his power to carry out that wisdom, our interpretation of situations is faulty. Hence the wise words out of Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”
God’s goodness is not dependent on you getting what you want or what you think you need. God’s goodness is not dependent on him answering that one prayer you so desperately want answered. You don’t even know what’s best for you. The proof of God’s goodness is Jesus’ death on the cross.
Do you doubt his goodness? Look to the cross. He may not answer your prayer as you wish. He may not give you the comforts and pleasures that you wish. But he gives you the cross. This means that he gives his presence and protection to those who put their hope in him. Oh, that we would believe that his presence and promises are better than all the lesser desires we want fulfilled!
I’ll let C.S. Lewis sum it up:
“In awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God; you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of terrible aspect,’ is present; not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, not the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist’s love for his work and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes….It is certainly a burden of glory not only beyond our deserts but also, except in rare moments of grace, beyond our desiring.” (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 46-47)
We are discussing this and other attributes of God at community group this week. Join us Sunday at 5 at our place on Camano.