[PC-USA] 2013-02-19 What Puts a Smile on God's Face?

Originally Published 2000-04-07

What is your idea of what God wants for us? What did you think about Him when you were growing up? In my last year of high school, I attended a rather legalistic church: No swimming on Sunday, no college for women, no card-playing even for no money, -- not even "Old Maid!" My portrait of God was that of a menacing, colossal giant hovering over me, with a scowl on his face, just waiting for me to trip up, to do something wrong. I believed He was eager to find a reason to punish me. When something made me happy, I thought it was just a matter of time until God took it away from me. Some of us think of Him as a "Santa Claus"; other hurting souls believe He has turned from them. But what does His word say?

Jeremiah 32:40-41 (NASB) I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good and I will put the fear of Me into their hearts so that they will not turn away from me. I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and all My soul.

Note the emotional word: God will "rejoice" over us to do us good. It makes God exuberantly happy to do good for us. According to Strong's Enhanced Lexicon, that good is "delightful." Our Creator wants to delight us. And He is on our side, when no one else is (or when it feels that way). He wants "good" for us. He isn't sitting up there hoping we will slip up; he is rooting for us to live joyous lives. And even when we feel totally alone, we never are. God is always there. We cannot move beyond the reach of His love.

So what should we do when we don't see God as the Bible depicts Him?

  1. First, we need to pray. Even though God knows what we are going through, He wants to hear it from us. He can help us to grasp His love for us.

  2. We need to steep ourselves in Bible passages that show God's love and how much we mean to Him.

  3. We all go through ups and downs in our faith walk. Fellowshipping with friends who are in stronger faith stages can be very helpful. Sometimes we literally need to cling to their faith, until ours is stronger.

  4. Read literature that increases our awareness of what God wants to do for us.

Dear Father, please help us to better grasp Your love for us and Your desire to do us good, and help us to live lives of grateful service. In Jesus' name amen.