Whether your view of God is one of love, hope and purity, or that of a tyrannic puppet master that is bursting at the seams to unleash his wrath upon us, the odds are that you do, indeed, have an opinion (or pre-conceived notion) about God and His character. The odds are also likely that you may not believe exactly what I believe. I will address that later in this article!
By the end of this blog, I hope to have fully expressed why I believe whole-heartedly that the character of God is that of love, hope and purity. This will be accomplished with personal thoughts, and experiences, along with biblical scriptures in the ESV version of the Holy Bible.First things first: I may occasionally refer to God as Jesus Christ and vice-versa. I believe in the idea of the Trinity; the belief that God Himself is made up of three ‘components’: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit – making up the Trinity.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” ~ Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
As this topic can easily be taken off onto a multitude of tangents, I will do my best to keep this succinct, while still effective.
When I hear the name Jesus Christ, my attention is immediately drawn to that situation. My heart begins to beat a little faster, pound a little harder, and listen a little more intently. Why? Why do I do this? Because. It’s natural instinct for a creation to be drawn to his Creator!
Throughout my life, I’ve encountered numerous situations that have only solidified my faith in Jesus. Here are a few of them:
As a thirteen year old boy my mind was filled with what you might would expect from an average middle school boy: temporary, selfish goals and thoughts. The summer of my thirteenth year, God began to soften my heart to His presence and His plan for my life. (P.S. – He’s still in the process of doing so.) With the help of some church staff members that worked in the youth program at my home church, First Baptist Church of Denton, I made the second most important decision of my life: allowing my life to be radically changed by Jesus Christ. (the most important being accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and accepting God’s FREE gift of salvation.) Sitting here, 5 years later as an 18-year-old man who is on the brink of beginning his own life, I can assure you that that decision is the only reason I am as happy and hopeful as I am today.
The beginning of my senior year in high school I received some information that would literally shake the foundation of our school and community. I was informed that a fellow student at our school decided to take their own life due to depression. Having never been in a situation like this, I was at a loss of what to do other than be patient and trust that God would somehow fulfill His greater plan through this tragedy. My sisters and I had co-founded an on-campus bible study at school on Wednesday mornings at 7:15 three years prior to this event. Our community came together during this time of grieving to share memories of our beloved friend at a candle light gathering. At this event I was given an opportunity to share to the 200+ people there that night that we do hold an on-campus bible study at school, and that they are all welcome to join us and grow with us. Little did I know that God would take full advantage of this opportunity to show His glory to those who didn’t know it, and also teach me a few things in the process. That next Wednesday morning was incredible! Our bible study group had multiplied from 6 or 7 students to upwards of 40! Seeing God bring together 40 students voluntarily craving Him and his answers was a humbling experience.
When trouble strikes us to our knees, people don’t turn to the atheist’s for answers. They cry out to Jesus. Jesus offers hope.
Not too long ago, about 2 months ago, back in January, God decided to use a wretched sinner like me to do something incredible! Every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM the college ministry at our church has this event called Overflow, which is basically like a big bible study and lesson usually taught by our college pastor, Austin Wadlow. Every week before Overflow, we have the choir room under the stage open for people to go in and pray to God. We call it the “boiler room”. Long story short: God placed many things on my heart to do things and go places I otherwise normally wouldn’t do or go to on a typical Tuesday night. In the boiler room I cried out to God saying,
“Lord, whether I’m aware of it or not, you are constantly working in and out of my life for the better. Tonight, a random Tuesday night in January is no different. I am sitting here asking you to use me tonight to show your love to someone who needs it. Shake the foundation of someone’s life today. Amen.”
Three minutes later God did just that. In a nutshell, God decided to lead me to a local 7-Eleven gas station down the street where I encountered the cashier. It turns out that the cashier had been contemplating turning his life back to Jesus, but wasn’t sure if he wanted to, and in all honesty, didn’t know how to. God used me, and two other people that night to ensure that His child would return home to Him. It is without a doubt one of the greatest things that I have had the privilege of participating in!
These three circumstances that have taught me SO much have also revealed to me some of the traits of God’s character.
God deciding to take a hold of a thirteen-year-olds heart and mold it into one of compassion and love for others is a prime example of the His love. It wouldn’t be possible for God to mold me into a people lover if He himself didn’t possess that attribute himself.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” ~ 1 John 4:8 (ESV)
God being able to take a situation as tragic as suicide and turn it into something good speaks to God’s purity. God’s purity is what draws us, as sinning humans, to crave His presence in our lives. We need someone solid to lean on in time of need, as well as prosperity.
“but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” ~ 1 Peter 1:19 (ESV)
“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” ~ 1 Peter 2:22 (ESV)
“and everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” ~ 1 John 3:3-5(ESV)
While I appreciate those three circumstances that God has given me, there is nothing that I appreciate more than the gift that God provided you and I with two thousand and sixteen years ago when He gave us His only Son, Jesus, who was perfect, to live amongst us and eventually take on the weight of our sin, and to be killed as an ultimate sacrifice – giving us the ability to escape eternal separation from God in Hell after we die here on earth.
Just to think that the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE loves me, a sinner, enough to sacrifice His only son just for the CHANCE that I may one day come to have a relationship with him is overwhelming.
If you see God as a tyrant, I challenge you to sit down, and examine some things. Examine the Bible. Examine your life. Examine your heart. Ask God to reveal Himself to you. I can guarantee you that when we search for God with a genuine heart, we will find him.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)
In the beginning of this article I said that I would mention the fact that not all of you will believe the same way that I believe.
This is the beauty of putting your life in Jesus Christ! God gives us the free will to either choose Him or to not choose Him. God does this simply because forced love isn’t love at all. He craves for His children to want to know him – not be obligated to love Him.
If you don’t know how to place your faith in Jesus but would like to, leave a comment! I would love to help you in this life-changing process! After all, it is the single most important decision you can ever make. This decision extends beyond the bounds of life itself. This determines your eternity.
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ~ Romans 10:13 (ESV)