Pastor Ian shares the third part of this series ‘Finding Purpose In Pain’.
God is Good and God is love but before we go on, it is important that we establish two unchangeable truths in our hearts.
Whatever it is you are going through no matter how intense the pain, you must never forget two truths. First God is Good; second God is love.
…let us love one another, for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because GOD IS LOVE. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:7-10
If God is loving why is there a hell? Well God’s definition of love is that He gives us enough freedom so that we can choose Him willingly.
Us choosing to have relationship with God by accepting Christ Jesus, is what the relationship is built on.
We are not forced into a relationship with Him. Instead God is loving because He invites us to be in a meaningful, real relationship with Him, that’s the real test of authentic love.
It is wrong to base our idea of God’s love on whether or not He will ‘let us off’ or give us a free pass, even if we are not in relationship with Him.
God however, wants to show us that our love relationship with Him, is something that He is completely sold out to and is not willing to compromise over.
These truths are so simple, so obvious that we almost get offended when they are presented to us in the midst of our pain.
These two truths are the great themes that run through the entire Bible from beginning to end. But they remain just written words on a page, until we apply them to the reality of our own situation and circumstance.
God says: ‘I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.’ Message paraphrase.
We tend to define ‘good’ as whatever is comfortable to the flesh; and evil as whatever brings pain and discomfort to the flesh.
Yet sometimes, something is uncomfortable to your flesh but is actually good for you. So our definition of good and evil does not always line up with God’s.
Secondly, We usually define good in the context of the present what’s happening ‘now’. God however, defines good in the context of the end.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord thoughts of peace and nor evil to give you a future and a hope.’Jeremiah 29:11
The KJV says: ‘to give you an expected end.’ God’s good disposition toward us is focussed not on the immediate but on the ultimate.
‘The end of a thing is better than its beginning.’ Ecclesiastes 7:8
When you’re going through pain and you don’t understand it, remember that God is infinitely more good, than you realise and that He loves you with a never ending love.
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28