Betrayal By A Loved One

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When someone betrays us, we can choose to become bitter, or better.

It was a dark, foreboding night.

Jesus and his disciples were spending their last few moments together in fellowship during supper in an upper room. Before their meal ended, Jesus made a sudden, alarming announcement that someone, one of His own disciples, would betray Him. An instant panic ensued as the disciples one by one began to repeatedly ask, “Lord, is it I?” However, there was one man at the table who remained silent after Jesus’ announcement, waiting impatiently for the awkward conversation to end. Then Jesus calmed the anxious questioning by declaring, “‘He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.’ And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” (John 13:26)

Now when Jesus handed the dipped piece of bread to Judas, many Bible scholars believe that He was symbolically offering Judas one last chance at redemption before he committed his horrible treachery. However, in spite of the Lord’s mercy, Judas had already made up his mind and his heart, and prepared himself to leave the room, separating himself from his Lord and fellow disciples. “And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” (John 13:27)

After leaving the last supper with Jesus, Judas Iscariot made his way to the Jewish temple, where the Sanhedrin of Pharisees awaited him. Without any hesitation due to being possessed by the Devil, Judas, a former disciple and follower of Jesus, betrayed his Lord to his worst earthly enemies for thirty pieces of silver. The same man who had heard all of Jesus’ teachings, seen all of His miracles, and witnessed His divine identity up close was also the man who disregarded the privilege of knowing the Lord for material riches. Judas even went so far as to betray Jesus with a kiss right before He was captured, revealing himself to be the two-faced snake he really was.

Why did the Lord allow Judas to betray Him, when He knew it would lead to His death?

While it doesn’t make any sense from a human perspective for Jesus to let Judas leave the room to betray Him, it made perfect sense inside of His own mind and heart because of His Father’s will. The whole reason Jesus came to earth was so He could die for our sins, paying the penalty for our own wickedness. Even though Jesus was all too aware of the terrible torment ahead of Him,  He knew that Judas’ betrayal of Him would serve the important purpose of fulfilling God’s will. It must have broken Jesus’ heart to watch one of His own former disciples walk out that door, with no intention of repenting from his evil plan. Judas had no idea how much his Lord loved him in spite of his depraved heart, choosing to follow through with his scheme after refusing His offer of mercy to him. However, this changed nothing about how much Jesus loved Judas’ soul.

How could Jesus love Judas after what he did to Him?

The fact of Christ’s love for Judas should hardly surprise us, since Judas’ soul was just as valuable to God as anyone else’s. God’s love is so great and incomprehensible, that it surpasses all of our corrupt nature in a sweeping, unconditional tide. Unconditional love is defined by loving a person no matter what, even if he chooses not to return it or appreciate it in his free will. Even when Judas’ loyalty changed, God’s love for him never did. In fact, it is because of Jesus’ love for Judas that He allowed him to betray Him. God would not be loving to Judas if He didn’t allow him to have a freedom of will. Also, Jesus knew that by letting Judas leave that room, it would ultimately lead to His death on the cross, resulting in an opportunity for Judas to receive salvation if he chose it. Because Jesus loved Judas’ soul, He willingly let him leave to go do his damage, so he could eventually partake of eternal life after repentance. Although Jesus provided a way for Judas’ redemption, He could not force Judas to follow that path against his will.

Was Jesus’ love for Judas in vain?

Sadly, the Bible tells us that after the death of Christ, Judas finally realized the fatal mistake he had made, and tried to run back to the Pharisees to return his thirty pieces of silver. “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, ‘I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? see thou to that.‘ And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5) How tragic it is that Judas repented too late! Instead of waiting for the consequences of his actions, he could have easily accepted Jesus’ offer of mercy, and end his plot to betray Him. Rather, Judas chose to sentence his Savior to death because of his own selfishness, forsaking the loving, outstretched hand of divine fellowship that could have been his. If only Judas had waited long enough to experience the Lord’s resurrection, he could have received forgiveness and mercy without limits! Yet he chose not to forgive himself, and ended his life because of his guilt and anguish.

The most heartbreaking part of this story is the aftermath of Judas’ foolish decision. When he saw what he had done, the Pharisees couldn’t care less about his guilty conscience, as they were satisfied with finally capturing Jesus and sentencing Him to death. They basically told Judas, “That’s not our problem; get out of here.” It must have felt horrible for Judas when he realized that he had been used by both the Pharisees and the Devil. He was left without a purpose, and without a master, except for himself. Feeling that he had nowhere else to turn to, it must have been the only natural option in Judas’ mind to kill himself. He had made his life devoid of meaning by choosing to serve himself instead of his Lord. When he saw that his thirty pieces of silver were hollow and worthless after what he had done, he must have viewed those coins as a reflection of his own life.

Seeing that Judas learned his lesson too late, it might be easy to assume that Jesus loved him in vain. However, that idea is the farthest thing from the truth. Just because Judas failed to appreciate the value of Jesus’ love for him, it does not make Christ’s compassion worth any less. God has to deal with billions of sinners rejecting Him and His love every single day, but that does not change the reality of His love for them, nor the value of it. Jesus did not die on the cross in vain just because multitudes of people choose not to accept Him. Instead, Christ’s death was worthwhile because it provides eternal security for those who believe, in spite of all the ones who do not. More importantly, Jesus’ love for Judas was not in vain because it was always there for him to accept if he chose to ask for redemption. Just the fact that God’s love was available for receiving to begin with proves that it was not in vain, as Judas could have enjoyed it in his free will if he wanted to.

Who else is guilty of betraying Jesus?

The most despicable part of Judas’ story is how he betrayed the love of Christ. In reality, we all are like Judas in the fact that we are all sinners. It was our wicked hearts that put Jesus on that cross. Because He loved us, Christ was willing to endure pain and suffering for our sake. All of this occurred because God’s very first human creations, Adam and Eve, chose to betray His love by disobeying Him out of discontentment. And Judas wasn’t the only disciple who betrayed Jesus. While he didn’t betray Him directly, Peter was guilty of betrayal by denying Jesus three times in a row. Afraid of being punished by the Jews, Peter pretended that he never knew Christ, his own Lord and Master. Before Peter’s denial of Christ, all the other remaining disciples had abandoned Jesus after His capture, fearing that they might be taken next.

The most sobering thought of all is how God’s own creations, the Jews and the Romans, betrayed Jesus by sentencing Him to death. They chose to release a convicted murderer named Barrabas over a holy, perfect Man Who had never done anything wrong in His whole life. While Jesus hung suffering on the cross, He had to endure the taunts and jeers of the crowds of people watching Him die, knowing that just a week before they had been praising and worshiping Him. Every voice that mocked Him and scorned Him belonged to a soul that His Father knew intimately, the very reason and cause for His death. In the darkest moment of history, the Almighty Creator had to look down in agony as He watched His only Son being disrespected and betrayed by His very own creations.

Betrayal can happen to anyone, sometimes from the very people we trust most.

I too have experienced betrayal on more than one occasion. While many times I experienced it at school growing up, the one I will never forget came from the one particular Judas in my life. I thought that he was on my side for the longest time, until he showed his true colors to me during an already difficult time I was dealing with. In spite of the deep hurt he caused me, I offered him mercy and forgiveness several times, thinking that would be enough to change his heart. Unfortunately, he only threw it right back in my face each time, making me regret that I had ever trusted him in the first place. By the third time, I knew ahead of time that he was going to betray me again, and I let him do it out of respect for his free will. I was angry and bitter for a very long time, wanting revenge as it was clear that he showed no remorse or any signs of repentance. However, I asked God to forgive me, and to give me the strength to finally forgive him, even though he never asked for it. I realized that I was required to show the same mercy and forgiveness to him that God showed to me unconditionally, regardless of whether or not it would ever be recognized or appreciated. I never felt true peace in my heart until I let go of my anger and accepted that God would deal with my Judas in His time, holding him accountable for his actions in either this life or the next. All that really mattered was that I was right with God in my heart, even if he wasn’t right with God in his. However, even though it has been many years since my betrayal, I still haven’t forgotten the hurt it caused me, and I probably never will. I believe that the greatest hurt that anyone can ever experience comes from being betrayed by someone you once trusted with all your heart. Yet I am thankful to God for allowing me to experience something that constantly reminds me of my constant need for Him.

How do we respond to the Judas in our lives?

If you have been alive for a significant time on this earth, chances are you’ve gone through the awful experience of someone betraying you. The worst part about betrayal is the realization that someone whom you believed was your friend has revealed himself to be your enemy. When this happens, we are presented with a choice – to become bitter, or better. The natural, human tendency is to become bitter, harboring anger and hatred long after the time and culprit of the betrayal has disappeared. However, the unnatural, spiritual tendency is to become better, by choosing forgiveness and mercy regardless of our traitor’s actions or lack of repentance. Perhaps you have encountered more than one Judas in your life. I know I have. Maybe there is one Judas in your life who stands out as the worst offender from all the rest. No matter what our personal situation is, we are expected to respond as Christ would, without giving place to wrath and a desire for revenge.

 

As God Himself knows what betrayal feels like, His Words best describe how we should respond to such a situation:

 

Luke 22:48 ~ “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

Romans 12:19 ~ “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Psalm 41:9 ~ “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

Psalm 55:12-23 ~ “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God. He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. 

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.”

Proverbs 20:22 ~ “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.”

Isaiah 53:4-6 ~ “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Colossians 3:13 ~ “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Matthew 6:14-15 ~ “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 ~ “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

 

Will you choose to become bitter, or better?

No matter what the circumstances of your betrayal are, I hope that you can find the courage to rise above them in Christ. You must realize that He is in control of ALL things, and His purpose will prevail in your life no matter what man does to you. No matter what evil has happened to you, God can turn it around and use it for good, if you allow Him to take away your pain and anger. Once you release yourself from negative feelings of bitterness, you will be free to experience God’s power in your life more openly. God can use your circumstances to grow you spiritually into a better person, a mature soul who reflects His wisdom in all aspects of life. Satan wants to defeat you by keeping you a prisoner to bitterness, but Jesus can help set you free through His keys of forgiveness. Only through God’s help can you gain the victory over bitterness from betrayal. But you alone must decide how you will respond – will you give in to Satan’s wishes by locking yourself behind bars of bitterness? Or will you give yourself over to God’s power by following Jesus’ example of forgiveness? The second option is the only way to feel better.

– Gloria D. Hopkins

 

 

 

How Is Your Vision?

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The hymn “Be Thou My Vision” has deeper meaning than you think.

Saint Patrick’s Day is not about getting drunk.

Thousands of years ago, Ireland was a wild land filled with fierce, tribal people known as the ancient Celts. Much like the other early peoples of Europe, the Celts were devout pagans, animists who worshiped nature along with thousands of false gods and goddesses. Ruled by spiritual leaders who were fascinated with the occult, known as the Druids, the pagan Celts of Ireland were in bondage to sin and dark superstition. In a complicated series of events that can only be interpreted as God’s providence, the Irish Celts were finally reached by the truth of the gospel, thanks to the bravery and faithfulness of a young man named Maewyn Succat, whose name was changed to Patrick by an Irish chieftain he served. Patrick was a Britonic Celt from what is now modern-day England. He survived being kidnapped by Irish pirates, who sold him into slavery for six long years.

During his time in Ireland, Patrick realized his need for God’s salvation, and asked the Lord to come into his heart and save him. Being kidnapped and forced into slavery in a foreign land had greatly humbled Patrick, who was formerly rebellious against his Christian parents in Britain. It is said that Patrick used to pray one hundred times a day, acknowledging his constant need for God while he fulfilled his daily tasks. He eventually managed to escape Ireland, returning home to safety. However, Patrick was plagued by his memories of the pagan Irish people, burdened by their desperate need for a Savior. Following God’s call, Patrick chose to return to Ireland, determined to release his former captors from the slavery of sin. Amazingly, Patrick’s message of God’s truth was well received, and quickly spread throughout all the land of Ireland.

However, the Irish people’s memory of paganism persisted for centuries to come.

The Celtic people of Ireland willingly converted to Christianity, in spite of stubborn opposition from the pagan druid priests and chieftains. However, since people are naturally slow to embrace change, the Irish people transferred many elements of their pagan beliefs to fit into a Christian context. For example, many of their favorite gods and goddesses were transformed into saints with the same names. This practice of Christianizing ancient pagan beliefs continued for many centuries, so that superstition prevailed under the guise of spirituality. Even though the Catholic church claimed Patrick as one of its followers, the truth is Patrick would have wanted nothing to do with it whatsoever. He would have recognized the subtle blend of pagan practices with Christian culture, shaking his head at how cleverly deceitful its doctrine was to the Irish people. Patrick would weep if he were alive today to behold how the Catholic church has falsely associated itself with his legacy.

No matter how deeply paganism pervaded the Celtic conscience, exposure to God’s truth could not escape the Irish people’s hearts.

A well-known hymn, called “Be Thou My Vision,” contains a very old Irish melody, paired with distinctly Christian words. While it is beloved by many people, not many are aware of the hidden Celtic symbolism in its lyrics. First of all, the phrase “Be Thou my vision” is significant to Celtic culture because the ancient pagan Celts believed that certain people were gifted with the ability to see into the future, beholding mystical visions of the unknown. Within the context of the hymn, this belief holds a direct parallel to a Christian trusting in God with his future, and seeking His will for his life. Rather than seeking out guidance from superstition as they did in ancient times, the Irish learned to seek out God as the main Authority in their lives. Second, the phrase “High King of Heaven” is significant to Celtic culture because of the system of government in ancient Ireland. The land was once greatly divided into several tribes and petty kingdoms, who were constantly warring with each other over trivial matters such as stolen cattle. However, there was one man appointed to be the High king, who had the rightful rule over all the other kingdoms and tribes of Ireland. His power was superior over everyone else without question. Within the context of the hymn, this historical fact holds a direct parallel to God being superior to all other false gods, Celtic pagan deities included. By calling God the High King of Heaven, the Irish people are acknowledging His sovereignty over their lives, and also His true, absolute power over all other lesser, imaginary deities. These words in the hymn form a beautiful, poetic meaning once they are connected to the personal spiritual testimony of the Irish.

 

God’s own Words reflect the truth of “Be Thou My Vision” the best:

 

Psalm 97:9 ~ “For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.

Psalm 95:3 ~ “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”

Psalm 37:4 ~ “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalm 17:7 ~ “For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

Psalm 5:3 ~ “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Matthew 6:33 ~ “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

1 Corinthians 8:6 ~ “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

1 Corinthians 15:57 ~ “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:1 ~ “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Galatians 4:3 ~ “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

Exodus 20:3 ~ “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

What can we learn from the testimony of the Irish people?

The story of the Irish people’s salvation is truly inspirational, proving that God can work miracles in people’s hearts in spite of all opposing circumstances. However, we can also learn from some of the lessons they experienced the hard way, such as falling back into superstition under a different name and form. How can we guard ourselves from falling prey to the same old sins over and over? The answer is simple – we must make God our one and only Vision. When He takes His rightful place as High King of our hearts and their desires, we will be able to see His will clearly without confusion. When we make God our first thought each and every day, we will be less likely to fail Him and more likely to please Him, seeking to honor His Name through all that we do, think, and say. If we give our Heavenly Father the respect He deserves by acting like His adopted children as we should, we will make Him very happy indeed. So how is your vision today? Are you seeking God first, relying on Him for your future to be revealed to you day by day? Are you acknowledging Him as the High King of your heart and all its desires? I hope so.

– Gloria D. Hopkins

 

 

Five Ways We Misunderstand God

Heaven
We must comprehend our Creator to fully enjoy His love.

God’s love for us is an everlasting privilege.

Our compassionate King has promised and proven His love for mankind all throughout His Word. It is a special treasure that is granted to us by His grace, but sadly is often taken for granted, whether it happens intentionally or not. God’s love is free to be experienced by everyone, but the extent that each person experiences Him depends on much he wants to know Him. Now, God and all His ways will remain a vast mystery to man until He chooses to fully reveal His glory in Heaven; but He also desires us to seek Him out of an earnest heart. While we must respect the fact that God has chosen to keep certain things a sacred secret from us, there are many wonderful aspects about God’s nature that He wants us to discover for ourselves.

First, it is important to understand that God is a Spirit and a Person, which means He has real feelings and emotions like we do. Every element of the human soul is directly modeled after God Himself, Who made man in His divine image. With that said, we must acknowledge God’s existence as a personal Being Who is more than capable of giving and receiving communication. While we realize that God is infinitely more powerful than we are, we must not forget that He wants to connect with us on an intimate, personal level. In order to achieve this level of emotional intimacy with God, we must understand Him and the nature of His heart to the best of our earthly ability.

 

Let’s take a look at five different ways we commonly misunderstand God:

 

1. We assume that He’s too busy for our problems.

This is one common misconception about God that we have all thought at one point in our lives. We think to ourselves, “God’s so busy taking care of everything going on around the world; surely He doesn’t have time to hear about my little problems today.” This might sound like overly simple reasoning, but God is GOD. He is omnipotent and omnipresent! He is infinite, and lives outside the bounds of time! It is rather foolish to think that the all-powerful Creator doesn’t have any time for us and our problems, when He took the time to give us life and a purpose.

While God has a much higher perspective than we do about our problems, that doesn’t mean He has no patience to hear about them. In fact, He WANTS us to unload ALL of our cares upon Him, because He cares about us! Surely the One Who made the human heart understands when it is carrying too much to handle. God wants us to realize that no matter how small an issue might seem to us, it’s not too small for Him to consider and provide an answer for. Because God is everywhere at the same time, that means He is always there for everyone to call on whenever they need Him. Isn’t that a wonderful, comforting thought?

2. We assume that He is impatient when we fail Him.

Here is another way we commonly misunderstand God. Every time we fail Him by sinning, whether it’s one time or repeatedly, we think that God is done with us and has no hope left in us. We tell ourselves, “Why would God ever have any use for me, when I’ll never be perfect like He is? He probably thinks I’m a lousy servant.” While it is true that we can never be perfect like God until we get to Heaven, our tendency to sin constantly doesn’t mean that God can’t use or doesn’t want to use us! God is so powerful that He is able to use us in spite of our sin! Our sin nature keeps us dependent on His mercy and grace, and reminds us that without Him we can do nothing.

Even though God desires us to repent from our chronic sins, He does not lose faith in our potential to serve Him. He is our Creator, and He knows exactly why and how He plans to use us. Sometimes the very weaknesses we have that cause us to sin can be turned around to form a specific strength to fulfill God’s purpose for us. Besides, God knows that we are frail, fallible human beings; it doesn’t surprise Him when we mess up every now and then. However, He wants to assure us that through Him, we can achieve victory in any areas, including our recurring sins. Far from impatient, God is always extremely compassionate.

3. We assume that He can’t see things the way we do.

Many people accuse God of being insensitive to their circumstances, passing judgment on His character based on the limited details they see in front of them. Even Christians do this sometimes, thinking that God has isolated Himself up in Heaven away from humanity and is oblivious to the reality of earthly suffering. However, just because God has a higher plane of perception doesn’t mean He is ignorant of how we feel. It is not only unfair, but blasphemous when we blame God by calling Him uncaring, when He has provided eternal salvation for all mankind. On the day that man sinned for the first time, God gave him His plan for redemption through His Son Jesus.

God is always with us every day, completely aware of everything we experience. He knows what we’re thinking and how we’ll emotionally respond to things happening around us. As our constant Companion, God understands our feelings completely, and knows why and how things affect us. Just because God sees the whole picture when we can’t doesn’t mean He is insensitive to how we see it. He wants to show us what steps we need to take in order to get to the next chapter. He wants us to experience His power to work miracles in our lives by bringing our emotions full circle to realizing His will. God not only sees things from our view, but also His at the same time, so He can guide us in the right direction.

4. We assume that He is never satisfied.

Many people fall into the trap of thinking they’ll never be enough for God, and plunge themselves into a vicious cycle of good works. Even though the Bible states that faith without works is dead, God doesn’t just want us because of what we can do for Him. In fact, the very best that we can do is like filthy rags in His eyes. God’s holiness is so unattainable, so incomparable, that it’s impossible to do anything that will meet His level of achievement in our own strength. However, God is satisfied with us because of the shed blood of His Son on the cross over 2,000 years ago. What God wants from us is to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind; if we love Him completely, our actions will be more likely to please Him as well.

God sent His Son to earth as a grand gesture of His love for mankind, proving that God’s grace alone is capable of redeeming him and making him righteous. Does that mean we should just sit back and take it easy after receiving salvation? Of course not! We should always be working hard to further God’s kingdom of reclaimed souls while we have time before eternity begins. It just means that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God is happy to embrace us as His children, no matter how imperfect we are. All He wants is our hearts’ devotion, and through Christ alone, we are good enough for Him.

5. We assume that He isn’t hurt when we ignore Him.

It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that our lives don’t make a difference, and that God is not bothered at all when we forget our responsibility in our relationship with Him. We think to ourselves, “Oh well, I don’t feel like spending time with God today. It won’t really matter how long I stray away from Him; He’ll still be there for me tomorrow.” What a sad error it is to think this way! Just because God has thousands of angels praising Him every day doesn’t mean He doesn’t miss our presence when we stray away from Him. God gave everything He had for us when He gave us His Son Jesus to prove His love for us! He wanted our lost souls back in communion with Him so much, that sent a Part of Himself to minister unto us! How ignorant we are when we take Him for granted by forgetting to spend time with Him! It’s telling ourselves a horrible lie, that we don’t need Him.

Just as we desire to be acknowledged and respected as a person by other humans, God desires the same thing from us, but in the context of Creator and creations, Savior and souls, or Father and children. We owe Him our acknowledgment and respect as the very least thing we can give back to Him, to repay all that He’s done for us. If God made us as special, unique individuals, He desires us to talk to Him in our own special, unique way. The fact that He is infinite God doesn’t change the fact that we matter to Him. Showing our love to God by opening our hearts to Him is exactly what He wants, to share a real, loving, connected relationship with us. God has feelings too, and we deeply hurt Him when we treat Him as an impersonal, nonexistent force.

Here are God’s own Words to help us understand Him better:

1 Peter 5:7 ~ “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

Isaiah 57:15 ~ “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

John 4:24 ~ “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jeremiah 23:23-24 ~ “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”

Acts 17:27-28 ~ “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

John 15:5 ~ “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Psalm 103:14 ~ “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Exodus 34:6 ~ “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Hebrews 4:15 ~ “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Psalm 103:8 ~ “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Titus 3:5 ~ “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 2:32 ~ “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

Isaiah 51:12-13 ~ “I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

Deuteronomy 8:10-14 ~ “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;”

It’s time to re-evaluate how well we understand God.

I hope that this post has been an encouragement to help you see the heart of God more clearly. He wants nothing more than a real relationship with you filled with mutual understanding! The more you understand Who God really is and all His ways, you’ll find it easier to trust Him in all of life’s circumstances. Most of all, the more intimately you get to know God, the more you’ll be able to enjoy His love wrapped around you! No amount of hugs from humans can compare to the wonderful feeling of being hugged by God’s love! When you invite God to work freely in your life, you’ll open yourself up to a whole world of possibilities provided by Him. Because the privilege of God’s love is eternal, you’ll discover new things about Him day after day, forever and ever! A relationship with God never runs out of adventure and excitement! So instead of complaining that God doesn’t understand you, try understanding God more accurately, and you will surely be rewarded.

– Gloria D. Hopkins