In times of prosperity, we tend to leave God standing on the doorstep of our homes, nations, and churches. We assume the credit for all our gains, and we hug the glory for our achievements. Like king Nebuchadnezzar, we strut on the walls of our achievements and boast, “Is this not the great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Dan.4:30). We forget that it is his breath that is in our lungs, and that in him we live and move and have our being, and that it is he who gives us power to get wealth (Deut.8:18).
But then tragedy strikes. A death in the family, the loss of a job, a tsunami, an earthquake, and suddenly we all find God, not to say sorry, but to clench our fists at heaven, and blame him for all the bad stuff. When things are good, we disavow his existence, or else deem his presence irrelevant, but when things turn sour, atheists bring him to court to answer for acts of maliciousness. We are weird creatures, full of contradictions.
I fear that as the corona virus pandemic continues to add to its death tally, resentment of God will increase, and it is to reverse this possibility that I write this blog. I hope to convince you that God is not against us, but for us, and that he is and forever will be loving towards us, regardless of our responses to his offer of love.
The embodiment of that love is Jesus. This man was the eternal Son, the second person of the Godhead, the Logos of God. When Adam fell due to disobedience and took creation with him, this glorious Being decided that he will offer himself as a ransom for us. To this end he had to surrender his rights, and glory, for that of a common man. And why did he do it? Was he under some moral or legal obligation to save us? The inspired writ revealed the heart of God. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn.3:16).
It was love. But here is the thing. God is love (1Jn.4:8). It is not what he becomes at times, but who he is, his nature. And because he is perfect, he must be unchanging and unchangeable in both his nature and perfections, including love. What it boils down to is that he cannot be anything but love perfected. Thus, the apostle reasons that “he who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1Jn.4:8).
But here is something else to think about. Love can only be expressed in relationship. This means there must be someone to love. Love must have an object, a lover. It must also have a subject, the beloved. But if God is eternal, how did God find expression for his love? The answer is the holy trinity. This is how the love of God was expressed in eternity. And this explains why a self-existent God must consist of more than one individual. It vouchsafes the doctrine of the trinity.
With its failures and sins, the church may have misrepresented God to the world. But he is not like us. We are striving to be like him, and it seems like we are on our faces more than on our feet. But let not our shortcomings cause you to become disillusioned with him. He is love. He loves you. And he wants your love.