Having been exposed to various Christian denominations over a large part of my life, I’d heard about God. “God loves you”, I’d been told. However my experience with love had not been a largely positive experience, so those words meant little to me. I did not trust easily and no matter how much I wanted to “trust God” as others advised, I didn’t. I didn’t however have a hard time believing that my sins would condemn me. Condemnation was something I was familiar with, I trusted people, even God, to condemn me.
At a particularly low moment in my life I found myself face down across my bed half praying, half screaming at God, “I don’t understand!!” With my Bible in hand I randomly (at least I thought) opened it. There before me was this scripture… Trust the Lord with all your heart and don’t depend on your own understanding. (v.5) Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success. (v.6) Don’t depend on your own wisdom. (v.7) Respect the Lord and refuse to do wrong. Then your body will be healthy, and your bones will be strong. (v.8) ~ Proverbs 3:5-8. There was no denying that God was speaking to me, the only way he could at the time. My heart was not open to His “still small voice” so he used His written word. I did not need to understand everything that was going on in my life, I just needed to trust him, and he would take care of me, as long as I and the deeds and behaviors of my life reflected him.
This experience was the beginning of a relationship that would become the center of my heart. Over the next years I began to read books by authors who had a different view of God. God as a loving father who wanted to dote on his children, a “Dream Giver” (author: Bruce Wilkinson) who has a fabulous plan of beauty and adventure and danger and glory for those he has created. AuthorJohn Eldredge stirred my curiosity about this God. His books “Waking the Dead”, “Captivating” and “Wild at Heart”, revealed a picture of a God I hoped existed. William Paul Young gave me a picture of a God who was available, who wanted to share life with me on a very personal basis in his book “The Shack”.
I finally decided that I needed to find out which God truly existed. The big firm-faced man on the throne who easily passed judgment and condemnation, or the loving Creator who loved me personally, passionately and allowed struggles and hardship for my growth and maturity to prepare me for this great adventure he had planned for me. And the only place that I knew I could find the answer was God’s own word. I committed to read no one else’s opinion of God, until I met him myself, judged his character on my own. What I found through scripture changed my life and heart for God.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love. (v.8) He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever, (v.9) he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (v.10) For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him (v.11); as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (v.12) As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him (v.13) ~Psalm 103: 8-13
This scripture dispeled the picture of a stern, legalistic God who desires to punish and gave me a picture of a compassionate, patient, forgiving God who desires to offer grace. I also realized that I have a part in this relationship. Trusting God means believing his plans for me are far better than I could ever imagine or design for myself. Jeremiah 29:11-14 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, “declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity”. My part is to seek God with all my heart, to trust him, and to believe that his promises are true.
The greatest leap of faith for Christianity is believing that the Bible is the infallible word of God, given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Once we have determined that the Bible is the true word of God, and that God cannot lie, then believing the promises that God gives in His word is a given. I choose to believe that every word in the Bible is true, so I must believe the words that are contained within, no matter how unbelievable they seem. One scripture that helps me to maintain this position are the words of David, a man after God’s own heart: I will always put my hope in you. I will praise you more and more. (v. 14) I will tell of your goodness, all day long I will speak of your salvation, though it is more than I can understand. (v.15) I will go in the strength of the Lord God. I will proclaim your goodness, yours alone. (v. 16) ~Psalm 71:14-16
Another truth that was difficult for me to believe was, and still is to some extent, that God knows the deep desires of my hearts and wants to see them through to existence. I’m not talking about those desires that are close to the surface of our hearts, romance, big house, new car, financial prosperity, nice clothes, vacations and a successful career. These are all things that I thought would fill that void I felt in my life. But these desires are only symptoms of something deeper, the desires that go beyond the surface: the desires for love, beauty, adventure, safety and purpose. These are the desires that God wants to give us, but he knows that we have to be prepared for them, we have to be mature enough to handle them, or they will destroy our relationship with him, they will destroy us. There is only one way to attain the desires of our heart and survive it. The scriptures say: Delight (find your happiness) in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (v.4). Commit your way to the Lord; trust him and he will do this (v.5): He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (v.6) ~Psalm 37:4-6 This is the only way.
Read more inspirational bible verses at www.livewelldreambig.blogspot.com