God Defined – Part II

VII.  God is Father

Father – One who has begotten a child, one that originates or institutes.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

For some of us, this truth brings God to light in a wonderful way, and we grasp a bit more of His love for us.

For others of us, “Father” does not denote a good thing. It is the antithesis of all that is good.  Some of us did not have a father in our lives, have had a terrible earthly father, or at the very least, a poor example of what a father should be. We must cry out to God and ask Him to reveal Himself as our (Abba) Daddy God.  God is a good and perfect Father, and He will “re-parent” us, if we allow Him to.

Still others of us would rather have a heavenly grandfather, who spoils us with everything we desire and never corrects us.  Sometimes, the idea of “father” is too harsh or controlling.

We can conjure up what we think a father should be like in our own minds, but this often is based on our wants, and what we think a father should be, instead of trusting God’s knowledge and wisdom to show us what a wise and loving Father truly is. Thankfully, when we are at a loss with the whole “father” thing, we have the Holy Spirit’s help in this.

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  Galatians 6:4

VIII.  God is good

Good – of a favorable character or tendency, that can be relied on, deserving of respect : honorable, virtuous, right, commendable.

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  Mark 10:18

You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. Psalm 40:5

The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.  Psalm 145:9

It is interesting to look this up in the original Hebrew. While the extended definition means  “pleasant and agreeable” the short definition is “beautiful”. God is beautiful and what He does is beautiful.  In the original Greek it means, “intrinsically good”. God cannot do evil or “bad.”

Man does evil and bad things. God does not.  And when man does these things, and when a fallen world causes these things, God turns them into good.  He redeems all things!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

…The LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity.  2 Samuel 4:9b

We see this firsthand in the story of Joseph, when he speaks to his brothers, who committed the evil act of selling him into slavery:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.  Genesis 50:20

IX.  God is love

Love – a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another, a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  I John 4:16

This is not human love. This is divine, holy, sovereign love. Perfected love. God just doesn’t love. God is love. He personifies it. He is why love exists.

It is this love that understands a parent’s love. God himself has a child – a one and only child – Jesus.  For God to desire fellowship with His creation enough that He was willing to send His Son to suffer at the hands of evil men, to be the payment for our wrong-doing, and to die the torturous death of the cross.  God not only loved us enough to forgive us, but He loved us enough to give us everything!

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

Nothing will ever separate us from that love, not even the hardships and losses of this life.  Even our own doubts, questions, fears, or other emotions cannot change His love for us.  We are forever in His heart.  We can do nothing to make Him love us more, and we can do nothing to make Him love us less.  We are loved with an everlasting love.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

X.  God is Redeemer

Redeemer – A person who redeems someone or something; Christ.

To Redeem

1. To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum.

2. To pay off.

3. To turn in and receive something in exchange.

4. To fulfill.

5. To set free; rescue or ransom.

6. To save from a state of sinfulness and its consequences.

7. To make up for.

8. To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of.

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life. Psalm 72:13-14a

 Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.  Psalm 103:4

He “brings back.” He restores. He creates beauty from ashes. Nothing is unredeemed in our lives when we are a child of God. Nothing.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.  Isaiah 61:3 (KJV)

XI. This God Has Not Changed

Unchanging – It is the conforming to the same principles or course of action over time, in agreement with, consistent, or reliable.

This last characteristic, which we will mention, is the one that we often struggle with the most, especially when we have been hit by circumstances that steal our breath away and shatter our hearts.

But we must step back and consider truth, once again. It is the very fact that He is holy that makes Him loving. It is the very fact that He is above us that makes Him trustworthy. However, this belief that He is loving and trustworthy is shaken to the core when tragedy occurs. “Why did He do this to me? Why didn’t He stop it?” is the cry our human heart screams out.

Here it is: this crisis that we need to take up when our hearts cry otherwise. We choose to embrace the truth – a very deliberate choice, even as our emotions scream otherwise – that God is good. He is a loving Father. And He is a holy, trustworthy Redeemer.

He is a loving Father who sees more of the story than we are able to see; A sovereign judge, who takes the tragedy resulting from a broken, sinful world and redeems it for His purpose, for His glory; A loving Father, who will also give us unspeakable beauty in eternity springing from our sorrow on this earth.

This is where we choose to believe there is more. Where we hold on to the Biblical hope that this is not all there is. There is eternity with a holy and loving God. There is an eternal purpose in all things, and God’s plan is full of redemption – all things work out for our good and His glory.

What causes grief, nearly beyond our ability to cope, will one day cause us to fall to our knees in awe and wonder. As we gaze on His face, behold his holy glory, his loving sovereignty, his redeeming purpose, we will be filled with astonishment at how beautiful this—this heartbreak here—is, in light of Him and in light of His eternal purposes.

God has not changed, Dear Friend.

The God of love and goodness – The same One in whom you believed yesterday, when life was perfect is the same God of today, in the barrenness and loss.  The God we praised and celebrated, when everything was going as you dreamed is still the same God, when those dreams shattered.

He was not surprised. He was not shattered. He is steady and constant, knowing the days as written before time, (Psalm 139) knowing for what eternal purpose they will serve.

While our emotions and thoughts about God may shift with our circumstances, He does not waver.

 He is the Constant in the chaos,

The Purpose in the pain,

The Love in the loss,

The Goodness in the grief,

The Truth in the tragedy.

Original material by Melissa J Carswell, MA, BCCC. Holly M Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2012. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp016p12-7-12

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