Do not fear God's wrath
Twice recently, I've been asked questions that begin with, "Well don't you think God will be angry at me if I..." I tell you, our God, though capable of great wrath, is not someone to be feared.
When you read the Old Testament, you may think that God is still capable of displaying that kind of wrath today. When one of your friends do something terrible and then something bad happens to them, you might think that they are receiving some sort of punishment. You may think that they are just simply getting what they deserve. Let me ask you this: if the people in the Old Testament received much worse punishment than what you think your friends did, then does that mean that the people in the Old Testament were that much more evil?
The people in the Old Testament were not more evil than us. They fell short of God's perfect holiness just like we all do. They did receive God's wrath for their sins, but we do not. You may think that the bad things that are happening are a punshiment from God, but they are not. They are just the fall of mankind. Because mankind is not purely good on their own, and because mankind is not perfect, the earth is not going to be perfect and good yet either.
The bad things that happen really are just a part of life here on earth. People are right when they tell you it's just part of life. God promises His Children that He will turn those bad things around and make them come together for good. For *your* good. God can take any bad situation, *anything*, and make it into something truly wonderful. And God promises to do that for those that know they belong to Him and who trust Him to do so. (Romans 8:28)
Trust me, God is not the one that is putting those bad things in your life. Your enemy is not God. Your enemy is satan. I was going to say that if you want to be angry at someone for the terrible things that have happened to you, then be angry with Satan. But then I realized there is no reason to be angry at all, because God can make your bad situation turn into good. And then the problem is not there for you to be angry about.
The truth is, the reason why we don't receive punishment from God like the people in the Old Testament did, is because Jesus' sacrifice on the cross changed everything. Remember what Jesus said on the cross? He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34) Do you think Jesus was only talking about forgiveness for the people that were crucifying Him? Is it possible that all of our sins--great or small--past, present, or future--are all sins that crucify Christ? (Hebrews 6:6)
So long as we are on this earth, us human beings are always going to sin. We are always going to suffer the consequences of our own sins and of other people's sins, unless we are protected by God. So you see what I'm saying right? God no longer causes bad things to happen to you. Now God protects you from bad things and turns them around for good, if you simply believe that He will.
Jesus is the only one that was able to come to earth and live a perfect, sinless life, pleasing to God. He is the only one that did not deserve any punishment at all. But yet He did receive the punishment. For whose sins? For all our sins. For all of our past, present and future sins. They were all punished on the cross. God will not punish for the same sin twice. He is a just God.
Jesus is the only one that can reverse the curse that fell on mankind when Adam sinned. Remember those curses? Having to work by the sweat of your brow, giving childbirth in pain, sickness and disease, and even death. Jesus has reversed the curse for those who are in Him! For those who are in Jesus, work comes easy for them. They are able to work without stress. The earth brings forth much fruit easily for those who put their trust in Him. Thanks to Jesus (and the doctors who have been given by Jesus the wisdom to administer powerful medicines!), women do not have to suffer childbirth in pain. Jesus is healing, so when we come to Him we are no longer suffering sickness and disease. And God has promised us Life! An eternal life in a new body and in a new place that is so much better than the one that we are in now. We may think that our Christian friends die when their bodies are placed in the ground, but they are actually getting an upgrade. They are being upgraded to the best kind of life there is!
And the other curse is the curse of condemnation and guilt. And that is the first curse that Jesus has set us free from. When Jesus set us free from that, He freed us from all other bad things in life. It has been proved that guilt causes fear (of punishment) and that causes anxiety and stress and that causes sickness and disease and poverty. See how Jesus removed all bad things by simply removing the one foundational thing that was the cause of it all in the first place?
I would like to quote for you some of the words to the song "Jesus Messiah" by Chris Tomlin:
He became sin who knew no sin
That we might become His righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross
Love so amazing
Yes, Jesus' love really is *so* amazing! When He took on all our sins, we took on His righteousness. Is your dream to be as much loved and favored by God as His own son? Great news! You have that in Christ Jesus. He is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30) and as long as He is in you, you are righteous before God. You have no reason to expect anything except wonderful blessings from God the Father! When you come to Him, He will lavish you with many wonderful gifts and show you the most amazing love you have ever known. It is the unconditional love you have been looking for, for so long.
And all you have to do, is be God's. You don't even have to try to be good. Just be God's, and He will make you good. You don't have to try to love Him or try to impress Him. Just rest in the knowledge that He loves you abundantly, and he is already knocked out about you! No matter what you do, God loves you. The only way you can ever disappoint God now is if you reject the gift of righteousness that He is giving to you through His Son.
Even if you deny knowing Jesus, but still trust Him to save you, you are still as much loved by Him as Peter the apostle. And Peter was as much loved by God the Father as Jesus, for we all are who put our trust in Him.
Do not ever again be worried about whether or not you are pleasing to God. Do not worry about whether or not you love Him enough. Do not worry about whether or not you serve Him enough, or read His Word enough, or even talk to Him enough. Don't be focused on what you do or don't do. Forget yourself. Think about the Lord, and His love for you, which is always constant. It never changes. It is not influenced by circumstances. It truly is an unconditional love, not dependent on what you do for Him. It's not even dependent on how you feel about Him.
Believe that God loves you. Expect His blessings, and you will receive them. As Pastor Prince reminds us, good things happen to those who know that God loves them. :)
"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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Current Mood: loved