God is For Us, Even When We’re Not for Him
Jun 12, 2017 1272
Have you ever felt like God isn’t fully on your side? Maybe you’ve felt like that in a moment of loneliness or discouragement, maybe after hearing a fiery sermon about sin or the judgment or about hell, or maybe because that’s just what you’ve thought all your life: “If God exists, then he’s certainly not on my side!”
What is the radical, central message of Christianity? If you ask different people, you’ll get lots of different answers. Is it about living a good life so God can bless you? Is it about preparing for God’s final judgment? Is it about having a good time in church? Is it about hoping that God will forgive you? Not at all.
Here is the central message of Christianity: God is for you, even when you’re not for him. This is just as radical today as it was back then. In fact, most religions, and even many branches of Christianity, would disagree with that statement. They would disagree that God is for you, and they would especially when you’re not for him. They would say that God is against you because of who you are, and because of you sins, and they would say that until you are “for him,” God will not be for you.
In Ezekiel 36:9, when the people think that God has turned against them because of their terrible sins, God says to them,
For, behold, I am for you… (KJV)
The New Testament is full of God’s assurances that he is for us, and not against us.
I remember how I felt once when “my sins had found me out,” and I was racked with guilt and remorse. I felt utterly worthless. I felt as if I was the last person on earth that anyone, if they knew who I really was, would want to have as a friend. And of course, I certainly didn’t feel as if God was for me, because I had certainly not been “for him” because of what I’d done.
But in my life, what keeps bringing me back to the reality of how God treats me, is not my feelings. It is how Jesus treated those who felt themselves to be far from God, but who came to him in their need. I think of people like the Samaritan woman at the well, Matthew and Zacchaeus the tax collectors, the woman who had suffered from the bleeding disorder for fourteen years, and the woman who was thrown at Jesus’ feel after having been caught in the very act of adultery. I’m thinking of myself.
God is always implacably and passionately for us. That’s what Jesus came to tell us. So be encouraged!
When people questioned why it was that Jesus loved spending time with sinners, he answered:
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Mark 2:17).
The very reason why Jesus was crucified was because he was for sinners, and not against them. Jesus shows us that God is truly like, because he himself is “Immanuel… God with us” (Matt. 1:26). It was necessary for God to come down to this earth and walk among us, so that we might truly believe that God is not against us, but that he is for us. And of course,
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31).
God is always implacably and passionately for us. That’s what Jesus came to tell us. No matter what you are facing, take hold of this truth, because in doing so, you are taking hold of the almighty hand of God that is reaching out for you.
– Eliezer Gonzalez