Lately I have been doubtful of God’s love for me. Not because I think He doesn’t love me, but because of how I view myself. There are days more often than not that I feel like I let God down. I mess up too many times. I say the wrong things, I lose my temper, I basically do the opposite of what ‘righteous’ people are supposed to do. I often find myself thinking, “from a human standpoint, if someone messes up repeatedly, there are only so many chances they get before things go downhill. Before someone stops giving you chances.” What I have had to remember when my mind goes down that path, is that God isn’t like me. He doesn’t see things from a human standpoint. He sees things from an all knowing, merciful and gracious standpoint. The enemy, however, knows my weaknesses and continuously whispers doubt in my ear.
I was venting all of these emotions to my son’s sitter, who is an amazing and godly influence who by no coincidence became a part of my life. Any time I have ever needed advice she always seems to know the right things to say to encourage me, and I wanted to share a little bit of our conversation. I was telling her I always feel the need to be perfect, that I feel there is no room for mistakes. I have always been very hard on myself. This was her response:
“That’s just not the truth. When we turn from sin, He doesn’t expect perfection. We are ‘made perfect’ by moving closer to Him. The closer we draw to Him, the more refining He does in us. He convicts us but He doesn’t condemn us. He doesn’t like for us to remain in sin, but He doesn’t turn away. If we, being good parents to our children, love our kids but don’t want them to continue in bad behavior, how much more does God feel that way since we are made in His image. We are held to a higher standard, but we aren’t soldiers that are whipped if we miss a step. No, it’s quite the opposite. We are caught in His graceful loving arms that draws us to repentance and to a turning from our ways, not out of corporal punishment, but because of the LOVE of Jesus drawing us. Just as you would do for your son, our good good Father stops at no distance to draw us unto Him. He loves us, He draws us, He convicts us and corrects us, and washes us in His grace.”
Oh how I needed her words. I have been raised in church, taught about His undying love my whole life, but sometimes I get too caught up in that “human standpoint” and I end up feeling doubtful about everything I have come to learn and love about God. And that my friends, is a loophole satan has used to get in my head one too many times, but by God’s grace, not anymore.
Something else my mom told me once has become very helpful in controlling that sense of doubt. “Nothing is a surprise to God.” It’s a very simple thing, but for me it was very eye opening to the extent of God’s love for me. He knew before I was even put on this earth all the times I would stumble, all the things I would do or say, yet Jesus died for me anyway.
Before I go, a verse that crushes doubt. Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.”