It seems to me that as I meditate on Scripture, God is constantly communicating to His people, instructing us in who He is. God wants to be in a deep, meaningful relationship with us. So, God is persistently presenting Himself to us as our personal and communal God, displaying His glory and manifesting Himself in various ways. When we reflect on the nature of God, we ought to know deeply that He is good and that He is holy, that He is merciful, sovereign, compassionate, just, and, of course, as I believe, above all, He is loving.
However, if we see God primarily as judge, or king, or full of holy wrath, we may be inclined to believe that to be in His good graces we must be sinless and obedient, and fearful of His anger. Yet, it is His grace in Christ that speaks to us most truthfully and beautifully of His relationship to us.
This awareness has gotten me to focus our attention away from a false and negatively legalistic way of understanding God’s desire for us, to a more grace-filled and loving image.
God Wants You To Be Happy As Much As He Wants You To Be Holy
So, God does indeed wants for us to be happy as much as He wants us to be holy. This is in distinct contrast to some who think holiness is the ultimate aim of life. Yet, the Word says that “Happy are the people whose strength is in You,” (Psalm 84:5) and “How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers!” (Psalm 1:1). It is God’s desire for us to be happy in Him. If anything, happiness should be the result and goal of holiness. This kind of holiness is seen in the beatitudes as they speak of the utter happiness of those who live for Him in His Kingdom (Matt 5).
God Wants You To Perceive Beauty As Much As Understand Truth
Truth delivered in a way that does not inspire us is often rejected as untruth. There is intrinsic beauty in that which is true, so that if truth comes across as unbeautiful it is the delivery that is to blame not the truth itself. When God created the earth, the seas, the heavens, the animals, and the crown of His creation, humanity, He said it was good, it was beautiful; it just wasn’t true. It was truly beautiful. Furthermore, the Prophet Isaiah said, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the herald, who proclaims peace, who brings news of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (52:7). So, even the Gospel proclamation is to be beautiful as well as true.
God Wants You To Experience Peace Amidst Your Suffering
This world is filled with sin and suffering, trials and tribulations. It is not God who brings these calamities upon us, but the sin that is in the world. It is God who promises to be with us through and in the midst of the fiery trials of life, to comfort us and to grow us in His graces. That is why St. James could say, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials” (1:2) or the Psalmist when he said “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes” (119:71). Our God is a good God, and His goodness extends itself to us in the midst of our pain.
God, You are good, and Your mercies are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness, even as I have been unfaithful. Help me to see You as You truly are. Show me Your love, and let me abide in Your glorious presence. I pray this in the Name of Your Son and my Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.
© Paul Dordal, 2012