Who is God, Really?
How does God give us comfort and hope?
I NEED TO SEE WHO GOD REALLY IS
That's where it starts. You see who God really is. How do I know that I can trust God to comfort me? I only know that if I see him for who he really is.
Have you believed some lies about what you think God is like? Maybe even unintentionally?
How do I know that I can trust God to comfort me if I think that God is out to condemn me? Some of you do think that. You think God is out to condemn you. You just have this feeling in the back of your mind that God is always watching over your shoulder. And he’s out to catch you messing us so he can get you. Every time something breaks down in your life, your washer machine quits, you car needs a repair, a light bulb burns out. You’re like, “What did I do now? God’s out to get me.”
But, here is the truth.
Romans 8:34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
I totally understand that some of us feel - maybe all of us feel sometimes - that God is condemning us. I understand how powerful that feeling is in some of your lives. But let me share some truth with you: Jesus came to this planet, Jesus lived his life for you, then he went to a cross and he died on that cross for you. There is someone who died for you, who loves you that much. When I recognize that - he died for me, he loves me that much, so I can begin a relationship with him, so he can restore that relationship.
When it comes to God being out to condemn you, your feelings have been told a lie. The truth is Jesus lived his life for you. The truth is Jesus died for you. The truth is he was resurrected to tell you, “I'm not out to condemn you.” The truth is he is sitting at God's right hand, right now praying for you, to let you know he's not out to condemn you. That's how much he wants you to know who he really is. Who are you going to trust? Your feelings? or what God has not only said about you but demonstrated toward you?
What's God really like? Who is God? We could spend WEEKS talking about that. God is really a God of compassion.
Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
That's what God is really like. He's compassionate. When we talk about life's hurts and hang-ups and habits we say, “God I've got these hurts in my life.” He doesn't look at us and say, "That's not that bad. Let me show you this person over here. They've got really bad hurts in life." No. He is compassionate about your hurts.
You might feel that way about your hurts. You might run these tapes in your mind sometimes that say, “this is how God feels about it.” If we're going to really enjoy a BETTER life, for many of us, one of the things we've got to do is sort of rewrite some of these tapes in our minds. Things that we think about God that aren't the truth about God. God is not out to condemn you. He is a compassionate God. He cares about your hurts. He cares about your habits. He doesn't look at you and say, "Why haven't you gotten over that yet?" He looks at you and says, "I can help you to work through this. I'm compassionate, and I understand what you're walking through."
Who is God, really?
2 Corinthians 1:3 God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
That's who God is. He is the Father who is full of mercy and comfort. Some of you, you may have grown up with a father who was full of judgment and all about distance from you, your earthly father. Don't put that on God. That's not who God is. God isn't that father. God is the Father who is full of mercy. God is the Father who is full of all comfort. That is his relationship with you. What's God really like? God is all about being a part of your everyday life. God is about being close to you. God is about having a relationship with you.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
If you want to get to a place of hope, first you have to see who God really is.