“God hates me.”
So many times, I’ve heard those words. Unfortunately, a few of those times were from my own mouth. Before “FML” became so popular, “God hates me” was the fitting ending for a complaint about a bad situation in one’s life.
It is based off the concept that the circumstances of our lives are determined by how God feels about us. When things are well, God loves us. If things are terrible, God hates us. Lately, I’ve tried to get through Job in the Old Testament which is paragraph after paragraphs of Job screaming “Why me? Why do you hate me, God?!” Now don’t get me wrong, the guy had it pretty rough. I can’t really say I blame him, but I think it’s time for a paradigm shift.
“God loves you.”
This is actually also an all-too-common phrase as well. Even to the church, it has lost meaning. What hope is left if even the church has difficulty seeing beyond the words and really experiencing that truth? Bill Johnson said, “It’s all about God loving us, and us knowing it.” We say we know it, but do we really?
I recently came across HOSEA 11 which completely blew my mind. I think the word “frustration” is often misunderstood as being synonymous with anger. Frustration is when you’re trying so deliberately to do something and your plan keeps being foiled. The emotion is more of a disappointment than an anger. In this chapter, you can feel the frustration of God. His heart is so torn between his love for the people and their deliberate disobedience that separates them from himself. He continues to feed us, teach us, and lead us by the hand. Yet we don’t care that it is him who did it. What really breaks my heart is Hos. 11:7, “For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.” (How much more can you dishonor him then by straight-up discounting his love with a phrase like “God hates me” ?)
Suddenly, I find myself turning to Genesis and reading about how he designed all creation and decided that it was “good.” But on the sixth day, when he made human beings, he saw that it was “very good.” He created us in his own image. We were created for LOVE. We were created for PLEASURE. This whole earth, he designed for OUR ENJOYMENT. I suddenly have this deeper revelation that “God LOVES HUMAN BEINGS.”
Say that out loud; over and over. Emphasizing different parts.
“God LOVES human beings.”
“God loves HUMAN BEINGS.”
“GOD loves human beings.”
People have forsaken him from generation to generation. We’ve turned to our false gods and idols, over and over again. He has become our genie or distant family member we turn to only when we’re in need. We have become little Frankensteins who have defiled the very purpose of our creation by turning against our Creator.
Yet he still DESIRES us.
A lot of the burnout from the Christian religion, I believe, comes from the fact that we’ve lost touch with that. We’re trying to do it out of our own strength or on principle, but when we can really stay in touch with that, it won’t be just a concept anymore, nor just a worship song. It will be our LIFESTYLE, and that will be what fuels us.
Will we ever really know how high, how deep, how wide His love is for us?
We have a long way to go.