Many people find it difficult to think of God as a loving Father. They see Him through eyes clouded with the pain of past experiences with an ungodly father or stepfather.
Thousands of Christians do not believe God loves them because their earthly father abandoned, wounded, or grieved them so badly. I pray that this message will speak not only to them but also to those of you who have not yet discovered the depths of our heavenly Father’s love!
Many of us know the Scriptures and the theology behind God’s great love for His children. Yet very few of us have learned to appropriate that love and we are not enjoying the benefits of having it.
Listen to how God described Himself to Moses:
“The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin . . .” (Exodus 34:6-7).
When we are in the midst of our trials, we forget what God has said about His own nature. Yet, if we would only believe Him in such times, we would have great assurance in our souls. From cover to cover, the Bible speaks to us as God’s voice, revealing to us how tender and loving He is.
He is ready to forgive at all times. “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5).
He is patient with us, full of tenderness and mercy. “Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord” (Psalm 119:156). “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8).
Make sure you believe the following:
1. Your heavenly Father will never abandon you. Nothing is more traumatic to a child than a family breakup. Children often blame themselves for divorce—and they experience acute feelings of insecurity. They can also develop the wrong idea that if their father or mother was willing to walk away from them, God will do the same.
The Truth Is: God says, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5) Earthly parents may break promises, but God is always faithful.
2. Your heavenly Father will never verbally berate you. I recently met a girl whose parents wanted her to be a boy. As a result of their disapproval, they criticized her constantly, told her she was ugly and demanded that she stay in her room most of the time. As a result of this constant criticism she struggled to receive love and found it difficult to believe God could ever love her.
The Truth is: The Lord is a loving Father who speaks tenderly to His children; and even when He must discipline us, it is for our good. James 5:11 says: “We … have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”
3. Your heavenly Father will never abuse you. I have an African friend, Medad, whose cruel, domineering father beat him with the same stick he used to beat his mother. Medad still has scars on his back, chest and stomach from his father’s angry outbursts. Finally, his father piled the family into a car, drove them into a rural area and ordered them to get out of the vehicle. He cursed them and left them to die. His father’s behavior made Medad angry and vengeful until he found salvation in Jesus.
The Truth Is: God is not an abuser. He is a good Shepherd who protects us. If you were abandoned by one parent or both, abused by someone, either physically, sexually or verbally, recognize that God did not approve of that behavior and He wants to heal you from the pain of that experience.
Reach out to God and ask Him to show you His fatherly love, you will not be disappointed. Remember, He is all He says He is!