What comes to your mind when you hear that God is like a father to us?
Some folks cringe at the thought because their fathers abandoned them. Or beat them. Their fathers drank themselves into oblivion and then climbed into the driver’s seat. Or lay sprawled on the living room sofa, beer in one hand and TV remote in the other. The thought of God being like a father makes these folks determined to disconnect themselves from Him and run the opposite direction.
Other folks find great consolation in knowing God is like a father. Their dads protected and provided for them. They offered wise counsel. They disciplined in love, and they remained committed to their families. They weren’t perfect, but they were humble and willing to admit their mistakes.
In a perfect world, every father would be like the latter and mirror the character of our heavenly Father. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Therein lies the problem. We see God through the lens of our life experience, and when it’s been a difficult one, our impression of Him is sadly skewed.
The enemy of our souls loves keeping our understanding tainted with lies about who God is and what He’s like. He knows that a wrong understanding will hinder us from fully trusting God. It’ll cause us, then, to try to do life on our own. And that often leads to a lot of heartache and ultimately not seeing God’s purpose for our lives fulfilled.
No matter what our life experience with earthly fathers, it’s vital that we focus on the truth about God’s character. What is that? Psalm 103:3-14 describes Him:
“He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and merciful. Slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children. Tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.”
How do these words compare with your understanding of God’s character based upon your life experience with your father? Hopefully they correct false understanding and plant healing and hope in your heart.
Question: What part of the description above means the most to you today?
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