Does God’s strength and love make sense to you? Do they seem at odds with one another at times?
As a young Christian, I was equipped to learn and develop competence in some of the essentials of Christian living: assurance of salvation, assurance of answered prayer, victory over sin, forgiveness, guidance, putting Christ first in my life, relying on the Lord’s strength, the importance of the Bible, giving, the church, good works, and witnessing.
Each of the lessons helped me learn what it meant to walk like Jesus did. They helped me learn and implement some of the fundamental “holy habits” of the Christian life as I explored the Scriptures. I was inspired to realize I could live victoriously over my old way of life as I followed Jesus into the life He gave me. I even memorized Scripture verses with each lesson, which deepened my trust in God because of how He is revealed in His Word and in nature.
I attended a Sunday School class for college students that introduced concepts and characteristics about God to me. His omnipotence (all power), omnipresence (ability to be everywhere at once), and immutability (perfect, unchanging nature) were a few of many that challenged my perception of who and what God is. I had never thought much about God until my collegiate years and was unaccustomed to consider how awesome He might be.
As I read Scripture that described God’s character, I was struck by His sovereignty, wisdom, loving and forgiving nature, juxtaposed against His holiness, righteousness, and His judgment. He was an overwhelming Presence and Person to consider.
Read Psalm 62:5-12.
The first time I read through the Psalms I paused at this song of King David. He wrote that if there were two things he knew about God, they were that, 1) God is strong, and 2) God is loving.
Strong and loving.
God the Creator of all is strong. Look around at the world. With a few words, He created the heavens and the earth with an explosion perfectly unfolding in force. With too little velocity, the universe could have collapsed back on itself after the initial impetus. With too much velocity, matter may have streaked away so fast that nothing had time to form.
God the Creator is loving. He filled the earth with the color of green grass against the backdrop of blue skies and a yellow sun. He made the fragrance of flowers to be enjoyed as someone lay in the lush grass of a field. He is a Father to the fatherless and a defender of widows. He is a Shepherd who seeks out the many prodigal sons and daughters who drifted away from His loving care, not treating us as our sins deserve.
Strong and loving. God is strong and loving. We need God to be both of those in order to be Someone we can lean on. Grow devotionally. Scripture reminds us that whether our lives are easy or difficult at times, God is there to help us through the highs and lows of life. It is hard to realize how strong and loving God is, until you need Him. And He is there.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz