The news couldn’t have come at a worse time. An accident at work had put my job on the line. If I didn’t get the bills paid, collection agencies would soon be blowing up my phone. And the woman to whom I’d pledged myself turned out to have a spring face and a winter heart.
It was not a good year.
I had walked down a path where I thought God was leading me. At the end of it was a sudden, yawning precipice, the distant bottom littered with broken bones.
I confided in a friend. Told her, quite bluntly, that I believed God had deceived me. That he’s two-faced. That I’m done believing in a deity who delivers prettily wrapped packages full of nothing but vapor and smoke.
When I finished, I sat there, despondent. Quietly, my friend said, “Well, you may not believe in God, but God believes in you.”
That was about six years ago.
I didn’t accept it then—for all the wrong reasons.
And I don’t accept it now—for very different reasons.
God doesn’t believe in you. He doesn’t trust you. He doesn’t have faith in you. Not in the least.
And that is good news.
Jesus never says, “You know, deep down, he’s a good person. He has a good heart. That’s the kind of guy you can trust.”
@@The heart is a cardiac coffin.@@ Inside are the corpses of “evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander,” (Matt 15:19). The heart is deceitful above all things. And one of its deceptions is the Hallmark-inspired untruth that God believes in you.
Don’t believe that God believes in you. And don’t tell others that God believes in them. You may mean well, but such sentiments only give muscle to the lie that we hold within ourselves the key to overcoming struggles in our lives.
Love Predates Judgement
The good news is that God doesn’t believe in you. But despite the fact that he finds nothing in you worthy of trust, nothing in you that inspires confidence, he nevertheless has pledged his heart to you.
@@Christ’s love for you predates his judgement.@@ Even before he peered into your heart to see nothing there but evil, he said, “I love you.” Jesus doesn’t inspect the hearts of humanity to find a select few worthy of his love. He simply loves. Loves indiscriminately. Loves lavishly. Loves toddlers and terrorists. Loves Jews and Muslims and the old church ladies. Loves those who hate him, ignore him, and worship him. His heart overflows with prodigal, promiscuous mercy.
He’s the kind of God you can trust. Not just when times are good, but when your life looks like the twisted ruins spit out by a tornado. Because he’s the kind of God who will sit with you as you weep, hold you as you scream in anger, and slowly heal you in the hospital of his cross.
What's in the Heart of God?
You want to see what’s in the heart of God? A man. A man who took a bullet for you. A man who endured hell for you. A man who had everything, but gave it all up in exchange for you. That man, Jesus, is all God. And all God is him.
When you want to know what God thinks of you, whether he’ll stick by you, the answer is suspended on the cross.
No, God doesn’t believe in you. He loves you. Hope is outside of you. It is anchored in the flesh of God. The God who bids you believe in him.
My new book, Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul, will be available October, 2017. You can read more about it and pre-order your copy at Amazon. Thank you!