“If we are faithless, “He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
A lady recently told me of a very difficult event in her life many years ago after which she experienced an excruciating disappointment with God. Her relationship with God is now restored, but of that struggle she said, “I had to learn to love God again.”
That poignant phrase has stayed with me. How many of us have had “to learn to love God again?” Most of us have faced enough pain to wonder where God is. In a sense we have all had to learn to love God again. How does this happen?
We must start with God’s character. God has an eternal constancy that survives the vagaries of life. We change. He does not. We weaken and fall. He reigns. I cannot imagine God, by any biblical dimension, as having been rendered impotent by even the worst events in our lives.
Paul wrote that even in our faithless periods, God remains faithful. That is good news. He is not bound to or determined by events or emotions. He transcends change, and remains the gracious constant in life. To do otherwise would be “to deny Himself,” that is, to betray His very nature.
Getting your view of God straight is very hard when the sea billows roll, but trust is trust only when it is tested. Don’t be surprised when life is painfully hard. It always has been. Just try to see through to God’s light. To stay with the metaphor, life’s darkness does not extinguish God’s light. The darkness proves the existence of light. God’s light does not go out when you are in pain.
What a joy it is to turn back to God after a period of struggle and find that He hasn’t left, and He has no hard feelings! His constancy is grace-filled. He doesn’t pout, and He’s not hurt. He welcomes back every bruised soul.
I think the inevitable cycles of our hurt and anger with God are perhaps the only way we really grow to trust Him more. God obviously is not in the business of removing all pain or trying to make life as pleasant for you as possible. He is not a cruise director. Instead He has taken the pain of this broken world and miraculously transformed it into a means for us to draw closer to Him.
If it has been a while since you genuinely loved God, then you might want to take another look His way. Instead of demanding new explanations, try simply accepting the fact that while you have lost something very precious to you, God really can help you through that loss. Accept it. And let God’s faith sustain you while you learn to love Him again.
Dr. Terry Ellis
July 13, 2014