“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” 1 Peter 1:8
In the latest edition of Every Day With Jesus Selwyn Hughes writes on the theme, Surprised by God. One of the surprises he discusses is when people become Christians they are surprised to be filled with joy. Hughes then looks at the reasons for their surprise. One of his most interesting conclusions was this: “To hold on to the concept of God as a killjoy makes it easier to justify our unwillingness to surrender to His claims.”
As I have grown in my Christian walk I have noticed a certain comfort in holding onto wrong concepts of God. For example, if we enjoy our work, it’s easy to see God as a slave driver. If we like to push the boundaries of God’s standards for our behaviour, it’s easy to see God as an indolent Santa Claus figure. If we can’t cope with the mysteriousness of God, it’s easy to invent our own reasons for God’s ways rather than embrace the unknown.
Jamie Buckingham wrote a book called, The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Make You Miserable. Letting go of our wrong concepts may make us feel miserable, or at least uncomfortable, but in the end, it’s truth that will set us free. God won’t conform to our misconceptions of him. We need to grow in our understanding and see God as he is portrayed in his Word. When we acknowledge God as he is, full of compassion and grace with our best interests at heart, it then becomes easier to surrender to his claims.
Read more of my devotions here.