You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.” Deuteronomy 1:27

How absurd! That God would send Moses and all the plagues to release them from slavery in Egypt then destroy them at the hands of the Amorites. They were so very short sighted.

Moses also described how God how provided for them after they left Egypt. “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night” (Exodus 13:21). Yet then Moses writes: “In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 1:32).

They seemed to think that since God was capable of the most astounding miracles, they should have a trouble free, comfortable life, where they’d never face another conflict.

Sometimes we do the same thing. Our circumstances go badly and we immediately think God hates us. We disregard all his past protection and provision. Forget that he sent his own Son into the world to teach us about God’s love and compassion, forget he gave his life to redeem us from our sins, forget he rose again to demonstrate his victory over death.

God promises his protection and provision, but not a life without difficulties. He won’t necessarily send a miracle to deliver us, instead he wants to enable and empower us to become people who love and trust God. People who are prepared to take ground for his kingdom.

At Christmas time especially, when we reflect upon God’s greatest gift to us, how can we ever think that God hates us?