Why does God hate me?
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, remember that there are options available to assist you. Text (741741), call (800) 273-TALK (8255), or go to the website. The New York Times published an interesting piece a couple of months ago titled “Googling for God.” A recent trend in Google search data, notably connected to queries individuals have about God, is explored by author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in this story published in The New York Times. In his article, Stephens-Davidowitz points out that the most often asked God-related topic on Google is “Who created God?” Not surprisingly, the second most often asked question is “Why does God allow suffering?” However, I was astonished and disappointed to discover the question that came in at number three: “Why does God hate me?” I was shocked and disappointed by this inquiry.
The word ‘ugly’ comes in first place by a long shot.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help but wonder whether there was a link between the two questions.
Additionally, given the fact that people who identify as black or gay are frequently marginalized in our society—and in some cases, targeted for violence on the basis of those identities—it is not difficult to imagine that members of those groups might believe that God is, at best, indifferent to their plight, and at worst that God has specifically chosen them to be oppressed and mistreated.
Although the church teaches that we are all sinners and that we have fallen short of God’s glory, it also fundamentally asserts that each of us was formed in God’s image and that, as a result of God’s grace, we are unconditionally loved by God and others.
They also appear to believe that God makes some people “ugly” while not making others “ugly,” among other things.
In cultures where individuals are assessed on the basis of their physical appearance or their membership in certain demographic groups, rather than on the basis of the content of their character or according to their distinctive abilities and skills, we are the ones who have brought about this situation.
- As the church, we are challenged to create new and innovative ways to disseminate the message of God’s grace and love across the world, in order to confront and destroy the erroneous theology that is causing so much harm to so many people today.
- She is an assistant professor of pastoral care at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where she also teaches in the Master of Divinity program.
- She publishes articles on a regular basis on pastoral care and counseling, pastoral theology, and conflict in congregations.
- We appreciate you taking an interest in and participating in this discussion.
- We have attempted to keep the commenting feature on this blog operational for as long as possible, despite the fact that we occasionally have to block comments on older blog articles.
- Although we are no longer able to actively filter and reply to comments on this post, we recognize that the subject matter is significant to many of our readers and will continue to monitor it.
- If you are uncomfortable addressing this subject with a pastor, you might want to explore consulting with a counselor.
Text (741741), call (800) 273-TALK (8255), or go to the website. Greetings, and thank you for your communication over the past several years! Recall the words of the preceding article: “You were formed in the image of God, and by God’s mercy, you are completely and unconditionally loved.”
Does God Hate Me?
“Does God despise me?” I wonder. It’s a heartbreaking question, and if you’re asking it now, it’s likely that you’re dealing with intense feelings such as loss, sadness, guilt, shame, woundedness, or fury at this point in your journey. Perhaps you’re suffering with a life-altering accident, chronic disease, frequent job loss, the death of a loved one, a wrongful conviction, or a strong sense of unworthiness, melancholy, or self-hatred as a result of your circumstances. Regardless of your situation, it is critical to understand that you are not alone in your suffering or in your questions.
- In addition, you may be certain that it is perfectly OK to be honest with God and convey to him your thoughts of rage and anguish.
- Many biblical figures, like Job, David in the Psalms, and even Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, suffered greatly and addressed their wrath, sadness, and questions to God in an open and honest manner.
- She is a refugee in a distant nation known as Moab, and she is frightened.
- Naomi may have found food in Moab, but she also came face to face with a great deal of hardship and grief.
- Naomi felt abandoned by God because she was alone, vulnerable, and in a foreign nation that was not her home.
- Ruth was not deterred by Naomi’s tears, and she made the decision to remain with her mother-in-law despite them.
- “I have been plagued by the Lord, and the Almighty has inflicted sorrow upon me” (Ruth 1:20-21).
- She wailed in agony, she screamed in rage, and she couldn’t figure out why any of it was happening to her.
- If this is the case, I have an essential message for you to hear and accept: God does not despise or despise you.
- I understand that this may not seem to be the case in your current position.
Naomi’s story, along with the stories of Job and David and countless others in the Bible, demonstrate that God is aware of our circumstances, our sin, our anger, and fear, and that God is with us in our suffering, even (and perhaps especially) during those times when we feel utterly abandoned by God.
- He was not deterred by her interrogation, wrath, or agony, either.
- This was true for Naomi, and it continues to be true for us in our current suffering.
- Like God offered redemption for Ruth and Naomi via Boaz, so later on in history, God would give redemption for all humanity through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Like Naomi, we may have our doubts about God’s love for us.
- When Naomi was in her emptiness, God walked beside her and, over time, brought blooming out of her bitterness.
- Instead, it is a narrative of God working through the faithfulness and acts of ordinary people like Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz to accomplish his purposes on earth.
- In fact, Naomi’s companions exclaimed to her after the birth of Obed, “Praise be to the Lord, who has not left you without a guardian-redeemer on this day.” May he become well-known across the country of Israel!
- As a result of your daughter-in-pregnancy, law’s who loves you and is nicer to you than seven sons, has given birth to him” (Ruth 4:14-15).
- Allow yourself to be reminded today that God is actively working to create fullness out of your emptiness, just as he did for Naomi, even while you are suffering.
Interested in learning more about God’s provision and presence in the lives of Naomi, Boaz, and Ruth? Download Groundwork’s 4-part study “Ruth: Surprised by God’s Providence” to discover more.
Additional information for those going through terrible circumstances may be found on the TodayDevotional page “What is your sole consolation when life is hard?”
Why Does God Hate Me?
It’s an unpleasant fact of life that some of the most often asked questions regarding God are along the lines of “Why does God despise me?” or “Why does God despise me?” or “How did God create me in this manner?” According to a 2015 New York Times story titled “Googling for God,” some of the most frequently searched for queries regarding God on Google include:
- The following questions are asked: “Why does God despise me?” “Why did God make me ugly?” “Why did God create me gay?” “Why did God make me black?”
All of these inquiries are upsetting and disheartening, but the final two are particularly so. So many individuals are unhappy in their own flesh and believe they are unwanted. They rationally turn to God and inquire as to why He would designate them as a figure of tyranny if He is indeed a benevolent and powerful Creator in their eyes. Attempting to offer a satisfying response to such large problems is not something that any human being is capable of doing, but if you have questions like these, we can try to provide some insight.
Why Goddoesn’thate you
A crucial point to keep in mind when you are experiencing feelings of being rejected, outcast, or mistreated is that these feelings are not indicative of the machinations of God at work. The manipulations of humans have resulted in these sentiments of despair. God is the source of all good things. It is the evil character of humans that has resulted in all that is bad and wrong in our planet. Especially for those who believe they were born with a number of disadvantages, this is a far-reaching idea that might be difficult to comprehend.
- We don’t have a definitive answer for this, but many Christians think it is a symptom of the sin that entered our life when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden fruit of the forbidden tree.
- Every desired and helpful gift originates in the presence of God.
- When it comes to God, there is nothing deceptive about him, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle about him.
- It is true that the message he delivered to the children of Israel — that through Jesus Christ everything is being put back together again — is being carried out everywhere and by everyone.'” “This demonstrates how much God cares for the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.
- Because no one should be destroyed; everybody who believes in him has the opportunity to live a full and meaningful life.
There’s a reason God went to the bother of sending his Son, and it’s not just to point a finger at the world and tell it how horrible things were. He came to provide a hand, to put things back in their proper perspective.”
Centerpoint Church is ready to walk with you on your faith journey
Our community at Centerpoint believes in the importance of purpose and passion, and we would be delighted to accompany you on your quest to discover yours. At the moment, we are in the middle of a new sermon series titled “To Hell With Normal.” While attempting to make our lives more like the way Jesus would have them to be, it is essential that we redefine what we consider normal in our daily lives. Is it your desire to develop in your faith, or are you simply interested in learning more about who this Jesus man is?
We urge you to listen to our series online and invite you to attend one of our Sunday morning services in Valrico, Florida, if you have the opportunity.
Why Does God Hate Me?
God is a subject about which everyone has questions. In 2015, a New York Times story showed the most frequently asked inquiries about God on Google. Some of them were a foregone conclusion. For instance, the first question was “Who created God?” That’s a question I’ve been asked hundreds of times, even once by one of my own kids. The second question was, “Why does God allow suffering?” Interestingly, this one appears to come up rather regularly, particularly among individuals who are inquisitive about religion and the concept of a higher power.
It was before seekers asked questions like “Why doesn’t God show himself?” or “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” that they asked questions like “Why does God detest me?” That question is accompanied by a great deal of suffering.
With a disappointed, even defeated tone, it reveals sensitive data about our self-perception and how we see ourselves in the world.
Rather than confronting our feelings, we turn to Google to find out why the God who is termed “loving” appears to be hostile toward us.
Assessing Our Internal Worthiness and External Circumstances
I believe there are two main reasons why we believe God despises us. The first is a matter of internal affairs: We believe God despises us because of something in our character. Perhaps it is something about yourself that you despise. How you appear, how much you weigh, and, unfortunately, even the color of your skin are all considered. If you identify as Christian or religious, it’s possible that you’re troubled by the notion of sin. Because you fall short of your own expectations, it is likely that God’s are also broken.
The second explanation is of an external nature.
If he did, then why would he allow me to lose my marriage, career, health, child, and other important things to me in life?
It appears that the way we view our environment is contrary to the notion that God is loving.
Looking at our internal merit in conjunction with our exterior circumstances might lead us to believe that God despises us. That’s why the Bible warns us not to seek in such locations in order to figure out how God feels about ourselves.
Looking to God’s Word Instead
God, I believe, despises us for two reasons, one of which is our pride. For starters, there’s an internal component: We believe God despises us because of something in our character, and we believe this is true. Or perhaps it’s the aspect of yourself that you despise the most? Your appearance, your weight, and, regrettably, even the color of your skin are all considered. Is it the notion of sin that bothers you as a Christian or religious individual? Your personal expectations are not met, and God’s expectations are also not met.
- This is the second cause, and it comes from outside the organization.
- If he did, then why would he allow me to lose my marriage, career, health, kid, and other important things in my life.
- According to our perceptions of our surroundings, God’s love appears to be betrayed.
- That’s why the Bible warns us not to look in such locations in order to figure out how God feels about our actions.
‘Why does God hate me so much?’
Corey Magstadt is an American actor and director. “Can I ask you a theological question?” “Can I ask you a theological question?” A text message like that is exactly the type of communication that most pastors or youth workers like receiving. My response was a heartfelt “sure thing,” as I was delighted to reconnect with Jason after not hearing from him for several years following high school. “What is it about me that God despises so much?” This is not the type of text that pastors and youth workers like receiving.
After that, I received one of the most lengthy text message diatribes I’d ever received about how his father abandoned him in a house that was about to be foreclosed on, how he had no car or driver’s license, how he had to drop out of high school because he couldn’t get there often enough, how he was about to become homeless and had no money, job, or food, and so forth.
- After buying him lunch, we sat down to converse for the rest of the afternoon.
- Instead, we began addressing the issues he was experiencing and attempting to bring him back to a stable state of mind.
- Along with that, he began attending our weekly Launch Bible study and participating in some of the other activities we were conducting with young people living on the periphery of our town.
- Six months later, after witnessing the remarkable transformation in Jason’s life, we sat down for another cup of coffee.
- He said he did not.
- “So, why do you believe God despises you so much?” I inquired of him.
- “No, God doesn’t despise me in the least.
Jason’s experience is a microcosm of the many unchurched young people with whom we interact on a daily basis.
They have no ill will against the church.
In the midst of his adversity, Jason chose not to seek out to the church for help.
He received no response.
What would have happened?
So many publications portray Millennials as opponents who are opposed to the church, and it’s hard not to agree.
What is it about me that God despises so much?
As pastors, there are several instances in which we let our “rightness” to get in the way of our relationships with others.
In the eyes of Millennials, the only way to come to Christ is via connections with trustworthy individuals who care about them enough to put aside their differences and just get to know them.
In other words, it involves suppressing our natural inclination to insist that we know the answers to every question.
It entails accepting the fact that, if we remain involved in a young person’s life over time, we will have several opportunities to have such talks and may even earn the right to do so in the first instance.
A nonprofit organization that assists developing individuals in realizing their God-given potential, Corey Magstadt is the founder and executive director of Launch Ministry.
Contact Corey or Launch through their website, which may be found at www.launchministry.org.
courtesy of Corey Magstadt Engagement strategies are outlined below. Stephanie Williams contributed to this article. Do you want to include Millennials in your life? written by Laurel Bunker Introduction to Millenials and the Catholic Church Carl Nelson contributed to this article.
Does God Hate Me?
Some of the inquiries that have been sent to our ” Ask a Question ” staff have been heartbreaking. “Does God despise me?” some people wonder. Others are dejected, proclaiming, “God despises me! Why?” A recent message captured the hardships and hopelessness that too many people are experiencing: “I’m having a lot of difficulties in my professional life. I have to deal with a variety of difficulties on a daily basis. I’m quite concerned about my employment. I’m always praying, yet it appears like no one is listening to me.
- Is there anyone else in this world who will be of use to me but Jesus?
- Why is Jesus not assisting me?
- Do the slew of difficulties and heartaches that so many people are experiencing demonstrate His lack of love?
- Or even despise?
God proves His love
16 Due to God’s great love for the world, He sacrificed His only born Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 Because God did not bring His Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but in order that the world could be saved through Him. The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (NKJV). “>John 3:16-17 (New International Version) Because it is cited so frequently, it may have lost some of its significance.
Consider what it would be like to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for a planet of people You had created but who had become greedy and immoral in their behavior.
In His great love for mankind, God sent His only born Son into the world, so whomever believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” For God did not send His Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but in order that the world may be saved through Him.” There is no better love than this!
First and foremost, it is necessary to have a better understanding of how the universe functions on a more fundamental level.
When we feel despised, we should ask ourselves: who is it that actually hates us?
The real enemy
Satan, according to the Bible, is a ruthless and vengeful adversary (8 You must maintain your composure and be attentive because your opponent, the devil, is on the prowl, looking for those whom he may devour. The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (NKJV) “8 and 12 in 1 Peter 5:8 and 12 As a result, rejoice, o skies, and you who live within them. Woe to those who live on the land and in the water! Because the devil has come down to you with tremendous fury, knowing that he has a limited amount of time.” The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (NKJV) “>Revelation 12:12 (New International Version).
- He tries all he can to derail God’s loving purpose and to convince humanity to lose their faith in God altogether.
- Rather of seeing Satan’s nasty attacks on Job for what they are, we see them for what they are: vile, desperate attempts to discourage Job and cause him to give up.
- He thought that the agony was the result of God’s punishment.
- The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (NKJV) “Job 13:24) is a job description.
- “He tears me in His wrath, and hates me,” Job continued.
- The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (NKJV) “>Job 16:9, to be precise.
Job’s life narrative is not an easy one to read. Job’s awful ordeal was permitted by God. However, it was most obviously not because He despised him. Our inability to fathom God’s love for Job—and for all of us—is a testament to his immeasurable mercy.
Satan is described as a ruthless and vengeful adversary in the Bible (8:14). You must maintain your composure and be attentive because your opponent, the devil, is on the prowl, looking for someone to devour. The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (or NKJV) “8 and 12 in 1 Peter 5:8 and 12. Rejoice as a result, o skies, and as you who live inside them! Woe to those who live on the land and in the water! As a result, the devil has come down to you with tremendous fury, knowing that time is running out for him.” The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (or NKJV) “>Revelation 12:12) is a verse from the Bible that says He despises God and despises human beings in general, including himself.
The book of Job provides us a peek beyond the curtain of religious convention.
Job, on the other hand, was completely oblivious to what was taking place.
“Why do You hide Your face from me, and see me as Your enemy?” Job cried out to God in his despair.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (or NKJV) “(See Job 13:24 for further information.) Then he turned to his three buddies, who had even less understanding than himself and said, “He tears me in His rage and hates me.” (9) He tears me in His wrath and hates me; He gnashes at me with His teeth; My enemy sharpens His eyes on me.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (or NKJV) “>Job 16:9, to be exact.
Job’s horrific ordeal was allowed by God.
Our inability to fathom God’s love for Job, and for all of us, is a testament to his greatness.
What does God really hate?
God does not despise you in the least! However, the Bible does provide a list of things that God despises, including:
- Sinand’s lawlessness (6 points) You have established Your throne for all time, O God, and you have made a scepter of justice the scepter of Your dominion. 7 God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy more than your colleagues because you love righteousness and loathe evil
- New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version, published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson” “(Psalm 45:6-7
- Cf. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
- Pagan worship and child sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:31)
- Divorce (Proverbs 6:16-19)
- A life of pride, deception, violence, wickedness, and disharmony “For the Lord God of Israel has stated that He despises divorce because it “covers one’s clothing with violence,” declares the Lord of hosts, referring to the act of divorcing one’s spouse. In order to avoid dealing treacherously, “pay care to your spirit,” says the prophet. The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the “New King James Version.” “(See Malachi 2:16).
All of these result in evil and misery for those who are engaged as well as those who are around them. God despises bad ideas and actions, as well as the devastation they bring. He despises sin, yet he has a soft spot for sinners. He cares about them enough to want them to stop sinning, and he cares enough about us to want us to stop sinning. He despises sin, yet he has a soft spot for sinners. He cares about them enough to want them to stop sinning, and he cares enough about us to want us to stop sinning.
The upright are put to the proof by the Lord, while the wicked and those who like violence are despised by His soul.
The verse is taken from Psalm 11:5).
The sidebar “‘Esau I Have Hated’: What Did God Mean?” provides more information.
God, on the other hand, loves everyone, including those He “hates.” He has a strong desire for the wicked to repent and change their ways. It doesn’t matter how much we detest ourselves or how much He despises what we do; His love for us remains unwavering.
God’s love and our response
Those engaged and those around them suffer as a result of all of these actions. Good ideas and actions, as well as the damage they bring about, are despised by God. Although he despises sin, he is compassionate toward sinners. They are loved to such an extent that he wishes them, and indeed all of us, to repent and turn away from our sin. Although he despises sin, he is compassionate toward sinners. They are loved to such an extent that he wishes them, and indeed all of us, to repent and turn away from our sin.
- The upright are put to the proof by the Lord, while the wicked and those who like violence are despised by His spirit.
- The verse is from Psalm 11:5).
- For more information, see the sidebar “”Esau I Have Hated”: What Did God Mean?” It should be noted that these verses do not imply that God’s hatred and love are incompatible.
- To him, the wickedness is sincerely desirous of transformation.
Sidebar: Why Doesn’t God Answer Me?
The Bible contains a great deal of information regarding how and when God responds to prayers. He can respond in a variety of ways that we aren’t often aware of, such as:
- Yes, but not yet
- Sadly, this is not the case
- Nevertheless, I have something better in store for you
See our online article ” Five Keys to Answered Prayers” for much more information on this.
Sidebar: “Esau I Have Hated”: What Did God Mean?
“Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have loathed,” God declared of Jacob. (13 It is said, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have loathed,” referring to Jacob. New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Romans 9:13). New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Romans 9:13). This is an excerpt from2 “I have cherished you,” the Lord declares. In spite of all, you ask, ‘How have You loved us?’ “Was Esau not Jacob’s younger brother?” This is what the Lord has to say.
Malachi 1:2-3, New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Malachi 1:2-3, New King James Version (NKJV) Furthermore, it is simply a declaration that God chose Jacob instead of his brother Esau, who would have otherwise gotten the inheritance and birthright promises had Jacob been the firstborn.
As a result, God’s promises to Abraham’s descendants were extended through the line of Jacob, rather than through the line of Esau, who “despised his birthright.” (34 When Esau finished eating and drinking, Jacob got to his feet and continued on his journey to see his father Jacob.
Genesis 25:34 in the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Holy Bible, New King James Version (published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson) “Esau Sells His Birthright,” a Daily Bible Verse Blog entry from last year, has further information on Esau’s decisions.
According to Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary, God disliked Esau comparatively speaking, “that is, did not select him out to be the object of gratuitous favor, as did Jacob,” meaning that God did not choose Esau out to be the object of gratuitous favor.
At the end of the day, God loves everyone and has a plan that demonstrates His tremendous affection for each individual. More information on this may be found in our articles ” God Is Not Racist ” and ” Is God Fair?” a little about the author
Mr. Mike Bennett works as an editorial content manager for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, based in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. He oversees the Life, Hope, and Truth website, as well as Discernmagazine, the Daily Bible Verse Blog, and the Life, Hope, and Truth Weekly Newsletter, among other things (including World Watch Weekly). He is also a member of the Personal Correspondence Team, a group of pastors who have the honor of responding to queries received to Life, Hope, and Truth magazine.
What the Bible Says About God’s “Hatred”
It is said in the Scriptures, “‘Was Esau Jacob’s brother?’ declares the Lord. But Jacob, I have loved; but Esau, I have despised” Similarly, the passages in Malachi 1:2 and 3 are not necessarily telling us that God “hates” someone in particular. This is an example of what we sometimes refer to as exaggeration or exaggeration of importance. In rhetorical analysis, hyperbole is exaggerated language that is employed to convey a very powerful and particular argument. Another illustration can be found in Luke 14:26: “If anybody comes to Me and does not despise his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and yes, even his own life, he will not be accepted as a student of Mine.” Christ is not instructing us that we should physically “hate” our parents in this passage.
- His message is that our love for Him must be so overwhelming and all-consuming that, in comparison to it, our love for our family appears to be “hatred,” according to the Bible.
- In Malachi 1:2 and 3, it appears that the Lord “liked” Jacob and his descendants while “rejecting” Jacob’s brother Esau and his descendants.
- He is the only one who knows.
- Election, of course, is a complex and very contentious theological topic.
- If you need assistance in comprehending this challenging element of biblical teaching, we recommend that you speak with your pastor or an elder in your congregation.
- He cares so deeply about you that He sent His Son to die in your place.
- As the apostle Peter explains, God does not want anybody to perish, but rather that all people come to repentance and faith in him (2 Peter 3:9).
- He has not done either.
God’s hatred for sin and unrighteousness is expressed in the Bible on a more general level: “These six things the Lord despises, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart full of wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” (Deuteronomy 18:21) “All their evil is in Gilgal, for it is there that I despise them,” says the Bible (Proverbs 6:16-19).
- For the iniquity of their crimes, I will expel them from My presence” (Hosea 9:15); “‘Let none of you harbor malice in your hearts against your neighbor, and let none of you take pleasure in breaking your word, for all of these are things that I despise,’ declares the Lord” (Zechariah 8:17).
- We believe it is critical to strike a balance between John’s proclamation that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and Hebrews’ argument that “our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
- As we all know, a fire can be both soothing and destructive, depending on the situation.
- To put it another way, love and hate are basically just two sides of the same coin: you can’t “love” a certain quality or trait without also “loathing” the opposite of that same quality or attribute.
- Focus on the Family has a team of pastoral counselors who would welcome the opportunity to chat with you over the phone at your convenience.
- What Every Christian Should Know on a Day-to-Day Basis: The Most Important Truths for Developing Your Faith What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters is the subject of this book.
LeeStrobel.com Articles Becoming a Christian is a lifelong process.
Does God Really Hate Me? When Deep Love Feels Like Wrath
The lady he cherished so much had abandoned him because he had begun to lose his sight. The two had been engaged to be married for some time. In 1842, George Matheson (1842–1906) was twenty-one years old when he lost his sight totally. He spent decades living and ministering in Scotland, yet he was never married. Following his blindness, his elder sister took care of him for more than twenty years until she married on June 6, 1882, at which point she became a widow. For all those years, he had relied on her in practically every manner, and suddenly she was taken away from him, even her eyes were taken away from him.
“I rest my tired soul in thee.” I return to thee the life that I owe thee, that flows in the depths of thine seas.
I am unable to seal my heart to thee, O pleasure who seeks me out through suffering.
“That morning will be without tears.” We don’t have to worry about whether we will suffer; the question is whether we will suffer with God.” Even when the downpour of all that he’d lost threatened to drown the love he’d experienced — and he may have begun to question whether God had abandoned him completely — Matheson instead curled his fingers even closer around the promises of paradise.
When he looked at us with his blind eyes, he saw the tension that so many of us experience in the midst of suffering: “Intense and abiding agony frequently appears to put considerable doubt on the Father’s love for us.”
Fear Can Inflame Suffering
Indelible Grace has recently released a new version of Matheson’s hymn “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” which has new music. While performing the song live, the lead vocalist used a Puritan quote to begin the song by saying, “If you don’t understand justification by faith, it makes every trial a double trial, because not only are you experiencing the hardship, but you are also having to question if God hates you.” How many times have you questioned, in the midst of the agony and confusion of adversity, if God may genuinely despise you?
We have an even more difficult time distinguishing between the discipline of a loving Father and the anger of a righteous Judge when we are experiencing sensitive, painful, and weary situations in our lives.
The experience of suffering, on its own, should not lead someone to believe that they are unloved by God – that they are unloved right now, as they go through these hardships.
God himself, speaking through another wise father, says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or grow weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.” “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or grow weary of his reproof,” the Lord says.
(3:11–12; Proverbs 3:11–12) Even the most profound, pure, and honest love you will ever know may not always feel like love at the moment you are experiencing it. It may even feel as if you are being hated.
A magnificent song for delicate and perplexing times like these may be found in one of the most well-known chapters in the entire Bible: “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The Bible says in Romans 8:1 that “If we are in Christ, we will never be able to enumerate the ways in which God will use pain to show us his love.” It is reasonable to assert that the majority of Christians know these twelve words by memory, even if they did so by mistake.
- And yet, how many people experience the freedom described in these words on a daily basis, deep down in the recesses of their souls?
- Despite the fact that we know there is no condemnation for those who believe in Christ Jesus — that he suffered horrifically on the cross so that sinners like us would never face the wrath of God — many of us still question whether or not we are truly believers in Christ.
- While the promise of no condemnation is far more powerful than any wave in the Pacific Ocean, it was offered expressly to Christians who were in the depths of suffering (Romans 8:18).
- As a matter of fact, we cannot be considered children, heirs, or really loved by God until we suffer with Christ (Romans 8:17).
- In this case, the question is not whether we shall suffer, but whether or not we will suffer alongside God.
Fatherly Love or Furious Wrath?
When Paul wrote to the church in Rome, he anticipated that the faithful would find it difficult to understand that their suffering was not a result of their sin. He was well aware that God’s deep, deep love may sometimes feel like fury. Consequently, after stating, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation,” Jesus proceeds to address our lingering question: Who are the children of God, and who are his enemies? In this world, who are the rescued, who are the safe, who are the eternally loved, and who are the damned?
“Although you may be experiencing the deepest, purest, and most true love you have ever known, it may not necessarily seem like love in the moment.” He concludes with the following summary: “If you live according to the flesh, you will die” — you are condemned — “but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13) — you may suffer, perhaps severely, for the rest of your life, but you will never again taste the wrath of God because you are in Christ.
Any suffering you endure will only serve to aid you in the one big battle against sin – disclosing, reminding, refining, and purifying your soul.
It doesn’t matter how many shadows cast by your circumstances begin to dull the brightness of the Father’s love for you — and no trial or loss can ever completely remove you from that love (Romans 8:39).
“God is treating you as though you were his sons.
‘If you are left without discipline, in which everyone has taken part, then you are illegitimate children and not sons,’ says the Bible (Hebrews 12:7–8). We should be terrified of a life without the priceless sufferings that train and cleanse every son or daughter of God.
Wrath That Leads to Life
God punishes every kid he loves, but that does not imply that every pain is an indication of God’s affection for them. Suffering alone does not establish that the sufferer is a member of God’s family. Some pain does not result in life because the sufferer, no matter how much it hurts, continues to refuse to repent and believe in the gospel. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who were defiling the Lord’s Supper because of their selfishness, avarice, and negligence. Not only were they engaging in a wicked manner, but they were also completely unconscious of the harm they were causing.
God was yelling at them from the depths of their suffering, warning them of the vengeance to come, but they chose their wickedness and continued to practice it.
“If we were to assess ourselves honestly, we would not be judged,” says the author.
God will go to remarkable, and sometimes painful, lengths to spare us from judgment — even if it means inflicting terrible punishment — if we would repent and put sin behind us.
Loved by God in Suffering
There is no longer any anguish for those who are in Christ Jesus, despite the fact that there is no longer any condemnation. Being eternally loved by the Father frequently entails greater suffering and loss in this life—but only during one’s physical existence on this planet. And only for the purpose of making us more fruitful in this life. For the time being, every discipline appears to be painful rather than pleasant, yet over time, those who have been educated by it will reap the calm fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11).
On this side of heaven, none of us will ever be too righteous to pose that question to another.
Some of us may feel weak or unwell, frightened or fatigued because we have refused to let go of a particular sin.
Despite the fact that God is sounding the alarm to wake us up so that we can finally overcome temptation and live by faith, we keep pushing the snooze button — and then wonder why we continue to suffer.
Evacuate yourself from the terrible fury of judgment and into the arms of a kind Father.
Perhaps our pain refines or softens some still-dark edge of our newly reformed hearts.
Perhaps our pain, and the way we respond to it, will prompt someone to inquire about Jesus and be rescued as a result.
As long as we are in Christ, we can’t count the ways in which God will utilize suffering for our sanctification, our equipping, our provision, and our drawing closer to him — in short, to love us with a love that will never let us go.