One of my major battles as a child and young adult was the belief that God was against me. I felt that He was out to get me, and He had good reason to be against me because I was a first-rate sinner. He had the goods on me and He was going to throw the eternal book at me. I was afraid of Him. I was fully convinced of my personal guilt. I was keenly aware that my life and my eternity would be filled with misery and pain because the Almighty God of the universe had it in for me. It was a miserable way to live. The belief that God was against me dominated my life and it cost me unmeasured emotional energy. “God is against me.” What could be more miserable?
Sometimes we get to thinking that God is against us when we are feeling overwhelmed with guilt. We do something sinful and guilt sets in and the only thing we can think about is the holiness of God. We try to rationalize the sinful act and it does not work. We try to minimize the sin and it doesn’t work. We try to project the sin on someone else and it doesn’t work. We try to deny the sin and still the guilt persists. We try not to think about it and it becomes the only thing we can think about. So, under the cloud of guilt, we conclude that God is against us.
At times we fear God is against us when the circumstances of life go badly for us. Something beyond our control, like health or loss or an enemy, goes terribly wrong and we begin to suffer and we can see that we will be suffering for a long, long time. It is very easy to feel that God is against us. Dr. Larry Crabb put it this way: “The greatest temptation in life is to doubt the goodness of God.” “If God is good,” we ask, “Why would He let me suffer this misery?” He must be against me for some reason.
We may think God is against us when dreams die. In the deep parts of ourselves we cherish things. We want these things very badly and we pray for them and hope for them and dream about the day when they will be real. At times the desire is so intense that we feel almost a physical pain in our chest when we think about the unfulfilled desire. Then one day we realize that the dream has died. What we want so badly will never be. And we conclude that God is against us. After all, the thing that we wanted was a good thing and there was really no reason for God to withhold it from us. Either God is not good or He is against us.
At times we believe God is against us because He is so silent there in the heavens. We need desperately to hear from Him on some matter or decision or need. We pray and pray and pray and nothing happens. God won’t talk to us. He won’t answer our smallest question. He won’t give us the tiniest sign. He is silent. Why? He must be against us. If God were for us would it trouble Him all that much to give just one simple little answer or response to our incessant prayers?
But God is not against us. Even in times of guilt, fear, silence, ugly circumstances and dying dreams God is not against us. God’s basic stance is to be “for” us rather than “against” us. He demonstrated that stance once and for all in the sacrifice of His Son. That sacrifice was of such proportions and magnitude that we can never again doubt the stance of God toward us. We never again have any reason that He intends anything but good for us. We never again must fear that any circumstance in life is for other than our good.
Many people spend their entire lives believing that God is against them. That belief is entirely inconsistent with a Father Who would sacrifice His only Son for us. I have sons and I know how precious sons are. I love my boys more every day. I cannot think of a person or a group of people or really of any circumstance for which I would be willing to sacrifice my sons. But God did just that and that means, among other things, that He is for us.
So, the foundational evidence of God’s being for us is the sacrifice of His Son. Beyond this tremendous evidence there is plenty of other evidence about His stance of benevolence toward us. He created us, gifted us, provided for us, directed us, gave us something meaningful to do with our lives, destined us to eternal glory, and filled our lives with hope.
Romans 8:28-32. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, he also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
God is for us. We know that because He gave to us His Son. Now, between here and heaven, He will also give to us all the things that we need for life and godliness. Great news, friends: God is for us!