It’s real easy to get into the headspace of, “Why does God hate me? Why am I going through this (these) hardship(s)?”
I call that “Stinkin’ Thinkin'”.
God doesn’t hate you! He loves you! He would not have sent His son to die for you if he had even the smallest inkling of hate for you (and me). He wants to have a relationship with you and He wants to see you succeed. It’s not comprehensible for anyone to sacrifice so much for someone they “hate”. So go ahead and let the “God hates me” thoughts exit stage left!!!
But God “hated” Esau (Malachi 1:2 and 3) and Jesus tells us that we must “hate” our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and children if we are to come to God as disciples (Luke 14:26). WHAT?
To be clear, I believe God is saying that he preferred Jacob over Esau (hate is used as a hyperbole). Jacob brought joy to God and Esau didn’t…so He blessed Jacob…not Esau. Why? That’s between God and Esau. That’s above my pay grade. Talk to your pastor about that…it’s probably deserves a more in depth dive than I have time for here in this post.
And Jesus, In Luke 14, is saying that all else must take a back seat to our love for, and honor to, God! He’s not using “hate” in the since of, “I hate your GUTS!!!”, but hate…as in place our ultimate adoration on God…not others.
God does not make mistakes…and God made you (and me). THUS…we are not mistakes that He “hates”.
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. ~Isaiah 54:10
In those times when it feels like the whole world is against us, that is when we are being “refined”. Like precious metal in the furnace. After the furnace, all of the impurities are taken away and what is left is a precious and complete beautiful precious work of art. That’s you and me!
The trials and tribulations we are experiencing are making us stronger, wiser, and a more equipped person. Once through the storm, we are more powerful and experienced…which make us more productive to God…and the people He brings onto our path.
So I encourage you to pay attention to the “hard times” when you are in the midst of adversity! That’s when God is doing some awesome work! Know that once He is finished, we will be prepared to help others who are going through the same problems. We’ll be able to look back and be encouraged when we find ourselves in the midst of other trials because we’ve witnessed God’s awesome refining process…and we know we’ll be better for the experience!
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~James 1:2-4
God doesn’t hate you! He loves you! Let Him do His work in you! You’ll be a much stronger person when He’s done!
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