Having trouble trusting God? How we see Him determines whether or not we trust Him.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin [Satan comes to kill our relationship with God, steal our joy, and destroy our trust in God; don’t believe him, especially what he says about God!].
We’ve been discussing hearing God these past two days. Today, we will use 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as a guide to God’s characteristics. Let’s look at the text,
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
The reason we can attribute these characteristics to God is because John does in 1 John 4:8 and 16,
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
16 …God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
If God is love and love is patient and kind, then God is patient and kind, and so on. God will always speak to you out of these characteristics. It is when we have a wrong perception of God and a wrong perception of who we are in Him that we “buy the lie” that the enemy whispers in our ear.
Let’s look at the contrast between the approaches: God vs. the enemy.
- Patient vs. Impatient- “God is taking too long. You can’t trust His timing.”
- Kind vs. Merciless- “They don’t deserve kindness.” “You don’t deserve kindness.”
- Not envious vs. Creates envy- Focuses thoughts on comparisons with others.
- Not boastful or proud vs. Self-importance- Arrogant, thoughts that belittle others.
- Not rude vs. Rude- Uses damaging words/thoughts towards others and/or towards ourselves.
- Not demanding of his own way vs. Self-centered- uncaring and apathetic to the needs of others.
- Not irritable vs. Easily irritated- Short-tempered, having unrealistic expectations.
- Keeps no record of wrongs vs. Rehearses wrongs – of past hurts and mistakes (our own and others).
- Rejoices in truth vs. Distorts truth- “You can’t believe ___________ because of_________.”
- Never gives up vs. Easily gives up- rationalizes why things will never work. “What’s the use?”
- Never loses faith vs. Doubts- “Did God really say…?”
- Always hopeful vs. Hopeless- “Things always turn out wrong.” “You’ll never get it right.” “You are hopeless, why do I put up with you?”
- Endures through every circumstance vs. Complains and looks for an easy escape- “Why keep trying?” “This is too hard.”
The enemy speaks in general terms and in lies: “You’re no good.” “God doesn’t love you.”
The Spirit speaks the truth specifically and lovingly.
Is the Holy Spirit creating a desire in you to change how you think about Him and spend time with Him? Remember, He won’t just tell you to “do better.” He will be drawing you and encouraging you with specific instructions that He will then equip you to do!
Abba, I love the way You love me. To think of You as loving and kind, and of keeping no record of wrongs changes the way I feel about You. I can trust You! Knowing that you are always faithful, hopeful, and that You never give up on me makes me want to follow You. Together, I know we can endure every circumstance, and that we will never fail because, “love never fails!” Amen.