God’s Nature Vs. God’s Methods—What’s the Difference?

Is there a difference between God’s nature and God’s methods? I believe that God is infinitely good, but something inside me questions His methods—that perhaps they’re not always in my best interests. So, does that mean I don’t really think that God is all-good, after all?

I sometimes picture God as a mad scientist type, with white hair and a white beard, clipboard in hand and watching over His creation. All of us are like little mice, running to and fro through a gigantic maze. Some of the time it feels that God is controlling all the things going on in the maze. 

“Let’s throw a little rain at them and see how they respond. How about a little cancer here, a little car trouble over there? What do they do then?”

At other times it seems that God isn’t doing anything but standing back and watching everything unfold on its own. I know this deist view isn’t accurate, but sometimes it’s hard not to believe it’s reality. 

Admittedly, it’s hard to picture God as loving when I’m also picturing him as standing back from His creation, aloof and unconcerned about the goings-on of the individuals He is presiding over.

So why do I sometimes see God this way? I believe it’s the sheer silence that we get out of God most of the time. We pray and seek Him, yet for the most part He is silent. At best, we get a barely discernible whisper from within our spirit when He does speak directly to us. 

It seems that if He were interested in us, He would make himself more known to us. Seems like a fair assessment.

I realize I’m being hard on God with this line of reasoning. And I know that his thoughts are higher than my thoughts, so I’ll never understand why He does the things He does and doesn’t do the things he doesn’t. That’s just part of being human.

But just because I don’t understand God’s methods doesn’t mean that I can’t trust him completely. In fact, that is the very essence of faith, isn’t it—to trust God even when there’s no logical reason to do so? I believe that is a solid definition of faith.

In my heart of hearts I know that God is good. I’ve always believed that I think. But that doesn’t mean I always appreciate his methods. Often I feel like things that happen in life ought not to happen, that I go through hardships that I could just as easily do without. 

As they say, “God never wastes a tear,” which means that everything is part of God’s divine purpose and plan. Perhaps I should just accept that and move on. There is no sense getting upset when things don’t go the way I think they should. 

Either I trust God and His methods or I don’t. It’s that simple..

These are problems that I will probably always struggle with; it’s part of human nature to try to figure out the mysteries of life. However, we must not let these thoughts taint our view of the infinitely loving God who created us and who loves us unconditionally.

That’s where faith comes in. 

Quit Trying to Understand God

If you want to commit your life to God and walk in obedience to Him, you must forget what you think you know about how life works. As mere humans, we can never fully understand God’s ways.

We’re told in Isaiah 55:9,

For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If you stop and think about it, nothing about God and His creation really makes any sense. 

For example, in our human way of understanding, everything has a beginning and an end. 

Just look at our lives. We’re born, we live a certain length of time, then we die. That holds true for every single human being. There’s no variance to this pattern. Some may live longer than others, but every person has a beginning and an end.

God is different, however. The scriptures tell us that He has always been. He was not created by another entity, and He has never not existed. There’s no time in history when God wasn’t around. He created the concept of past, present, and future as we know it.

Our human brains struggle to make sense of this. How can something or someone have always been in existence? It’s not possible, our minds scream. Yet, it’s true. 

If we can truly wrap our heads around this fact, then we’ve come a long way toward accepting all the truths we’re told about God in the Bible. 

If we believe that God is all-powerful, then surely we can grasp the fact that He flooded the entire earth, or parted the sea so His people could escape capture, or resurrected His Son from the dead.

We, ourselves, can’t do any of these things; it’s not within our power to do so. This fact makes it quite difficult to believe that these things are possible. We simply must suspend disbelief and realize that there are things that a divine being can do that we simply can’t. 

I believe that’s why the Bible begins the way that it does. In Genesis, we’re told in detail how God created the heavens and the earth, then populated the earth with a man and woman and a multitude of animal species. 

He just puts it all out there right off the bat. If we can accept the truths found in Genesis, the rest of the Bible shouldn’t be a problem for us. 

The question is, do you believe the narratives found in the Bible? If you struggle to believe what you read in scripture, ask God to strengthen your faith; He’ll do it. He wants us to wholeheartedly accept Him and His ways.

To do so, it’s necessary to put aside human logic and accept the fact that God’s divine nature can’t be explained using our limited logic.

If you can do that, you can begin to commune more fully with God and worship Him as the Divine Creator that He is.

Just remember—it’s not always supposed to make sense. If it did, we wouldn’t need faith. And we’re told in Hebrews 11:6a that without faith it is impossible to please God.

So exercise your faith today. Don’t worry about understanding God. Simply worship Him by pondering on His glorious attributes. 

God is Good All the Time

You may be like me in that you often struggle with doubting God. I hate to admit it, but far too often I don’t trust that God has my best interests in mind when things don’t go the way I think they should. 

In my heart, I know that I can and should trust God completely. After all, He created the universe, so He should be able to handle the affairs of my life, shouldn’t He?

Then why do I allow my lack of faith to bubble to the surface and keep me from experiencing all the peace of God that He wants for His children?

If you also struggle with a lack of faith, then I’ll tell you the same thing I tell myself: God is good all the time—all the time, God is good.

Try this. The next time you’re faced with a challenging situation and you’re tempted to question God and His motives, take a moment to reflect on a previous trial in your life. It may have been last week, or it could even be from decades ago in your childhood. 

Just make sure it’s a situation where you can clearly see God’s hand at work. Perhaps he worked out the situation supernaturally in a way you can’t explain. Or maybe it was something simple—just an affirmative answer to a prayer sent up to Heaven.

The point is to recognize God’s work in the situation. Think about and really appreciate how His touch worked out in your favor. Perhaps even thank God again for His help during this time, no matter how long ago it was.

Now, here’s the key. If you can truly see and appreciate God’s handiwork during this trial in your life, you realize He can be trusted. 

He’s got your back, as the apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:28:

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

It doesn’t matter what kind of challenge you’re facing. We’re assured that when it’s all said and done, God is working it out for your benefit

Even if you’ve just lost your job, or a loved one has died, or your car has broken down on the side of the highway—something good will come out of this situation.

God, in His infinite wisdom and goodness knows what He’s doing. And as mere human beings, there’s no way we can possibly begin to understand His actions. Even though the situation may look like a total mess to us, it is completely under His control. 

In fact, in Ecclesiastes 8:17 we’re told that we can’t ever hope to have full understanding of God’s actions:

I observed all the work of God and concluded that a person is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun.

Also, in Isaiah 64:4 we read:

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

These are just two of the verses that tell us we will never comprehend the mysteries of God. Therefore, trust is the key. 

If God came through for us before, He can and will again. We shouldn’t worry or fret over the situation because God already has it worked out.

God exists outside of our human concept of time. While we can only live in the present—having already experienced the past and waiting for the future to happen—God is not limited in this way. He is in the past, present, and future all at one time. 

He knows exactly what is going to happen to us. To Him, it’s already settled. And while we can’t exist in the same nonlinear space that God does, we can surely trust Him that everything in our lives will work out for the best. 

Once again, if we can look back on our lives and recognize God’s activity during our times of crisis, we can rest solidly on the fact that He will do the same again. 

The outcome may not look like we’re expecting it to or think it should, but we can be certain that it’s all for the best.

God is loyal and He loves His children. Waiting patiently on Him is an exercise in faith. Our faith will actually grow during challenging times as we rest in our belief that God will work every situation out for our benefit. 

After all, God is more concerned about building our character than He is about our physical comfort. Certainly, he would much rather shape our attitudes about material things than give in to our request for more money, a newer car, or a bigger house.

That’s not to say He doesn’t want us to have those things, but if it comes down to either more income or a stronger Christian character, He is going to act in a way that builds our character.

That may not be what we want to happen, at least in the here and now, but in the end, we’ll be better off because of God’s plan.

So, when it’s all said and done, simply trust God. Trust Him that He loves us and that He wants only the best for us. He’s our loving Heavenly father. And what father doesn’t want the best for His kids? 

A toddler doesn’t understand his parents’ motives for telling him to stay away from a busy roadway, but avoiding the dangers of passing traffic is obviously for his benefit. 

The same holds true for us. Even though we don’t understand why things happen as they do in our lives, God does, and He’s firmly in control.

In that, we can be absolutely certain. Just as that toddler doesn’t have to worry about food and shelter, we don’t have to worry about our basic needs. God has everything under control. 

Remembering that God is good and that He’s working on our behalf will help us rest in peace no matter what we’re faced with.

The Christian’s Advantage

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

If you are a Christian, you have an advantage over non-believers. That’s right, the above verse says so. 

Christians are what this verse refers to as the called. So if we’ve chosen to follow Christ and we love God, we can rest in full assurance that everything that happens to us in our life is working out for the best. 

We don’t have to wonder if the future will work out, as we’ve been guaranteed that God Himself is at the helm of our lives, making sure things go exactly as He has planned.

Now, it may not always feel like things are working out for the best. We will have days when it seems that everything is going downhill. 

However, these are the times when our faith must kick in. We must have faith that God is still in control, no matter what the circumstances look like.

As James tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

Not only can we rest in faith, knowing that God is working everything out for the best, we can also count on the trials we face to cause our faith to grow. 

The next time we find ourselves in an unwanted situation, we’ll have that much more faith to stand firm during the trial.

The person who has never accepted Christ into their life does not have any of these assurances. 

When they face the trials of everyday life, they really have nothing to fall back on.

As Christians, we have the assurance that God is on our side—every day, all the time.

Does this make you want to share the gospel with someone you know?

Wait For God’s Timing

Has God ever come through for you? 

Has there ever been a situation in your life when you needed Him to do something that only He could do—so you prayed and God did exactly what you asked him for?

If so, then you know from this past experience that He cares for you and hears your prayers.

It was a faith-building experience. Through it, you gained just a little more faith that God is good and does only good things. 

Now you have that much more faith to carry you through the rough times. If God came through for you once, then He’ll do it again.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that the next time God shows up, it may not be in exactly the way you think He should. 

God has a particular way of doing things. It’s His way, and that may or may not line up with what you have pictured. 

You probably have an answer all laid out in your mind about your situation. You know how it should work out. Or, at least you think you do.

God may have a whole different idea about it, and you have to be flexible and patient. 

When it comes to waiting on God and His timing, patience is important. He usually doesn’t work in the same timeframe we do. 

We want an answer yesterday when we’re faced with a problem. God’s timing may not give you an answer for quite some time. 

And when He does answer, it may look totally different from what you expect.

But one thing is for certain—it will work out for the best. We’re assured of that in Romans 8:28.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

We just have to wait on God to do His thing. And we must remain prayerful during this time, because we don’t want to miss anything He may be telling us about His plan. 

If there’s something we need to do, He’ll let us know. That’s why we need to stay connected to Him in the meantime. We have to keep the lines of communication open so we can hear Him.

He wants to come through for us—never forget that. But we need to wait patiently in faith for Him and His timing.

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6

Faith and patience are the keys. 

He WILL come through, because He said He would in the verse from Romans. 

Just don’t get ahead of God and try to work things out on your own. Doing this can often make a tough situation even worse.

Wait on God and you’ll eventually see what He has in store for you.

You’ll be glad you did.

What Is the Meaning of Life?

We’ve all asked the meaning of life; we’ve all wondered what our purpose is for being placed on this big ol’ ball of mud to live for a few decades. 

There are many ways you could try to explain the meaning of life, but I think the best one is to simply go to the Bible and read what God has to say about it. 

Rather than everything happening by happenstance, there is a method to the supposed madness. God planned everything out way before any of us were ever here. 

He knew exactly who was going to be on this planet and when. He knew everything that was going to take place with each of us. Some good, some bad, but He knew it all beforehand. 

Why, you ask? Now I certainly don’t know the full answer to that, but I believe I can answer it in part. 

Simply put, we were put here to worship God. We are an outpouring of His love. 

God IS love, so He created human beings so He could bestow His love on them and we could, in turn, love Him back. 

Of course, this is all in preparation for the eternity that He wants each of us to spend with him. He wants us all to spend forever with him in Heaven/The New Jerusalem. 

The meaning of life on this planet is to prepare us for that, at least in part I think. 

However, our lives in eternity will be so vastly different from anything we can fathom now that there won’t be any real comparison. 

Personally, I can’t wait to get to eternity. Many days I’m so done with this life that all I can think about is how much better life in eternity will be. This life here is just a trial run after all. 

THAT is what the meaning of life is, as far as I can tell anyway.

Simple Faith Will Change Your Destiny

And many believed in him there.

John 10:42

The above verse is so simple that we might tend to read right on past it. It contains a key truth, however.

In this passage we learn that a great number of people became followers of Jesus after He had crossed over the Jordan and remained there for a period of time. These people believed He was their Messiah because of the signs He performed and the words that He spoke.

We don’t have Jesus physically with us today like the people in biblical days did. How then can we get to the point where we also believe? 

The answer lies in the Holy Spirit. He convicts us of our sin nature and lays it on our heart that we need Jesus for our salvation. 

Without the work of the Spirit, we would never reach the point where we feel empty without Jesus. It is the Spirit’s interaction that allows us to see that we need Jesus. Those who have never felt the conviction of the Spirit do not fully understand that their lives are not complete without Jesus.

That’s why I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit’s work. He is the Teacher and Comforter who prepares our hearts to accept Jesus into our lives. He is who made it possible for all those people to believe in Jesus as described in John 10:42. 

Without a push, a slight nudge from the Spirit to let Jesus into our lives, we’ll never do it on our own.

If you’ve already believed in the Lordship of Jesus and accepted Him as your savior—congratulations! You’re part of the family of God and will live with Him for all eternity.

However, if you’ve never taken time to really think about Jesus and what He did for you by suffering and dying, then there’s no better time than now. 

The Father loves us so much that He sent Jesus to earth in human form so that He could ultimately pay the price of salvation for every man, woman, and child.

You have to accept Him, however. Just like the masses of people who allowed Jesus into their lives while He was physically walking the earth, we have to do the same. 

He’s still alive today. Right now, He is sitting at the right hand of the Father inviting you to let Him be Lord of your life. 

Doing so will put you right with God. It’s the only way. Works won’t set the record straight between you and the Father. Giving money away won’t do it either. 

The only path to eternal salvation is through Jesus. Won’t you invite Him into your life?

9 Verses About God’s Love That Will Lift Your Spirits

Perhaps you’re like many people in today’s hurry-scurry world and you feel completely all alone. If it’s been a while since you really connected with anyone else, you may feel like there’s not a single soul on the planet who cares about you. 

While it could be true that you don’t have anyone else to call a friend, who you can go to for advice or just for a hug, you always have God. He loves you unconditionally, no matter how bad you think you are. He’s always there and is longing for a relationship with you. 

Below are nine of the best verses that detail the depth of God’s love for us, in no particular order:

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This is one of the most, if not the most, famous verses in the entire bible. The reason is because it describes God’s deep love for us, so much so that He was willing to allow His Son to be tortured and killed before resurrecting Him. His punishment paid the price for the sin we all commit every day.

1 John 4:9

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

This verse also details the depth of God’s love for us, explaining that He sacrificed His son so that we might live eternally.

1 John 4:16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

In this verse, we’re told that God is in fact love Himself. Wherever there is true love, that represents the very essence of God.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Here we see that Jesus loves us so much that He willingly gave His life so that we might live.

Ephesians 2:4-5

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

God loves us so much that he gave us new life even when we were mired down in our sin.

Psalm 86:15

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

God always acts with compassion because His love is overflowing toward us, His creation.

Psalm 136:26

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

So strong and powerful is God’s love that it will indeed last forever. Nothing you do can stop Him from loving you.

Psalm 36:7

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

God’s love is an ever-present shelter for us during all the trials and tribulations of life.

Romans 5:5

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

God gave us the Holy Spirit so that we could experience the full measure of His love for us.

This is just a starting point, as these verses only scratch the surface of all the verses in the Bible that demonstrate how much God loves us. Whenever you’re feeling down or blue, spend some time meditating on these verses. Then dig deeper and find more passages that speak to your heart about God’s deep, everlasting love for you.

Trust God and Be Happy

As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to trust God with our lives, could it also turn out that trusting in God will bring us happiness?

Yes, that is exactly the case. Our heavenly Father wants us to rely completely on him, so much so that He makes it that if we do trust him completely, our lives will be better for it. 

Take a look at Proverbs 16:20b in the ESV (English Standard Version):

Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

The word that is translated “blessed” in this verse can also be translated as “happy.” Some translations, including the CSB (Christian Standard Bible) actually render the verse that way. 

God is telling us that we will be happier and more joyful if we’ll just trust in Him and His guidance. Whenever our eyes stray away from God and onto our own way of thinking, we’ll get into trouble. It’s far better to trust in the Lord for everything, plus doing so will bring more joy into our lives.

In Psalm 34:8, we’re told:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Once again, the word translated as “blessed” can also mean “happy.” Go ahead and take refuge in the Lord. Make Him your mighty fortress when the challenges of life come your way, because they surely will. 

In fact, we should make it a priority to rejoice in our trials, as we’re commanded in James 1:2-3:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Let’s get to the point where we welcome struggles and challenges every day because we know they’ll increase our faith in God.

I, for one, will admit that this area has been a huge problem for me. When something goes wrong, often my first inclination is to blame God, and even get mad at Him for it.

After all, I’m a “good Christian,” right? I shouldn’t have to deal with a broken-down car or plumbing problems at 2 a.m., should I?

God never promises that following Jesus would eliminate all our problems and frustrations. What He does promise is that if we’ll take refuge in Him when faced with challenges, that we can have joy and that our faith will grow.

Furthermore, we can thrive during rough times. Just read Jeremiah 17:7-8:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream…and is not anxious in the year of drought.

Trusting in God wholeheartedly not only can bring us happiness and joy, it is also a potent antidote for anxiety. And in these trying times of global pandemic, chaos, and political upheaval, it doesn’t get much better than that. 

God wants and longs for what’s best for you. Take Him at His word—begin a new pattern of trusting Him with the entirety of your life, even the smallest of details. 

When you turn everything over to Him, He’ll shoulder the burden (1 Peter 5:7) and you can rest in the joy of the Lord.

The Safety We Long For

For this post, I went here to get a random word (which turned out to be “safety,” then made it the focus of the post.

I’d say that safety, or at least the feeling of safety, is something that nearly everyone craves at one time or another. 

As a little kid, if you have reasonably good parents, then you can feel confident in the fact that they’re going to take care of you and help you feel safe. You know that you can always find a loving arm and security just by running to one of your parents. That’s the idea anyway. Far too many children don’t have that kind of security in their lives, that’s for sure. I think that’s something as adults we certainly miss. 

I know I do. I long to have a parental figure that I can lean on and seek refuge in. It’s lonely being an adult and having to face any number of problems every day. Knowing that you’re the last line of defense against all the bills, laundry, dirty dishes, car repairs, skinned knees, emotional trauma, and everything else can be overwhelming. Where is my safety net?, I’ve regularly asked myself over the years. 

Once you become an adult and have to take care of yourself, your parents don’t play nearly as big a role as they once did. How often I’ve longed to be a kid again. Ironically, when I was a kid, I longed to be an adult so I could make my own decisions, come and go as I pleased, and do what I wanted to. 

How nice it would be to be 13 or so again – old enough to take care of yourself in many respects, yet young enough to still fit under your parents’ wings when hard times come knocking. Alas, life doesn’t work that way unfortunately. It would be nice if it did (or at least it seems like it would be nice).

I can console myself with the fact that God designed the human existence the way He did for a reason. I don’t know why things are the way they are. I don’t know why I can’t snap my fingers and be a teenager again. It seems like a good idea to me. 

However, I guess God thinks otherwise, since we can’t do that. I have to keep telling myself that He knows best so I don’t go crazy trying to figure out all the questions about life I have that really don’t have any answers. If He wanted me or anyone else to know these answers, we’d have them. All we can do is just keep forging ahead through life, trusting Him and trying to do our best each day. 

If we think too hard about some of these things, we’ll just end up frustrated and angry, a state I’ve found myself in all too many times. It’s not a good place to be, and it’s not how we should feel toward our Heavenly Father who only wants the best for us. His plan is the best, even though we may not always understand it, and our job is simply to go along with it. 

Still, though, that often doesn’t make things any easier when we’re in the thick of a personal crisis. We long for the safety and security that our 5-year-old selves had so many years ago. We want those big strong arms wrapped around us, comforting us and telling us everything will be OK. 

I haven’t figured out how to make that happen as an adult. All I can do is keep trusting in my Father, and remember that He is ultimately in control of everything.