I had an interesting conversation with my daughter last night. She struggles with the fear of rejection. The fear that if people really know her, they won’t like her. Yeah, that apple didn’t roll too far from the tree–—that was my biggest fear for years.
She also believed she should be ashamed of her wrong behavior. That feeling bad shows you really understand the depth of your error. And she believed that God gets angry with her over her poor choices.
So I shared with her a dream I had several years ago in which God spoke three questions:
1) Does God get disappointed with you?
2) What was the purpose of the cross?
3) Was God’s purpose for the cross fulfilled?
God Isn’t Angry
Most people get an uncertain expression when asked if God gets disappointed with them. Some say no and many say yes.
So which is it? Either he gets angry and disappointed with us or he doesn’t. Or maybe His anger just flares on those rare occasions when we really mess up.
What was the purpose of the cross? We know it was an instrument of punishment. And we know Jesus died on it. And the purpose? It was for Jesus to take on all our sin, all the curses associated with sin and receive the full punishment and judgment of God in our place. Correct? (Rom. 3:22-26)
So, was all of God’s wrath toward sin poured out on Jesus? Yes? Or no?
Romans 3:25 says, “…Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation…” Propitiation means the appeasement of divine wrath by a sacrificial offering.
So if Jesus stood in our place and took every last bit of God’s anger and wrath toward sin, how much anger is left over for us when we mess up? A lot? A little?
How about NONE? No anger is left for our sins and poor choices because once we repent, God doesn’t even remember them. When we receive Christ’s sacrifice, our sins are wiped from his memory (Psalm 103:12, Heb. 8:12).
Until this soaked into the fibers of my being, I couldn’t understand how God could tolerate my presence after I’d just yelled at one of my kids. I would feel such shame for my behavior. How could he not glare down at me with folded arms, shaking his head in disappointment . . . yet again?
God Doesn’t See Your Sin
A truth Graham Cooke frequently shares was like water to my parched and shame-filled soul. He says something along the lines of, “God doesn’t see your sin. He sees an area of your life that is lacking an experience of Him.”
God wants to wrap an arm around your shoulders and say, “Sweetheart, those choices you’re making aren’t healthy for you. Can I help you with them?”
The beauty in all of this is He wants to be our friend, our comfort, our ever present help in time of need
(Psalm 46:1). This gives us the freedom to run and throw ourselves onto His lap in the middle of our biggest messes and know we will receive His pleasure and delight in us (Eph. 3:12).
He is the only place we receive unconditional love and acceptance. He doesn’t just have love for us, He IS Love.
First Corinthians thirteen is a description of His character (1 Cor. 13:4-13). The word “God” and the word “Love” are interchangeable because they are the same.
Love Changes Us
Before I understood Love, I hid from His presence. I didn’t want to be seen and found lacking.
Love doesn’t gloss over sin or minimize the pain it causes in our lives or the effect it may have on others. But His honesty in no way lessens His love and acceptance of us. He is Truth and Grace.
Running to Him and being received with open arms of love and acceptance doesn’t mean that we can keep sinning without consequence. He doesn’t want us to continue on unhealthy paths.
It’s why He told the adulterous woman, “Go and sin no more.” But He followed that with, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:10-12)
He stated that because without walking in His light it is impossible not to sin. But the closer we stick to Jesus and let Him live through us (since He does occupy space inside us), the more those unhealthy habits and mindsets toward sin drop off our lives.
Tell Me How You Feel
Do you believe God is disappointed with you or do you feel His pleasure?
Photo By Yvette