daily devotional

The nature of God is loving towards his children. Without fail, his intention is to draw us in to him, and direct us toward the good works he planned for us long ago. However when life gets hard, circumstances are unfavorable, and the future becomes uncertain, we may begin to question God’s nature towards us.

Why does it seem like he is punishing you? Why is he withholding goodness from you? Why is he delaying his provision, answering with a no, and absent in your storm?

Our mistake is viewing God’s nature through the lens of our circumstances instead of viewing our circumstances through the lens of God’s nature. Which comes first? Which is in charge? Which determines the other?

If we put the power in our circumstances, it’s easy to believe perhaps God is indeed that angry, white bearded man sitting on a throne, ready to strike. When circumstances are our lead, and things go terribly wrong, that must mean God’s nature towards us is unfavorable, harsh, or distant.

But, when we shift the power towards God’s nature first, all things flow from an unstoppable love that is not swayed by circumstances. A love that weathers the storm. We see and understand that God is sovereign. He is not shaken by the unfolding of this moment, because he already holds every moment there will ever be in his hand and he knows how they all fit together perfectly.

When you’re staring down your current circumstances, you fail to see everything else there is. You don’t see how God is still holding the whole world together. You don’t see how he is still breathing his life into your lungs. You don’t see how he has always brought you through everything that has ever threatened you and you have a 100% survival rate so far. You just see your hardship, your struggle, your hurt, your worry, and you become like Peter who went from walking on water with Jesus to sinking in the waves, all because you took your eye off God and became overwhelmed in your circumstances.

Can you shift your perspective today? Can you begin looking at your circumstances through the perspective of God’s loving nature? Can you see how God has given mercy and grace here? Can you see how he has strengthened you to get through this? Can you see how he has provided in supernatural ways? Can you see how he may be planning to use even this for something good in the future?

Yes, he IS planning to use this for something good in the future. No doubt, that is his exact plan. You may not see it now, it may not make sense to you here, but one day, this will be used for something good.

My husband lost his father to suicide nearly 20 years ago. It was the most devastating thing he had ever experienced. But what he didn’t know then, is God would use it for good in his life. He would use that extreme loss and hardship to forge a fiery passion within him to help others stop the drift of a life of regret and come back to the life God intended for them before it’s too late. I have no idea how many lives he’s positively impacted, but I bet one day in heaven he will have a line of people there to tell him what a difference he made.

Circumstances were unbearably hard, and if God’s nature were to be viewed through those circumstances, it would be easy to assume God was cruel and distant. A simple shift to see those circumstances through the lens of God’s nature first, we can see how God took the harm that was intended by the enemy, and he used it for good, and he still is.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

This is the image of who God desires us to be. The tree with deep roots connected to the water source. A tree not bothered by the heat or worried about long months of drought. A tree that regardless of conditions and circumstances, it never stops producing fruit.

When we place our complete hope and confidence in the Lord, we are connected to the source. He is the source of life. He is the source of joy. He is the source of strength. He is the source of wisdom. He is the source of every next step there ever will be. Our connection with God Almighty allows us to go through hardships and never stop doing good. The fruit in our lives continues to grow, regardless of circumstances, because we are connected with God.

When you trust God and put all your hope and confidence in him, does it mean life will be easier? Does it mean everything will go right for you? Does it mean you will insulated and protected from the chaos of this world? Absolutely not. Scorching heat will still come. Long months of drought where there is no relief will still happen. But these circumstances do not determine the nature of God. These things do not make our God distant or harsh.

The connection with God is still available for us when we trust in him. That connection sustains us and allows us to never stop producing good things in our lives, regardless of circumstances. It is God’s nature in the lead. His love prevails.

Do not be bothered by the heat today. Yes, the heat of all that is going wrong. The heat of all that is so terribly undone right now. The heat of what has gone up in flames and failed miserably. You can feel the heat without withering to it. When your roots are connected to the source of life, like the tree on the riverbank with roots connected to the river of water, you can withstand the heat and keep doing what you’re meant to do.

Do not worry about the long months of drought. Yes, the long months of nothing changing. The long months of every day it only gets harder and seems more desperate. You don’t have to worry about that. Why? Because you are connected to the source of life. Even when circumstances are dry and dusty without the sweet promise of rain, you remain connected to God and he will sustain you. He will give you everything you need to survive this. He will enable you to somehow, against all odds, go right through this and keep doing the good works he created you to do.

God’s love is not circumstantial. Circumstances do not determine his power or ability to move in our lives. There’s nothing he can’t do. Absolutely NOTHING!

Circumstances do not determine God’s nature. Stop looking at your circumstances first to determine if God loves you. God’s love for you is undeniable and unstoppable. There’s never been a moment of your life he didn’t love you with a relentless love that would absolutely stop at nothing. Even on your worst day, he still sacrificed his son for you. He still said you’re worth it.

Be rooted and confident in God’s nature towards you, then look at your circumstances and know he will use this for good, and if you stay connected to him, you will have everything you need. You can still do good works here. You can still be used by God for good things. It never has to stop.