What is God really like?
We can so easily get confused about this.
You look at your life and you match what you see against the high standards of religious virtue. You start to think of God as a fearsome judge and you hide from Him.
Or you look around and you think, if there is a God, how could he be good, to make a world so full of cruelty and suffering?
Or you look away from humanity in horror and see the glory and beauty of nature, so you long to be in harmony with the mysterious spiritual essence permeating all that beauty.
Love and relationships always disappoint you, so you despair of finding a personal God. Basically people let you down and the church that preaches a personal God is no different.
With the limitations of our faulty human nature, there is no way out of this confused mess.
As children we enjoyed the love of our mother and father, or if not we longed to have such a love. We heard stories where people lived happily ever after and we wanted them to be true.
There is no way out and no way home to the dreams of our childhood.
But as I grew older, I found there were at least some people who had found love and peace and a heavenly hope that was not just shallow religion. Of course I was confused and disappointed by much of what I saw in Christian churches but I longed for something better.
- I didn’t find it in the worship of natural beauty or in yoga or poetry. I didn’t find it in psychology or religion.
I found it in the lives of some people who followed Jesus.
They were full of love and they accepted me. When I was with them, I felt a warm glow like an aura, a spiritual fragrance in the atmosphere.
I felt a spiritual presence far warmer and sweeter and more comforting than the spiritual atmosphere around New Age people. There was a comfort that was real and inviting far better than anything I had ever known.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.