What God is Like (Musings on the character of God) #5

Faith in his character… 

When I think about God my primary musings have to do with his character.  Though I have a great appreciation for his capability it’s his character that makes me love him. I don’t love him because he’s omnipotent, omnipresent or omniscient. I’m glad that he can do anything, is everywhere at once, and knows everything there is to know; but what makes him so loveable to me is his character. When he says he’s going to do something, he does it. He isn’t selfish, but loves to help us whenever we let him. He has an impeccable character. It makes me happy to sing: “Holy, holy, holy – merciful and mighty…”  He’s both merciful and mighty. He is capable and has character. But I love him not so much for what he can do (his might), but for what he’s like (his mercy)!

…it’s his character

that makes me love him.

By the way, can you imagine a world in which God is not both “merciful and mighty”? One without the other would be disastrous. Pity the God who had a heart for the miserable but could do nothing about it. And pity the people whose God had the might to do anything he wanted, but hadn’t the mercy to spare us sinners from the judgment we deserve!

I had just lost my 30-year marriage, broke my neck, and was diagnosed with cancer all within a two-month period. I mused about whether or not God was as consistent as I had previously thought. It seemed to me that he was good one moment and not so good the next. He didn’t appear to be doing the same things the same way in which he’d once done them. Was it me? Did I do something to make him not like me as much as he had in the past, or was it he who had changed?

I was sniffing around the trap* that the devil had set for me. Did the Lord have the character that I’d read about in the Bible or was he something less than that? How could a just and faithful God let this happen to me all at once? My idea about God was being challenged. My concept of him was, by necessity, shifting from the theoretical to survival mode. Platitudes would no longer cut it. Was he or was he not who the Bible implied he was? I was at a crossroads regarding God’s character.

*I call it a “trap” of the devil, because luring us into doubting God’s goodness is one of his most effective snares. “Did God really say you shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The snake was burrowing into Eve’s naïve head. “God is not good, he doesn’t want you to be happy, he’s hording his best!” Satan’s been propagandizing this reasoning ever since, and with much success.

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