The heart of the Father is goodness towards us to heal, save, redeem, restore and deliver, but because we are caught in a war where the enemy is constantly attacking people and trying to destroy them (John 10:10a) many people confuse this suffering as actually coming from the heart of God. The last thing God wants is that people would suffer, His heart is that no one perish, but all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Now if you’re like me than the question that comes to mind is: “Well, if God doesn’t want anyone to perish, than why doesn’t He cause this to happen?” The causality of God is surely a mystery. I mean the causality of God has been on the hearts and minds of people for thousands of years. I’m not about to wade into this debate, but rather share how I find peace in the midst of this mystery of God.
For me, when I don’t understand something in terms of faith and life (which happens often), rather than question the character of God, I try to remind myself of what Scripture says about Who God is. I mean the Scriptures describe God as the Eternal (Deuteronomy 33.27; Romans 1:20) King (Psalm 95:3; Isaiah 43:15), Who is an infinite (Psalm 147:5; Job 11:7-9), unchangeable (James 1:17), Spirit (John 4:24), perfect (Matthew 5:48) in holiness (Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16), Living (Psalm 42:2; 84:2), True (Jeremiah 10:10), wise (Psalm 104:24; Proverbs 2:6; Isaiah 28:29), good (Exodus 33:19; Psalm 63:2; 31:19), just (Psalm 33:5; 89:14; Isaiah 30:18), all-powerful (Luke 18:27; Revelation 19:6), and love (1 John 4:8). When I allow this to be my starting point, then I have a better chance of discerning between what is from God and what is from the evil one. I know this is pretty simplistic, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that in the midst of unbelief and doubt, childlike faith is the only way to go because kids don’t doubt the goodness of God.
One of my most favorite things to do during church is to watch the children during worship. A strong personal conviction of mine is to have entire families together for worship. This may by trying for some and may mean allowing the children more room to roam and play (if need be), but biblically speaking I believe this paints a better picture of the worship around the throne of God. This may sting, but I really don’t think there will be a separate area for kids’ worship. Also, in this way children actually get to see their parents actively worshipping God which is invaluable. Some things are better caught than taught, for kids, worship is one of those things. But, for adults like me, there is also the blessing of seeing the Spirit of God touch the kids, moving them to sing and dance in worship to God which helps me to better understand what childlike faith looks like. Again, some things are better caught than taught, for adults, faith is one of those things.
Thanks to Sin, life is complicated enough. So, the last thing we should do in the midst of testing is to complicate it with complex theology. Now, I’m not saying that theology is bad, I find that thinking theological can be very profitable. But, at the end of the day, all theology should lead to worship. If it doesn’t than what’s the point. The reason we study the Scriptures is to better understand the one and only Living God in Whom we worship. This should be at the heart of our theological study. When our pursuit of theology actually gets in the way of our worship, then we should probably put our study on pause in order to regain a heart of worship. If there is one thing that we will be doing for all eternity is worshipping God. Worship is forever.