God “feels” certain things intensely—we read of his anger burning (Isaiah 5:25) and in Genesis 6:6 that “The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the Earth, and his heart was deeply troubled”.
Later in Isaiah we read statements about God such as “the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, he will rise up to show you compassion”. (Isaiah 30:18).
Thankfully, scripture reveals that God’s compassion can in time overcome his anger, as demonstrated in Isaiah 54:7,8—God speaking:
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
This triumph of God’s compassion over his anger underpins our hopes for our future.
Living as believers reveals that while Father God does not usually extricate us from difficult physical situations, he nevertheless empathises and sustains us in love as we go through them—as he did for Jesus’ sufferings on the cross.
We are emotional beings, and so is God. That he can react emotionally makes him more accessible to us, and us to him. We know we can be understood by him.
For example, Zephaniah 3:17 reads “He will take great delight in you, in his love he will no longer rebuke you, he will rejoice over you with singing”. This “rejoice” in Hebrew is the word “guwl”, which means to “spin around under a strong emotion”.
Can you picture God doing that? Spinning around in delight, and singing over you for something significant that you have done, such as choosing to become one of his followers? That heart response would be more expected of King David than God, which is why David was identified by God as “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). Although it is a paraphrase rather than a direct translation, I like the way the Message Bible expresses God’s comment: “He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart”.
Indeed, David’s effusive, expansive, demonstrative responses shadow those of God, who is not a cold, white, marble figure sitting imperiously on a giant throne as some may envisage him; on the contrary, he is more like us—emotional, accessible, loving, and wanting to be loved.
It is more accurate to say that we are more like him.
Are you perceiving from this who you really are, and even why?
Returning briefly to the importance to appreciating God in nature.
Entrusting ourselves to God when converting to Christ is a helpful precursor to comprehending things in their true spiritual context, including the Creation and its continuation today as a “God thing”. This explains why knowing God more closely increases our delight in nature and appreciation of his precious pinnacle of Creation—people—including ourselves.
I have noticed that conversion is frequently followed by a person’s fresh wonder at the beauties of nature, and a greater and growing love both for God and for people. I heard recently of a new Christian who kept asking her husband during a journey to stop the car so that she could wonder at the beautiful views that she had not noticed previously, despite having driven along the same road many times beforehand.
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