It is difficult for many people to think of God as a loving Father. They can't help but see God through the eyes of past experiences with an ungodly father or stepfather. It's all so sad. But listen to how God described himself to Moses: "The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Exodus 34:6-7).
When we're in the midst of our many trials, we tend to forget what God has said about his own nature. Yet if we would only believe him in such times, we would have such assurance in our souls! From cover to cover, the Bible speaks to us as God's voice, revealing how tender and loving he is.
- He is quick to forgive. "For You, Lord are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You" (Psalm 86:5).
- He is patient with us, full of tenderness and mercy. "Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord" (Psalm 119:156).
- He is slow to anger and wrath. "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy" (Psalm 145:8). "Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm" (Joel 2:13).
When you go to worship the Lord in prayer, be very careful what kind of image of God you take into his presence! You must be fully convinced that he loves you and that he is all he says he is! Of course, God has a general love for mankind that can be embraced by anyone who comes to him in repentance. But there is also in God's heart another kind of love, a special love for his children!
"Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing" (Psalm 100:2). God wants you to so trust in his love for you that you will be a testimony of gladness and good cheer!