When we hear the word ‘father,’ for some, this brings to mind all kinds of painful memories. Human fathers can be selfish, demanding, inconsistent, self-centered and abusive.
Jesus qualified the term Father when He said, “Our Father in heaven…” Matthew 6:9 He’s our ‘heavenly’ Father as opposed to our earthly father – there is a huge difference!
We can view God through the lens of the behavior and relationship or lack of relationship with our natural fathers. Resulting in;
Four misunderstandings people have about God.
- God is UNREASONABLE.
Many people find it difficult to get close to God, because they think all He wants to do is make their life miserable through all kinds of restrictions and rules.
They think that God is some kind of killjoy. So why relate to someone, let alone commit a life to following someone who is unreasonable and demanding?
- God is UNRELIABLE.
Human behavior tells us when somebody hurts they start the blame game. Blaming God for allowing bad things that has happened to us causes us to question Him; “Why did you allow that to happen to me, God?” Blaming God for the bad things that happen in our lives will result in ’coldness’ in our hearts towards God.
- God is UNCONCERNED.
Bett Midler sings, “God is watching us from a distance.” You may feel like this? “Yes, I believe there is a God, but He is just too busy to bother with me. How could God be possibly interested in me? I’m just a small drop in a very large ocean!” If we think God is unconcerned about us, why then try to get to know Him?
- God is UNPLEASABLE.
Some think that no matter how hard they try it’s never good enough in God’s eyes. If we get C’s on our report card, God wants B’s. If we get B’s, God wants A’s. If we get A’s, God wants A+’s. The point: If we grew up with an unreasonable, unreliable, a unconcerned and an unpleasable father, then…we tend to think God is the same!
What does the Bible say God is really like? What kind of Father is He?
- God is CARING.
God is compassionate, loving, and gracious and He cares about us. Psalm 104:13 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who honour Him…”
But does God really care about my problems, my hurts and what really happens to me? The answer is yes! 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you!
We have a heavenly Father that cares about all the details of our life. In fact, The Bible says God knows every hair on our head and the original colour!
So don’t worry saying, what shall we eat? …or what shall we wear? … your heavenly Father knows you need these things. Matthew 6:31-32
As a father, I don’t want my kids to worry about when their next meal is going to be? Or to worry about whether they’ll have clothes to wear? It is my responsibility as a father to take care of my children’s needs. I love them, I care about them, and I am committed to meeting their needs.
God doesn’t want us to worrying about our needs either! And my God will give you everything you need because of His great riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Doubting whether God really does care about us is a warning sign that we doubt God’s love for us! This can be the cause of worry!
- God is DEPENDABLE.
God is consistent and worthy of our trust. We can count on Him every time. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift… is from the Father … who does not change like shifting shadows.
Our fathers can be unpredictable. They can change from one day to the next depending upon the mood he’s in. One day he may be silent and the next day he may be violent? Point being, inconsistent fathers produce insecure kids.
God is a consistent Father. God isn’t moody and He doesn’t have a bad day. Imagine if God said, “I feel angry today. Who can I take it out on? God’s consistency does not depend on my consistency. Even if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
While everything around us might be changing, God always acts the same way towards us in love – with forgiveness – with grace and offers us His help. He doesn’t change!
God always keeps His promises. He is always consistent. Romans 11:29 (tlb) God will never go back on His promises. Psalm 59:10 (tlb) My God is changeless in His love for me.
iii. God is CLOSE to us.
God is available all the time. He’s not distant or far off – He’s there when we need Him. Acts 17:27 God did this so people would … reach out for Him and find Him, since He is not far from each of us.” Many have grown up with absentee fathers. Their father was never around for some reason. For some, their father just did not make that big of an impact.
In a recent study in the rise of two-earner income families as well as the rise of single parent families has resulted in the fact that parents now spend an average of 22 fewer hours with their children each week than they did in 1969. That’s almost a full day per week in lost parental attention. We argue, “We’ve got to make ends meet.” As parents, we need to be careful we don’t make our kids pay for a lifestyle we can’t afford.
God, our heavenly Father, is not detached from us.
God is never too BUSY for us. Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on Him. God is sensitive to our HURTS.
When we come to God with our pain, He doesn’t say, “Oh, come on! Get over it! Put a smile on your face.” If you’ve had a tough week, God understands. Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Maybe you feel ‘crushed’ or ‘burdened’? God is sympathetic to your hurt. He loves to meet your needs and is never too busy for you.
- God is CAPABLE.
God can handle any problem we give Him. Nothing is beyond His ability and resources. Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God. We have an epidemic of ‘incompetent’ fathers today who are good at a lot of other things but pretty lousy as fathers.
As kids, we think our dad is Superman and he ‘can do anything!’ As we grow older, we realize that our father has limitations. But our heavenly Father really can do anything. (God) is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask to even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes! Ephesians 3:20 (tlb)
God says, “I am the answer to your needs. I’m your heavenly Father and I’m close to you, I am caring, capable and dependable. You can trust Me.”
Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to My ways. Our pursuit of God, our desire and endeavour to know Him – is most importance in life.
Our relationship with Christ is more important than anything else. To know Christ should be our ultimate goal. Would we accept His invitation today?
Philippians 3:7-8 I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8: Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ .