Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What is God's primary emotion?

I recently read an article that reminded me how important it is to think rightly of God and His relationship with us. If we don't have the proper understanding of how God perceives us, then we'll base our actions and reactions on wrong information and respond incorrectly. One method to analyze our thoughts surrounding our relationship with Him is to honestly ask ourselves:

What is God's primary emotion when He thinks of me?
When you read that question, what was your initial gut reaction before thinking about it? When you think about God, is He up in heaven upset at the last thing you did wrong? Is he merely putting up with you but would rather you weren't around? Is He ready to throw lightning bolts at you with the slightest provocation? Is He mad at you?

Or is He looking down on you, disappointed that you screwed up again? Does he focus on how you don't measure up to His standards? Does He wish you'd act better? Is He sad about you?

When I asked the question originally, I asked about His primary emotion. There are times when He is angry. There are times when He is sad. But I submit that neither of these are His primary emotions. Rather I believe He is mostly glad. Let's look at the reasons I come to this conclusion.

He isn't mad. Jesus' paid the price for your sins, my sins and the sins of the whole world.[1] God's wrath was poured out on Him on the cross.[2] He took on the burden of your sin so you don't have to.[3] There are limited cases where His anger is released, but He is patient and slow to anger.[4] An example of this is in the future when all the nations are persecuting the church and the armies of the world are descending on Israel. At this point, we're told His jealous rage will cause massive loss of life as He comes to the defense of His people.[5] But this is a limited event, not a typical occurrence.

He isn't sad. He is in control and will ultimately rule and reign.[6] He knows the end from the beginning.[7] He knows how history will turn out and He knows it is good.[8] There's no reason, long term, for sadness. The things that cause sadness are when people reject Him and His gifts.[9] He longs for relationship with others and their rejection of that relationship breaks His heart. But not all fall into this category, and He knows that the end for these who accept Him is righteous relationship with Him for eternity.[10] Any sadness over those who reject Him is temporary, overcome by the joy from those who accept Him.

He is glad. When He formed you, He knew what He was doing[11] and danced in joy when He created you.[12] You are the apple of His eye.[13] Jesus was anointed with joy by the Holy Spirit, more than any other[14] and He went through what He did knowing the joy that His work would produce.[15]

So, when you think about God, is He mad, sad or glad? Do you need to change your perspective of Him? How would a change of perspective change your relationship with Him?

1. 1st John 2:2; Hebrews 2:9
2. Romans 5:9; 1st Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9
3. 2nd Corinthians 5:21; 1st Peter 3:18
4. 2nd Peter 3:9
5. Revelation 19:11-21; Isaiah 63:1-6
6. Hebrews 1:8-9, 2:8; 1st Corinthians 15:20-28
7. Isaiah 46:10
8. Philippians 1:6
9. Matthew 23:37
10. Matthew 25:1-46
11. Psalm 139:13
12. Proverbs 8:30-31
13. Psalm 17:7; Zechariah 2:8
14. Hebrews 1:9
15. Hebrews 12:2

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