By: Carole L. Haines
Do you ever feel forgotten by God, confused about what has or is happening in your life? I’m there right now. Tears are running down my face because I was triggered this morning by that confusion. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that things just aren’t turning out the way I thought they would.
We are studying about God’s Love and journeying out of fear into the Love of God. God’s love is not a fleeting vapor that was here yesterday, is invisible today and we are hoping comes back tomorrow. When I think of God’s love I call to mind the picture etched in my memory of Half-Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite National park. Having been there, I just stood staring, breathing, trying to take it all in. I couldn’t stop looking at these giant Monuments of Creation and imagining them at their formation. They have towered over the Yosemite Valley for centuries, perhaps since creation. They represent for me God’s unwavering love, His unchanging mercy and grace.
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5)
These two verses are rich with Biblical truth. We could spend hours just breaking these down, but I won’t get side-tracked into all that. What I want us to see here is the fact that God’s love for us was there before the foundation of the world. Before El Capitan and Half-Dome were formed, God already loved us. His will toward us is defined here as a “kind intention.” This whole Scripture in Ephesians 1 is ripe with practical fruit just waiting to be picked off the tree and consumed, but for our study, we will look at the aspects of love and the character of God depicted here.
The only way we can ever trust God is to know His deep and loving character. He is not conflicted, as humans are. But He is so multifaceted, like a Beautifully cut diamond that gives off every color of the rainbow when the light shines through it. God’s love is unsearchable and vastly deep. We must mine its depths in order to trust the process of transformation He desires to bring about in every believer’s life. Only in the firm grasp of the love of God can we dare to journey with Him into the depths of ourselves and our need for transformation. We will not like what we find there, but, as we learned yesterday, God is greater than our hearts and already knows what is there. If we desire to move from Fear to Love, we must look at what He desires to show us about ourselves and come to grips with what really lurks in the recesses of our hearts and souls. We can watch the transformational process through several Biblical Characters as their stories unfold in the pages of the Bible. We will be looking deeper into one of my favorites, Joseph.
Joseph’s life was full of Crushed expectations and dashed hopes. But as he yielded to God’s will, He was formed and molded until his character was ready to walk into the Call God had for His life. Joseph felt confused and crushed by the heavy weight of being promoted and then dragged down several times in his life. We will look at some of these. I love his story in the Book of Genesis. It is one of the greatest true stories ever penned. I believe it is there for our encouragement. In probing these depths, we will be looking into the life of Joseph and the Yo-Yo effect he experienced in his life. We often experience that Yo-Yo too.
I would highly encourage you to take the time to read Genesis 37-47. Listen to it as you drive to work or do menial tasks, but it is powerful. Joseph’s story resonates with so many of our own. Joseph rode the roller coaster ride of the ups and downs of expectations and hopes versus our day-to-day reality. We can learn so much about God’s love and character from his story. This will help us in our Journey from Fear to Love. Join with me, if the Lord has led you here. Be Blessed.