As I was dropping my youngest off at his preschool class I walked into the hallway and overheard the next door teacher reading a Bible story to her kids. I only caught two whole sentences, but those two sentences have caused me to ponder a lot this last week.
To get the idea, say this in your deepest, gruffest, meanest voice…. “When the music plays, everyone must bow down and worship the statue. Those who disobey will be thrown into the fiery furnace.”
As I walked up to my office I questioned, “What kind of God do we serve?” Those who love Him are thrown into fiery furnaces, dens of lions, or have to spend year on a boat, are sold as a slave or persecuted. If you don’t serve our God or temporarily disobey, then you could be struck with 10 plagues, killed by angels, thrown in a belly of a whale or become blind. Interesting dilemma! Which situation would you choose? There isn’t a clear winner, at least on the surface of it.
But with one quick glance into the room I saw children sitting quietly in their seats listening calmly to their teacher as they munched on their morning snack. The thought of being thrown into the fiery furnace didn’t faze them. They didn’t question God.
Faith Like a Child
Our kids know all these stories and yet love Jesus and God with their whole hearts. They do not view God as a harsh God who enjoys doling out punishments and causing bad things to happen. They understand consequences for bad behavior. They also firmly believe that no matter what, God will always be there for them and that He has good things for them. What amazing child-like faith! They don’t question God’s goodness. They see bad things as a natural consequence of bad behavior or as Satan trying to get them. They see good things as the blessing of living right and following after God. Their line is clear and their understanding is simple – only good can come from God.
James 1:17 (NIV)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Funny how life can confuse you over the years. Have you ever questioned God’s goodness? Do you ever feel punished by God? As life happens to us we lose some of our innocence.
What would life look like if we stopped and evaluated a situation before we laid the blame on God?
- Is what I am experiencing consistent with God’s nature? (With what scripture says about Him.)
- What role am I playing in this situation? (Are my heart, motives, actions, words in line with the greatest commandment? Matthew 22:37-40)
- Am I praying about my situation and asking God what to do?
- Am I doing what God called me to do? (Even if it seems backwards or wrong.)
We can restore some of that child-like faith if we believe that these scriptures are true! And not only true for others – true in our own lives? Make that your goal today – recover your innocent, child-like faith!
The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 136:1 (NLT)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Lamentations 3:22 (NLT)
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.