Perspectives of the Love of God
As someone who just happens to have bipolar, I sometimes lose perspective of the love of God. The blessings of today pale in comparison to the blessings of yesterday. We tend to focus on what we could have if things just stayed the same. But that is not how God works.
For instance, I had many glorious blessings when I was in my twenties. God lovingly lavished me with a successful and rewarding career, a fast car, fun friends to hang with and a great place to live. My focus during this time was on me and my abilities alone. I did not give credit to my Heavenly Father for the blessings He lovingly gave me, instead I bragged on myself. In 1 Corinthians 1:31, we are reminded not to boast in ourselves but in the Lord – so that, as it is written, w“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Blessings for God’s Chosen People
There is a group of people in the Bible who are very dear to God’s heart. He set them apart and called them His children. But the Israelites then, like I do now, did not always enjoy God’s blessings. A collective we do not always boast in what GOD has given us through His unconditional love.
After spending some 400 years as slaves in Egypt, the Israelites were delivered by God from their slave masters (Exodus Chapters 7-12). After that first step out of their chains, the blessings started to pour on God’s chosen people like a spring rain shower.
The Israelites continued to receive blessings by God’s mighty power. When they needed to escape Pharaoh’s army, God provided a way to cross the Red Sea onto dry land (Exodus 14:21-31). When they needed food, God provided manna and quail in the middle of the desert (Exodus Chapter 16). After three days without water, God provided a way to cleanse the bitter water so they could drink (Exodus 15:22-27).
Losing Focus – don’t we all
The belief in God’s love, provision and His plan just wasn’t good enough for some. The Israelites turned to reminiscing about the good old days of slavery. They believed sitting around pots of leeks and onions back in their captivity was way better than enjoying their new-found freedom in the LORD. The leeks and onions didn’t cost them a thing, but their freedom was a huge sacrifice involving an even bigger step of faith (Numbers 11:4-5). So, to them doing nothing, while slaves to Pharaoh, to receive a basic need like food (and it was leeks and onions) seemed a better road to travel then the road of faith in Yahweh.
The chosen ones’ situation sounds really familiar to me. God answers countless prayers that I send His way. He heaps blessing upon blessing in God-sized ways on my life. Then, old habits beckon me back with their old charms like relying on myself to manage my bipolar. Or I rely solely on myself to work through my social anxiety and ADHD rather than going to the Great Physician. And to be sure it’s not all about health, either.
What do you believe?
The normal ins and outs of life get in the way. Fight with the spouse, checkbook runs dry on funds, a sick child, aging relatives. This all makes my belief in the God of the blessings wane. My faith falters and I start asking myself, “Did God really answer that prayer or was it a coincidence?” “Was that truly a blessing from the Lord or was it because of my own efforts?”
I try to counteract any questions if God will love me and take care of me by reminding myself how much He has blessed me in the past. I have learned a good way to keep my focus on God’s blessings and not on the hard things in life like my mental illness.
A good way to stay grounded in God’s love is to write out a list of the ways God has blessed me by listing things and people I am thankful for. It may be as little as thank you for getting me out of bed this morning to thank you for the positive report from the doctor or thank you for helping my child to stay out of trouble. Thank you for that gorgeous sunset last night, or thank you for my husband or thank you for giving me the words to say in that meeting.
Your belief in God’s love will grow exponentially by being thankful daily for His blessings. Why is that? It is simple. When you allow God to place situations in your path and instead of cursing God, you bless Him, He will grow your faith. Living with a thankful heart will help you stay focused on who God is and what He has to offer through you and in you.
Call to Action
I challenge you today, to write down at least five people or things for which you are thankful. Then, spend some time in prayer thanking God for those people and things. Lastly, be ready for God to grow your belief in His love for you.