Children have no trouble believing in the goodness of God, especially those children who have positive spiritual influences in their lives.
Children typically develop a very simple faith in the goodness of God. They hear songs like, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” and they believe it. But I have met some adults who wonder how Jesus could ever love them.
Children typically start out with such amazing faith until somewhere along the way something happens that sews seeds of skepticism and doubt.
Perhaps there was a time that you were young and you were doing really well in the faith department. You believed in the goodness of God. But then your parents’ marriage started to struggle.
The “D” word came up. You prayed for God to heal your parents’ marriage, but things didn’t go like you had hoped and prayed, and your parents did end up getting a divorce. Your world came crashing down, and along with it, your faith in God took a hit.
Or maybe it was sickness that set in on an aging grandparent or someone else that you loved. You prayed for their healing, but healing never came.
You were told that they received the ultimate healing and they were in heaven now, but that’s hard to understand when you’re 8 or 9 years old.
Sadly, in the living of life, our faith can get beat up, and we begin to wonder if God loves us. If God was good, surely he wouldn’t let anything bad happen like this.
Our simple, childlike faith begins to deteriorate. We begin to wonder, “Where is God in the mess? Does he know where I am? Does he care about what I’m going through?”
You might have even wondered privately, if not out loud, “Does God love me?” Life is hard. Things happen. And sometimes, your faith suffers as a result.
I believe God wants to renew and restore in all of us a deeper faith this Christmas. God is with you, he is for you, and he loves you. When we, in simple, childlike faith, choose to believe these truths, it changes the way we think about life.
Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to consider what happens when we realize that God is truly with us. How does it change things when we understand that he is for us?
And even bigger than that, what would it mean to embrace the idea that God truly loves us with an unconditional love?
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastor greene.wordpress.com or you can email him at email@example.com.