What God Hates He can Turn to What He Loves
by Barbara Duguid
The kingdom of God is upside-down and inside-out.
In God’s kingdom, weak people with weak faith become strong heroes; lowly, humble servants are the real celebrities; foolishness shames the wisdom of man, while little children become treasured examples of faith and trust. This can be very confusing for us, since God’s Word is full of commands to be strong in our faith and to live as shining lights in a fallen world. If God loves strength and holiness, why do we experience so much weakness, foolishness and simplemindedness? Why would God call us to strive toward one thing, yet tell us that he values the exact opposite?
The Bible is very clear about what God loves and hates.
He loves righteousness, justice, mercy and truth. Equally, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that God hates sin. He loves perfect obedience, and calls us to worship him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. He hates false worship, idolatry, and when we sell our souls to bow before gods manufactured by our sinful hearts and broken souls. At the same time, it is also evident from the sad and bitter history of God’s people that God is willing to tolerate a lot of what he hates, in order to accomplish something that he loves. God is sovereign over all things, yet he has allowed Satan a great deal of influence in this world, and continues to allow us to sin long after we are saved, in order to highlight something breathtakingly spectacular about himself. Our loving Heavenly Father would never allow such a thing, unless he planned to overrule all of this for his own glory, and for the good of his beloved children.
How can weakness and sin be good for us?
Or, for that matter, ever Bring God glory? To answer these questions, let me ask you something. When you are doing well in your Christian walk, reading your Bible, praying a lot, and marching victoriously from one successful battle against sin to another, do you tend to think about Jesus very much? Do you need him, crave him, and think about his kindness, forgiveness and love? Do you marvel at his sacrifice and the fact that he loves YOU? What do you think of Jesus, though, when you fall into sin time and time again and can’t keep the promises you’ve made to him? Are you amazed that he still cherishes and welcomes you? Do you celebrate the righteousness that he has given to you, because you are completely unable to drum up a drop of it on your own? How much do you love and cherish Jesus when you have nothing to boast about and no goodness to offer him? In our deepest hearts, we are prideful, glory-stealing creatures, and slow to see that each victory we enjoy comes from God.
What God Allows in Love
So, in love, God allows us to be weak and sinful so that we become captivated and dazzled by his glorious, radiant, patient, gentle, compassionate and perfect Son. When we most feel our inability to obey and the depths of our sin, we begin to worship Christ instead of worshipping ourselves, and God loves the glory that that brings to Jesus above all things. After all, worshiping God and cherishing Christ are exactly what we were created to do, and God will even use our sin and weakness to help us learn to do it well.