As I reflect on this time of year, I know that the events leading up to Easter were by design. A design created before time, Jesus was sent to this earth as a baby, grew to a 33 year old and then was killed by the very people that had praised him only a week earlier, rose from a tomb and returned to the very heaven he created so that we could follow if we chose. And it was all by design.
In so many areas of life we have no choice. “It’s not fair,” we say. But the scales of life were forever tipped on the side of fairness when God planted a tree in the Garden of Eden. All complaints were silenced when Adam and his descendants were given free will, the freedom to make whatever eternal choice we desire.
Any injustice in this life is offset by the honor of choosing our destiny in the next. Wouldn’t you agree? It would have been nice if God had let us order life like we order a meal. It would’ve been nice, but it didn’t happen. When it came to many details of your life on earth, you weren’t given a choice, a voice, or a vote. But when it comes to life after death, you were!
I’m saying that the greatest news in the world is not that God made the world, but that God loves the world. He loves you. You did not earn this love. His love for you will not end if you lose your temper. His love for you will not fade if you lose your way. You have never lived one unloved day.
Someone told you that God loves good people. Wrong. There are no good people.
Someone told you that God loves you if you love him first. Wrong. He loves people who have never thought of him.
Someone told you that God is ticked-off, cranky, and vindictive. Wrong. We tend to be ticked-off, cranky, and vindictive. But God?
“God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, GOD feels for those who fear him” (Psalm 103:8-13 MSG).
God loves you and because he does, joy will come. And that is by design.