by Grace Fox
Where I live in British Columbia, winter is marked by overcast skies and rain. It’s already upon us. The marina dock is slick, and carrying groceries or suitcases from the parking lot to our boat isn’t exactly a ton of fun. The memory of falling face-first while pulling a suitcase and wearing a 25-pound backpack still haunts me.
I could quickly fall into complaining about the damp cold and the dangers of walking on a wet dock, except that I know God placed me and my husband here. I also know that God is wise and good. He makes no mistakes. He has my best interest in mind. He uses circumstances to refine my character and make me more like Jesus. He has purposes beyond my understanding for placing us here, and He’s given me the privilege of playing a role in seeing those purposes fulfilled.
If I start second-guessing God’s goodness and wisdom (ie: “What was He thinking when He told us to move aboard a sailboat? This is ‘way too hard for a woman my age!”), then I will soon resent living here. I’ll envy my friends who live in houses—especially if they have attached garages—and discontentment will eat me alive.
In contrast, focusing my mind on truth about God brings peace. Because He’s wise and good and makes no mistakes, I know He is completely trustworthy. He’s got my back and will give me everything needed to thrive through another winter as liveaboards. I can trust and not be afraid.
John 8:12-25 tells the story of Jesus addressing a group of unbelievers:
“That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”
“Who are you?” they demanded.
Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be” (vv.24-25 NLT).
When Jesus walked this earth, He taught that people’s thoughts about Him mattered. Unless they believed the truth about who He said He was—the Savior sent to cleanse them from sin and restore them to a right relationship with God—they would die in their sins.
The same principle holds true in our thoughts about God the Father. They matter. They matter a great deal. If they’re not based on truth, we develop a skewed understanding of who He is and His role in our lives. We develop a distorted perspective and start living according to our own truth. Eventually we sacrifice peace and joy for envy, discontentment, and fear.
Our human tendency is to make God into something our finite minds can grasp. We make Him into something we want Him to be so we can excuse sinful behaviors. We misconstrue His character by over-emphasizing one attribute at the expense of another.
Let’s guard against doing this, okay? Let’s ask God to reveal any inaccurate thoughts about Him and to replace them with truth.
Our thoughts about God ultimately determine our destiny both in this life and in the hereafter. They’re the most important thing about us, so let’s strive to ensure they’re based on truth.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Grace Fox co-directs an international missionary sending agency, speaks at women’s events overseas and across North America, and has authored ten books. She’s a regular contributor to Mornings with Jesus (Guideposts) and a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her new devotional Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos won the Golden Scroll “Devotional Book of the Year” award and is available wherever Christian books are sold.
Join the conversation: Have you been tempted to give God human limitations in your understanding of Him?