God is not working in my life. Is He real? Does He care about me?
We are good at misapplying God’s mercy. We take God’s mercy to mean that we should be free from any difficulty in life. If, and when, we face difficulty we take it to mean that God hasn’t shown up which means He either doesn’t care or isn’t real. In this way, God’s seeming standoffishness is used as an apologetic against Christianity.
However, reading through Dane Ortlund’s book Gentle and Lowly this morning, I came across this passage:
“Perhaps, looking at the evidence of your life, you do not know what to conclude except that this mercy of God in Christ has passed you up. Maybe you have been deeply mistreated. Misunderstood. Betrayed by the one person you should have been able to trust. Abandoned. Taken advantage of. Perhaps you carry a pain that will never heal till you are dead. If my life is any evidence of the mercy of God in Christ, you might think, I’m not impressed.Dane C. Ortlund. Gentle and Lowly, 179.
To you I say, the evidence of Christ’s mercy toward you is not your life. The evidence of his mercy toward you is his—mistreated, misunderstood, betrayed, abandoned. Eternally. In your place.
If God sent his own Son to walk through the valley of condemnation, rejection, and hell, you can trust him as you walk through your own valleys on your way to heaven.”
We have it wrong. God’s mercy doesn’t mean we won’t face hardship, instead it means He faced the ultimate hardship on our behalf. What comfort it is to know that God is there, not as a genie who makes life easy for us, but as a Savior who sheds His blood on our behalf.