(a re-post of something I wrote in 2014)
My wife and I were just talking about how many times we've heard people make comments like:
"I'm angry at God because I prayed that he would save my dying mom, and He didn't!!" or "I prayed and prayed, but it wasn't good enough. God didn't answer my prayers!"
And the Holy Spirit led us through various thoughts about this.
We were reminded that God looks at the heart, and that OUR heart toward God has an effect on how we deal with the trials of life. God never changes the way He thinks about us, so we should never change the way we think about Him. If we know His Word, it shapes the way we think.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
If Joseph (read Genesis) let the trials of life change the way that he thought about God, the chances of his people and the people of Egypt surviving the famine would've been slim to none. But because Joseph never stopped loving and trusting in God, God was able to turn a terrible series of events into one of the greatest examples of redemption in the history of mankind.
People need to know that, when God created Adam and Eve and everything else, He did it out of love. And His creation was perfect. Adam and Eve had paradise and the opportunity to live a perfect life with God. But satan tempted them to doubt God's Word, and they made a choice that caused sin to enter into a perfect world.
And as mind-boggling as it might seem, God allowed it to happen because of His abundant love for Adam and Eve (and the entire future human race). I think it's safe to say that most of us understand that Adam and Eve were like kids in the sense that, if God had protected them from making that poor decision, it would've only been a matter of time before they made another poor choice down the road. God knew before He ever created them that they would sin and that mankind would eventually turn away from their Creator. But God created us anyway, because of His abundant love. And then, as if THAT LOVE wasn't enough, He Himself came down to the earth He created, and gave up all of His authority and rights, and died for a world of sinners and people who would never receive Him; again, all because of His abundant love.
People want to make their relationship with God "conditional". "If you will do *this thing* for me God, then I'll believe in you". But God's love for us is unconditional. If it wasn't, He could justifiably destroy us all, and we would totally deserve it. But thank God that He is not only a "just God", but He is a "loving God".
Romans 5:8 - But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God has definitely shown me that, no matter what I go through, He is ALWAYS there. And He's also shown me that I can have the full blessed life He planned for me before my birth, if I will continually seek Him. I've already seen the manifestation of that since He led me and my family to Florida. I've experienced some of the greatest blessings of my life since being down here, and I know that the best is yet to come!