I KNOW GOD HATES ME!

Woman sitting on bed crying

I KNOW GOD HATES ME! YOU CAN’T TELL ME ANYTHING DIFFERENT BECAUSE MY LIFE REFLECTS HIS HATRED TOWARDS ME…

SOUND FAMILIAR?

Well, believe it or not, you’re not the only one who feels this. In fact, one of the people in this world who was supposed to be closest to God, His actual Son, asked a similar question when He was hanging from a tree, dying. He cried out into the Jerusalem air, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 KJV). Even Jesus, God’s very Son, wondered where in the world God was!

If that isn’t enough, several of the writers of the Bible suffered from depression and anxiety, wondering why they couldn’t feel what other people were feeling. Take Paul for example. Paul, who was once known as Saul, actually killed Christians back in his day. He must have really thought God hated him. But even after he began having a real relationship with God, proving that God didn’t hate him, there were times when God felt a million miles away from him, too. Paul describes this feeling in his letter to his friends in Corinth: “It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-10 MSG). So even world-famous Paul felt like God had turned His back.

Jesus asked it. . . Paul asked it. . . and now you, too, are asking where in the world God is and why He seems to hate you! So you’re not alone! I’ll even be so bold as to say that if more Christians were honest with you, even some of your friends, they would say that they’ve had times of doubt in their lives. David, the guy who wrote Psalms, goes on and on in many places with things like “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). And David even had people all around him, telling him that God hated him and wouldn’t help him out. In Psalms 3:2, the people in his life said, “God will not deliver him.” So not only did David feel like God had deserted him, but even his friends were in agreement.

You’re probably thinking right now, “Then there is no hope! God really does hate me.” But wait! There’s more! Remember Paul, who talked about how terrible life had become for him? Well, in the very next sentence, he said, “As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally — not a bad idea since He’s the God who raises the dead! And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10 MSG). And David; he couldn’t stop going on in the later chapters of Psalms about how much God had provided for him. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2).

And who can forget perhaps the most well-known story of the Bible? Even Jesus, who on Friday was asking where God was, was resurrected from the grave on Sunday, just three short days later! We all go through times in our lives where we think God hates us, or at the very least, must have had enough of us. But I’m here to tell you that what you’re feeling, it’s just that: a feeling! It will go away, like a stomach ache or the flu. God made a promise to us thousands of years ago, and to solidify it, He wrote it in a book that hasn’t changed since day one.

The promise He made is simple: “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:35, 37-39MSG). There’s no way that God hates you, because He told everyone on earth then and everyone who would ever be born that nothing. . .absolutely NOTHING could take God’s love away, not even the worst thing imaginable!

So you ask “why does God hate me?” And I have an answer for you: He doesn’t. If you want to really know what it means to be loved by God, and I mean really know it, it couldn’t be easier. No friend, boyfriend, wife, or mother will ever make you feel the way God can with just His love for you. And the way to obtain His Love is simple! All you have to do is ask!

Article by All About
Image by Mirror UK

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HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME A LOVING HOME | BY DAYAN MASINDE

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1. “Get married”

In a generation where many are opting to co-habit, and living by the ‘Come-we-stay’ option; choose to get married. There is security in officially getting married, both of you feel most safe to give your all in the home. In a co-habit arrangement it is easy to walk away, easy to sometimes feel threatened, easy for the person who pays the rent or the bills more to make the other feel unwanted.

2. “Keep the bedroom warm”

The bedroom is the epicenter of the home, the mum and dad determine the climate in the house. All the other rooms are a reflection of the bedroom; if the bedroom is warm, the whole house will be warm. Handle your business well in the bedroom.

3. “Hang family photos”

Family photos allows every one in the family to reflect. When things are tough, looking at smiling photos of your family will inspire you to put effort in your valuable family. Sometimes we forget what is important, photos remind us. Display also plaques with loving quotes to remind every one what the family should stand for.

 4. “Eat together”

People connect best when having a meal, that is why most dates happen where eating is involved. Use the same practice as a family. At the dinning table, love happens, people laugh and talk.

5. “Work on communication”

Listen to each other, let no one – mother, father or even the smallest child feel locked out or chocked. Too many children grow quiet and withdrawn when the dad or mum gets home.

6. “Don’t argue in front of the kids”

Yes, you and your spouse will have moments you disagree; but never let the kids witness you two fighting. Shield your children, take these serious conversations and confrontations to the bedroom and solve them there, come out as a united team.

7. “Pray together”

A family that prays together loves together. Prayer softens and warms hearts. Do it together, not alone.

8. “Command your morning”

Start each morning on a high and positive note, speak life and love that sets the tone for the day.

9. “Dance”

Pump up the volume, dance and laugh. Act silly, home should be fun.

10. “Play some good music”

People have different taste in music, but as often as possible, you as the father or mother, play good and positive music. Play love songs, spiritual music, inspirational music; your children will remember you for that. Many people find love through music.

11. “Have movie nights”

Yes, you and your spouse are busy. But set aside at least one night a week or two weeks to sit down as a couple or family and watch a movie; preferably a movie your children will like and you as the adult you make yourself enjoy. The number one thing children long for is time with their parents. Just two hours of watching something together will show a lot of love.

12. “Entertain visitors”

Hosting visitors brings out the best in you, it challenges you to be more alert about your home because when it’s always you and your spouse and children you can get too comfortable. When people visit you, you feel proud of your home and project love. Visitors cause us to analyze our home.

 

13. “Play games”

Play competitive games as a family; whether video games, computer games, outdoor games or board games. Games unite us if we play them together, avoid games played alone.

14. “Decorate the house together”

When giving the house a make over or moving into a new house, let the taste and needs of every one in the family be put into consideration. The house should be a haven for each one.

15. “Kiss as mum and dad”

Kissing is an act of love. Let the children witness mum giving dad a kiss and dad planting kid-friendly kisses on mummy.

16. “Hug often”

As a family, set the tradition of hugging and showing affection. A hugged up person feels at home. Many people are grumpy and a warm hug will calm them.

 

17. “Do house chores together”

Yes man, chores are not for women alone. Do things as a team, divide chores; assign responsibilities to the children too. People feel they are part of something they are responsible for.

19. “Say I love you”

How do you expect your home to be loving if you refuse to say loving words?

20. “Celebrate special days”

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduation days, the return home from a long period of travel, the coming back home from being admitted in hospital, holidays; all those are moments you can use to unite the family.

 

21. “Go out on dates”

Leave the house sometimes and go out on a date with your spouse or as a family, when you come back home you will have plenty to remember and smile about. Dates break the monotony of being boxed in the house day after day.

22. “Sometimes turn off technology”

Technology is good, but also a threat to the quality of relationship in the home. Sometimes turn off the TV, the computer, the tablet, the phone and have quality family time.

Photo Credit: Be2

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Live Your Life’s Dream…Inspired by God | Tricia Goyer

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No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

As a speaker, one of my favorite things to do is encourage the audience to “dream big.” Too many times we put God in a box.

We’re afraid to step out of our comfort zones. We forget that God created the universe, so surely He can help us with our small dreams. There are many dreams God has helped me fulfill: starting a crisis pregnancy center, leading a mission team to Europe, and writing books for a living, to name a few.

So I like to encourage others to dream big since I’ve seen dreams come true in my life. Yet lately I’ve been adding a P.S. to my message. Why? Because in my good intentions, I may have led people to become discouraged instead.

One of the problems with the message “dream big” is that we let our human minds measure what “big” is. We think it has to be fame or success or a huge blog. We think it has to involve starting a ministry or sharing Christ in an atheistic country.

This doesn’t always have to be the case. What is “big” to God? The “big” thing to God is obeying what He asks you to do. You could become famous, make it big, and become well-known—and it would amount to nothing. Or you can ask God what big is to Him. You might be surprised.

Last year, my husband and I felt God telling us to walk away from some of our ministry opportunities in order to adopt two children from the foster care system. I will not become famous wiping noses, playing mommy, or pushing a swing, but to God this is a big thing.

WHERE FAITH BECOMES REAL

What is big to God in your life? It’s a question you need to ask. It’s wonderful to dream big.. just as long as you are sure you know that the direction of your dream was inspired by your loving heavenly Father.

Faith step: Take a minute and think about the dreams God has been speaking to your heart. Write them down, even though they may not seem big to the world’s eyes. Now, what is one step you can take toward them? Write that down too.

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A Devotion to Refresh Your Spirit | Marion Bond West

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Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin. Matthew 6:28

I hadn’t had a very good workout at the YMCA that morning.  Everyone looked younger than I am–and more athletic. I dreaded going home. I’d just drop into a chair, exhausted.

My body was weary, but so was my soul. God seemed so far away. The sun was Georgia hot, even at eleven in the morning, as I exited the building. Discouragement tagged along with me.

A woman passed me, walking briskly to the parking area. She stopped a few steps in front of me and took out a bottle of water. I slowed down. It didn’t appear she was going to drink it.

I pretended to rummage through my gym bag in order to observe her. She leaned way over, after removing the cap to the water bottle, and singled out one red zinnia in the garden that grew beside the iron fence.  Carefully, even lovingly, she allowed the flower to drink.

An amazing thing happened. It felt as though someone had poured joy directly into my soul. One flower in all the hundreds had been tended to with such deliberate care. The woman straightened up and walked to her car.

I lingered by the red zinnia. Somehow, I felt refreshed, as though God had reached down to Earth and touched me. “I see you, Marion. I love you.”

Father, You find such tender ways to show me Yourself when I need You most.

Photo Credit: Boston

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Truly See the People God Brings into Your Life | Suzanne Davenport Tietjen

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Anyone who holds onto life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. John 12:25 (MSG)

God has been teaching me about vulnerability, a gift I never wanted. Growing up, we learn to protect ourselves. To never admit certain things. To hold back our tears.

If we didn’t learn this before high school, we were in big trouble. We–sadly, not all of us–survived. Along the way we wore so many masks we don’t remember how to be real.

It’s strange, because I’m touched when others are authentic. They bravely share their unguarded hearts, and I tell myself they can do it because they have their acts together. Unlike me. I am a mess! And I can’t afford for anyone to know.

Until recently, anyway. I’m in an online group of Christians who support each other’s creative efforts along with each other’s efforts to be human. And honest. We gather face to face every year. To keep it real.

Last year’s opening prayer issued this challenge: “Help us to pay attention. Remember, everyone has something to offer.” That resonated with me. I fought my introversion and sat with different people at every meal. I looked at and listened to each person without writing off anyone. I forgot about myself.

I imagine Jesus looked at people like that. The experience of being really seen yet still loved may explain why so many dropped everything and followed Him, why so many still do today.

For me, the experiment is ongoing. People look very precious to me. It’s scary, giving it your all. Being all in. But what are we really here for anyway? Could it be to see and take care of each other? Maybe I’m learning how.

Faith Step: Try it yourself with the people God brings into your life. Hear what they’re saying. Ask questions. Give up the need to make your own point. How does this feel? What do you see.

Photo Credit: Clarity

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The Crockpot of Faith | Sharon Finck

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Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19–21 (NIV)

I love my crockpot. In the morning, I throw ingredients into it and go about my day.

By suppertime when I’m too tired to think about preparing a meal, the food is ready. Even lesser quality meats turn tender after simmering all day.

Yesterday I tossed in some stew meat and herbs, chopped carrots, onions, potato, and celery, and covered everything with beef broth. Humble ingredients, but they combined to create a satisfying stew for a cold winter evening.

When Jesus talks about storing up treasures in heaven, I think of my crockpot. The preparation comes long before the enjoyment. We are serving Him today, looking forward to the eventual feast. What are the ingredients we’re adding to the pot?

Perhaps the quiet words of understanding and encouragement that we offered a friend yesterday. Or the financial gift we made to another’s ministry. Maybe the song of praise we lifted to Jesus alone in the car as we drove across town. Or the effort it took to hold back an unkind word. A patient correction given to a child. A gentle hug. All the demonstrations of love to Jesus and others become part of the treasures stored up in heaven.

As the ingredients blend and simmer, Jesus stirs, adjusts, and adds His own components. I’m so excited for that time at the final banquet, where we’ll discover what treasure was created from the humble bits and pieces of our lives.

Faith Step: Cook something today, and as you add in each ingredient, ask Jesus to show you various ways to add treasure to your heavenly storehouse.

Photo Credit: Crockpot

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Clear Away Your Spiritual Clutter | Sharon Hinck

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“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

As recent empty nesters, my husband and I have begun thinking about downsizing. It’s amazing how much we’ve accumulated over the years. Sweaters seem to reproduce in the back of the closet. Papers bulge in file folders. Bins of outgrown toys fill the basement.

As we sort through things to donate or sell, we have an opportunity to think about which items are really precious or needed, and which things are simply clutter. One of the challenges of sorting out clutter, is that I rarely have to make a simple choice between something good and bad. Instead, there are lots of good things—just too many of them. Working at de-cluttering my home, I thought about the rooms of my heart.

I’ve also picked up some spiritual clutter along my way. I’ve been excited by a particular trend in worship, or embraced a specific spiritual discipline, or grappled with differing theological understandings of certain questions. But every now and then, Jesus reminds me to bring my focus back to what is absolutely essential—the simple core truth of His death and resurrection.

I heard a story once that a leader of the Christian faith, with a wealth of intellect and scholarship at their disposal, was asked to summarize his beliefs. He chose to describe the central truth of the Gospel free from embellishment, in the words of the children’s song, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” When I quiet all my opinions, knowledge, and experiences, and everything else falls away, I can focus on that simple core truth, and rejoice.

Faith step: Are there any good things in your life getting in the way of the One best thing? Invite Jesus to clear away the clutter.

Photo Credit: Norma Cardenas

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