“Remember this: had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot the last few days. At first it sounds like just a nice thought, but the longer I think about it, the more truth springs from it. I believe this quote hits on probably the biggest difference between the Christian view of God and basically every other view of God.
To fatalistic religions, God is an all-powerful, impersonal being in the sky who makes arbitrary decisions about your life like a game of chess. When things happen, you know He did them, but you don’t know why, and you don’t ask. While it’s true that Christians also believe God is all-powerful and makes the decisions for our life, we have one added factor that I think changes everything: love.
The fact that this all-powerful Maker of the universe genuinely loves you — He cares about you — means that there is a reason behind the shots He calls for your life. And not only that, but they are personally made for you, and will never be too hard for you.
How does this affect your outlook? Let me give an example. Think of the last time you thought, “I could never do that” or, “If that happened, it would be the worst.” Let’s use cancer as a real-life example. “If I were told I had cancer, it would just kill me. I couldn’t do that.” Now let’s say a few years down the line, your fears come true and you are diagnosed with cancer. One of two things are true: 1.) God doesn’t care if you’re afraid of cancer and can’t handle it. You get cancer and that’s the end of the conversation. Or 2.) You were wrong, and God knows you can handle cancer. Christianity teaches #2 would be true. If you know God loves you, it changes everything about those heart-stopping, stomach-dropping moments in your life, as Spurgeon reminds us in the quote above.
Now many people believe this and use this truth to convince themselves of an extreme interpretation of this belief: God loves them more than Himself, they are the center of everything, they deserve certain things in life, and/or they can only expect to prosper. If you believe that lie, you will be disappointed. But if you stick to the truth, hope will not disappoint.
And that’s what this all comes down to: hope. If you subscribe to the truth that God is sovereign over your life and He loves you, you will always have hope in every situation. Why would you choose to face any situation with any other thinking?