When you find yourself in deep trouble -- financially, emotionally, physically, or even legally – it may look like the world is against you, society is against you, even God, Himself, is against you. You have messed up and are about to be swiftly punished, or at least made to bear the consequences. No one cares, and you are all on your own.
At such times, it may seem impossible to forgive God, let alone forgive yourself. You have done wrong, and “God” is the Bogey Man who is going to beat you up. As one existentialist writer quipped, “If there is a God, then He is the Devil.”
The answer to this dilemma is hardly that there is no God, or that He doesn’t care, but that He was never at war with you in the first place. You might be at war with him, but only through delusion.
Many of us remember growing up to “fear” the “wrath” of God. This is tied in with the interpretation of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as the End of the World. At the very least, we were assured that if we misbehaved, Santa Claus might forget all about us this year. The only love we knew was conditional, little better than, if you scratch my back, then I will scratch yours.
This is all very strange when you consider that the entire weight of the New Testament is that God is Infinite Love, that God is not on short supply of good will. The passages go on and on:
“He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God."
“If God before us, who can be against us?”
“God sent His Son, not into this world to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved.”
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”
“He who loves not knows not God, for God IS Love.”
How, then, can we possibly blow it with God? God is not in some stupid numbers game. He doesn’t keep points on you. God’s love is like the sun that shines equally on everyone. Jesus spoke about the Good Shepherd who left the 99 to go after the one lost sheep, and when He found that sheep, there was great rejoicing.
You matter infinitely to God. No one else will replace you. You are ever so precious in His sight, a divine son or daughter. You might consider yourself in a school for divinity. To paraphrase Alan Watts, you are learning the lost art of “Godsmanship,” of divinization.
Are you bad because you are in trouble? Did you blow it with God because you confront indifference or hostility in the world? As Jesus put it, “In this world you have tribulation (stress). But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
While God never promised us a “rose garden” in this life, He did promise the fruit of a transformed life: Absolute Love, Peace that defies comprehension and Joy “unspeakable and full of glory.”
Read more on how to discover your harmony and peace here.
I can take a lot of stress with that kind of love, peace and joy. How is this possible? By simply presencing God, inviting Him in, asking Him to occupy you. For most Christians, this is most easily visualized as asking Jesus Christ to enter into the door of our hearts and commune with us.
What gave us the idea of an angry God? It was centuries and centuries of human experience in which our understanding and appreciation of God developed. Dr. Deepak Chopra wrote a brilliant book back in 2000, How to Know God, in which he spoke about an evolutionary understanding of God, what Christians call Progressive Revelation.”
Chopra delineated the seven chakras of the body as corresponding to stages of spiritual insight. He claimed that our recognition of God is hardwired into our brains, but we see God differently in different stages.
For example, when we see God in terms of security, sensual fulfillment or power, we can easily see God as punishing us (in this scenario, one will have a hard time experiencing peace with God). However, when we move up to stage four, we can accept God as pure love (the place where one enters into the realm of inner peace).
In American history, Jonathan Edwards offered a very punitive picture of God in his classic sermon, Sinners in the hands of an Angry God, where we were miserable worms about to be squashed.
The dark side of Christian evangelism has always been the notion of hell, not truly biblical, where we are thrown into a volcano that burns forever and forever. It took a long time for theologians to wake up that this image was a severe distortion of scripture and perverted the meaning of the entire Gospel, or “Good News.”
As one medieval saying clarified, “All that burns in hell is self-will.” Or, as a more contemporary approach puts it: “I believe that there is a hell, because God is just. I believe that no one is in it, because God is merciful.”
What lies before us is a whole new vista, a new perspective that will transform the classic Gospel into truly Glorious News. This is in the growing recognition in Christianity, as in Hinduism and Buddhism, that we are divine, and that salvation or atonement or enlightenment is universal.
When we truly understand this Good News, we will cease and desist with any attempt to war with God, or as Islam puts it, surrender to God, not in defeat, but in joyous recognition that God is our only true and ultimate Self.
This video is a perfect addition to what we just covered... the song might energize you from within…
How then, can we be a peacemaker, a catalyst for peace and deal with the fear, doubt and alienation that we so often feel in life? How can we transcend our circumstances to the sudden realization that ALL IS ONE, GOD IS LOVE and ALL IS AS IT SHOULD BE?
1. When you stop time through meditation, and enter into the eternal present, you will sense that all is well.
2. When you rise above it all and see the grand sweep of history, having a genuine peak experience, you will see that life is wonderful and you are divine.
3. When you start systematically forgiving the people in your life, every single day, you will feel a sense of empowerment that will overwhelm you.
4. When you bless people and nations every single day, day after day, you will begin to channel divine love, and your blessing to others will be reflected back to you in myriad ways.
5. When you start thanking God or the Universe for all the little things in your life day by day such as your ability to breath, drink, eat or walk, you will start thanking God for all the magnificent things about to come.
Not only is God not at war with you, but God is absolutely counting on you to be a peace maker, to share this new vision of the divine with everyone you encounter. Will you now take the first step?