We prayed this awesome prayer at a service I was at recently. The service was rather more formal than I’m used to or even prefer. In fact the prayer happened at a time when if thoughts were made public you’d have seen “What am I doing here?!” scrolling across my forehead! It’s a good job God can handle my cynicism because just at a moment like that, out jumped this amazing sentence. I love it because it encapsulates my passion for sharing the good news of Jesus and banishing the misconceptions that so easily abound about Him. And I love it because it’s so affirming. So often, we’re encouraged to consider what we believe about God but sometimes we lose the sense of affirmation that comes from knowing that He believes in us.
I also spoke to someone that same day who had just discovered how fantastic it is to know God. She was awesome too! She told me how one Sunday morning about six months ago she had driven to a boot sale only to find it had been cancelled. With time on her hands, she decided to drive the long way home. The route took her past the church she had been christened in many years before. She pulled into the car park and she said she just thought “I wonder.” She wanted to go in but didn’t want to enter alone. After various unlikely events (including getting her sister out of bed before twelve on a Sunday – her words not mine!) she went into the service. After decades believing that God was judgemental and had written her off, she discovered that with Jesus Christ there is forgiveness for the past, whatever you have done. That day she discovered that Jesus believed in her despite what she had done. She told me how she suddenly felt a massive weight lift off her shoulders. And boy could you see the joy in her eyes even as she told me her story.
So what’s difficult for you or your friends about the God they don’t believe in? Could it be that the things we have attributed to Him that make us withdraw from engaging with Him are not actually true? Do we need to forget those things and start investigating what He believes about us? Does it surprise us to realise that He really believes in us and He thinks we’re beautiful, amazing, and full of awesome potential?
Here are some starters to get us thinking about what He thinks about us.
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I knew you before you were even conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I am not distant but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
My thoughts towards you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
Jesus came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32