Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Some where along in my life I got a really bad concept about God. It affected so much of the way I thought about Him and me! I really don’t think that I can blame anyone. I believe it was me being selfish and rebellious against God most likely. But I believed that He was hard to please, a gruff mean old man type of God.
It caused me to be afraid of Him when I prayed. I expected Him to punish me at every turn. I was afraid of Heaven even though I was saved. I had heard that He was going to remind me of every time I had failed Him even in Heaven.
I had a warped view of God. You might be suffering from this same malady. This verse is written to the Jews, no doubt. Their prophet tells them something about the character of God. Please remember that they are the people of God. Remember that if we are born again we too are the people of God.
Notice what the Bible tells you about Him. He is gracious-full of grace, gifts, kindness, gentleness, sweetness. That is not what I thought. I thought He was angry. I thought I had to beg Him to love me and treat me right.
He is merciful. He is not trying to find a reason to be mad at me. He actually could see plenty of reasons to judge me but He is merciful. Full of mercy. He doesnâ€™t give me what I deserve rather what I do not deserve.
He is slow to anger. I thought He could easily be set off! He could get mad at the drop of a hat and sometimes He might just drop the hat. But that is not how He is. It takes a lot to make Him mad.
He is of great kindness. If you used that term about any human being everyone would be impressed. We would have no doubt about His character.
God does not like to be hard. He does not like sin but He doesnâ€™t even enjoy the discipline that He gives me for my own good.
Now this is way too long so suffice it to say that He is a good God. Admit that you have had a wrong concept. Realize how good He is. He would never do you wrong. He would never mistreat you. He is concerned even more than you are that you be blessed.
Repent of this bad attitude that you have allowed to mess with your heart and spirt. Love Him for who He is. I hate it when people have a misconception about me. I hate it when someone wants to judge me on what they think about me when they do not know me and their evaluation is wrong. Don’t you?
Well just remember He is gracious, full of mercy, slow to anger, and of great kindness!