"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful." -Jeremiah 31:3&4
When people think of God, they tend to think of Him in several different ways. Some think of God as a loving Father. Other people believe He is a dictator. Still others believe He is indifferent to us - as if he is too big and important to care what's going on in our lives. Some of us think that God is good, but we haven't yet believed it in our hearts. We often think of God the same way we thought of our fathers growing up.
Many people believe that God is angry - all the time! To them, God is a God of hell, fire, and brimstone - waiting to punish us with His iron-strong arm whenever we do something wrong. But, this idea is a fallacy - this is not the God of the Bible. God's story is that of redemption - through sacrificial love.
Some may also argue that the Old Testament is full of God's judgment and death due to His righteousness. But, if we do not first look at the reason He created us, His plan, and His unfailing story of redemption, we miss the big picture. God does not want people to suffer - in contrast, he wants them to know His love. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16
If you could imagine the most caring, loving father on this earth, that is God times 1,000. So many times God gets blamed for the devil's calamities. Too often He gets blamed for our own sin. Separation from God and His love wasn't his choice - it happened in the garden, by ours. (Genesis 3) Too many times, God is misrepresented by those who say they know Him.
God's heart for us is good. It says it in His word. We may not be kept from negative or difficult things happening in our lives, but we need to know He wants us to have peaceful, abundant lives filled with hope and promise because of our relationship with Him. Most of all, God's heart for us is to know His unwavering, unending, unfailing love.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:3