It's perhaps the most comforting and mysterious truth in the Christian faith: God will never hide his face from us.
I love what David writes in Psalm 27: "Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!" (ESV)
What a comforting thing it is for every Christian to know that they'll never see the back of God's head. He'll never turn his back on us, never walk away, never reject us, never forsake us, and never cast us off.
No matter what you've done or what you'll do, God will smile when he considers you. It brings him joy to be your Father. Even though you sometimes get more excited about your kingdom than his, and even though you sometimes hook your hopes to the creation instead of him, God thinks favorably of you.
What's mysterious about this truth is that we could never have done anything to deserve, achieve, or earn his favor. There's never been a moment in our life when we've obeyed well enough for long enough to earn a miniscule portion of God's love.
Even more mysteriously, God has yet to become exasperated with our shortcomings. He hasn't regretted saving us. He hasn't grown weary of our sins. He isn't looking for ways to show us how much we've hurt him with our rebellion.
Some of us have fallen into thinking that God harbors bitterness and holds grudges. He doesn't. On the contrary, he's patient in love and perseverant in grace. It's unconditional love, and unlimited grace.
Why have these gifts been lavished upon us? Because, in the most painful moment in human history, Jesus willingly subjected himself to the rejection of his Father by taking our sin. In one unthinkable instance of substitution, the Trinity was torn apart.
Jesus suffered through this physical and relational agony so that you and I would never have to experience it ourselves. He saw the back of God's head so that we'd never have to. The Father hid his face from the Son so that like the Psalmist David, you and I can proclaim with comfort and mystery, "Hide not your face from me."
Today, when you envision God with the eyes of your heart, envision his face. If you're his child, it's the only thing you're ever going to see!
- In what ways are you fearful of God's rejection? How does this fear shape the way you live?
- How may you be trying to earn God's favor? How does this impact your everyday life?
- How should this comforting and mysterious truth change the way you treat other people?