We say things like, “God helps those who help themselves.” But God’s Word says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) It isn’t about us working hard, but about us acknowledging our desperate need.
We say, “God never gives us more than we can take.” But God’s Word says, “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Providing us a way of escape from temptation is not the same as being spared from circumstances that exceed our capacity to cope. In fact, God often allows circumstances in our lives that are "more than we can take" in order for us to recognize our desperate need for Him!
We re-paint God in only one dimension: Love. But when we do so, we ignore that even as God is love (1 John 4:8), God is also holy (Revelation 4:8). We ignore that God chastens those He loves as sons and daughters (Hebrews 12:6), and He will judge all the earth (Revelation 19:11).
Understanding an infinite and infinitely faceted God is beyond our finite minds, so we create analogies to try to capture and convey our understanding. Our analogies fall short and always will, but as long as we understand that, they can be helpful tools to comprehend a single aspect of God. What they can’t be, ever, is a portrait of God!
In what ways have I tried to edit God’s Word to provide me with a god I can understand and relate to? What scripture do I skim over because it’s just too harsh and doesn’t jive with my portrait of a god of love? What moments in my life do I try to reframe so that God’s work in my life fits in to my picture of Him, instead of asking Him to put those moments in context of the work He is doing in me?