If you’ve been following my blog you will notice that I always say something regarding God, but I’ve never actually written a post fully about God. And the fact that I haven’t shocks and somewhat shames me, because He is literally my Everything. And being human to me means being made by God. And being made by God is a phenomenon we eternally under-appreciate.
My discussion on God this week will be based on two movies and one play that I watched. I have to say that it is just wonderful that such creative content exists, and that in between the blogs advocating sexual immorality and the countless praises for the nudity and free-spiritedness of Miley Cyrus, and the endless arguments over which side of the government is more right or wrong, there are these little gems of content, content that shares the one thing that matters — the message of who God is.
This week I was lucky enough to be taken to see the play Les Miserables. I had already seen it in the cinema and was awestruck as the acting was top class and the cinematography was indescribably good. But seeing this again and not being distracted by the intense close ups and dramatisation of cinema, I was able to understand better the message:
GOD is grace. God forgives us and redeems us and through His son Jesus, has taken on our parole, our punishment, our sentence of death due to sin. We as humans have chosen to separate ourselves from God, we have cheated others, lied, killed others by our nasty words, thoughts and hurtful actions, swore using God’s name, worshipped money, sex, power and beauty, and many more things. We had a sentence, and Jesus took the sentence. And it is by God’s grace and mercy that we are forgiven. And we are not only forgiven and our entire sentence taken from us, but God rewards us for our faith with His riches and treasures of His kingdom. His unfailing love. His unchangeable GIFT of joy. And His unbreakable promise of eternal life with Him.
Les Miserables depicts so acutely the misery that is the result of our sin and the contrasting joy and anticipation that one has when one lives a life for God.
There’s a verse for that: Ephesians 2:4-8
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
The first of the two movies that I watched was Letters to God. I was given this movie by a friend. It is quite old and the acting isn’t amazing — definitely pales in comparison to Les Miserables. But the message was beautiful and undeniably strong. The plot: a young boy who is dying from cancer writes daily letters to God. His letters are read by the postman whose eyes are opened as a result of reading the letters and his drunken life is turned around. The young boy is told by his friend’s grandfather that he was chosen by God to be a warrior, to bring the truth to people and to introduce people to God through his strength. His faith, his strength and his letters (which actually were prayers) gave people a glimpse of God, one which could not be ignored. This was the message I got from that movie:
With faith in God, we find comfort in our suffering. As we suffer daily, whether intensely or minimally, it is through prayer that we invite the Lord to be with us in our suffering. And wherever the Lord is, it is pleasant. When someone who is suffering (which is really all of us because merely being in the human condition and in such a backward world is cause for suffering)… when someone is suffering and through prayer finds strength and comfort in the Lord, those who witness this will be moved. Such a testimony is one of the strongest for the presence, love and mercy of God.
There’s a verse for that: 1 Peter 5:9-10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace,who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
And the second movie was Suing the Devil. Also pretty terrible acting in parts but I always believe if the message is strong, the acting is secondary. Plot: A jaded believer, Luke O’Brian who is about to kill the man who knocked down and killed his mother realises that it isn’t God’s fault but satan’s for the suffering in the world, so he tries to sue satan. A man comes forward to court and claims to be satan incarnate. In the midst of the trial Luke is called out for his hypocrisy and his inclination to blame others — including God and the devil — for his own failings and shortcomings. The trial goes back and forth. But in the end Luke wins when he proves to everyone in court that satan exists and that he actually hates people, that he wants to undo all the work of God which is the creation of people and that satan despises Jesus and made the worse mistake of all in crucifying Jesus because as a result — we now have the transforming and renewing power of the Holy Spirit. Well that was the message really but the quote that struck me was:
‘The greatest trick satan ever pulled was to convince us that he doesn’t exist.’ That has me really thinking. If you knew for sure that satan existed, what would you do? Wouldn’t it be awfully clever of him to convince you that it is your fault you are such a failure, and not as beautiful as the next person, or impulsive, that you are inadequate, empty, lonely, cold, unloveable, incapable, limited, dirty, immoral, and it is all you? Wouldn’t it also be even more clever if he convinced you that it was all due to your effort, talent, good looks and charm that you have all the things that you have, that you ought to have such an ego, that you are just plain amazing all on your own, that you need no one and nothing to be so amazing? That you don’t need God?
The movie also proposed that satan doesn’t care about those who don’t care about God. It would make sense as so many nonbelievers are going about their life happy-go-lucky. Satan cares more for those who have time for God because he HAS to prove them wrong.
There is a verse for that: 2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case the god of this world (the devil) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
So: God is grace. He forgives us. He strengthens and comforts us in our suffering. The devil, the god of this world, is constantly trying to steal us away from God and destroy us. But — my little addition — God has promised a victory. And that’s what I live for.
What do you think? Discuss…