From a young age, starting in earnest at age 15, I was brainwashed into believing that God’s love for me can end IF I mess things up with Him. I struggled to love and trust a God who might not love me enough to help me enough to save me (as even from a young age I knew I was going to fail miserably at saving myself). I tried to love God, but the God I thought I knew was hard to love and trust. When things were going reasonably well for me and my loved ones I could put those doubts about God’s love ending, to the back of my mind. But when a loved one is lost and is ‘going to hell’ (are in hell already) you can’t avoid the question: ‘’ Jesus, is my son going to be lost forever? Will your love for him end?’’. I’ve mentioned before in another post about my son who struggles with a cannabis addiction. He had cracked it for six months, but during the time he was off it, suffered the consequences of using it: anxiety, depression, inability to work. He did six months off it, and has recently gone back onto it. Although he’s not a ‘wreck’ as such right now, if he continues along this path, I see his life as disintegrating, his hopes of a wife and family never to be realised, his potential he no doubt has to come to nothing…and so it’s hard to tell others the ‘good’ news when you don’t know if it really is good news.
I’ve felt a breakthrough in my understanding of God and His love and am thankful to Peter Hiett’s sermons from ‘The Sanctuary Downtown’. But the last few days I’ve relapses back into despondency about UR- is it really true? Is God going to reconcile ALL THINGS- even my son? I’m reading Thomas Talbott’s book ‘The Inescapable Love of God’ and I’ve just read this which sums up how I’ve been feeling for many years and more so these last few years with my son: (I’ve inserted ‘Son’ as this is my literal situation).
‘‘If I love my daughter (Son) as myself, then God cannot truly love me without loving my daughter (son) as well. An additional point is this: so long as I love my daughter (son) as myself, I can neither love God nor worship him unless I at least believe that he loves my daughter (son) as well; the idea that I could both love my daughter (son) and love a God whom I know to hate her (him) is also logically absurd. For consider what my love for God would have to entail. It would entail, first that I respect God and approve of his actions; second , that I am grateful to God for what he has done for me; and third, that my will is, on the important issues at least, in conformity with his. But if I truly love my daughter (son), desiring the good for her (him), and God does not, then (a) my will is not in conformity with God’s, (b) I could not consistently approve of God’s attitude towards my daughter (son) and © neither could I be grateful to him for the harm he is doing to me.’’ Talbott goes on to say this is ‘…logically impossible…either I do not love my daughter (son) as myself, or I do not love God with all my heart, or I do not believe that God himself fails to love my own daughter (son).’’ (page 129)
This applies to other family members: my unbelieving husband and close relatives who are not believers. And if they aren’t going to be saved, maybe my salvation isn’t secure…which then undermines the whole gospel and belief in God and His purposes.
I’ve been listening to some Peter Hiett sermons today, which have really helped me to keep on trusting God IS going to save my son and everyone else like him. This struggle I am going through leads to one possibility: UR must be true. God’s love can’t fail. I pray this prayer in Ephesians 1:17,18. ‘’ I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,’’