Francis Schaeffer used to say that if he had one hour to explain the gospel to someone, he would spend the first fifty minutes on the bad news of judgement and then the last ten minutes on the good news of salvation, because without the context of judgement we don’t appreciate or even understand salvation.
Salvation is God liberating the soul from the habits of self focus. Salvation is God clearing away the tangle undergrowth of self-absorption forever. Salvation is God replacing all this dark complication with something new and simple and beautiful, flooding the human soul with a sense of His glory. That is how we obtain gladness and joy. That is how sorrow and sighing flee away. So let God save you. Your heavenly joy will begin even now.
He had said "Let’s go through this together. Let me help." And He had proven Himself again and again. But there’s something deep inside us that diminishes past facts and magnifies present uncertainties. Somehow God’s faithfulness in the past doesn’t carry weight for long and pretty soon we start feeling as unloved and alone as ever. It’s just the way we are. That’s why we need constant renewal. There is always some plausible alternative to trusting in God, something to take our eyes of God.
Gos is not primarily concerned with our beliefs per se. He is concerned with our plans, our strategies for living life, our functional faith. It’s possible to believe all the right things, but to negotiate everyday life by another wisdom, little different from the world.
How many times have people hostile to God liked their chops prematurely over the demise of the Church? In Acts 23 more than forty men bound themselves with an oath that they would not eat or drink until they had assassinated Paul. Years later, when Luke wrote that account and Paul was carrying on in full strength, he must have smiled as he wondered what became of those men.
The Bible says that God opposes the proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). So if you want Almighty God actively opposing you as your staunchest enemy, just cling to your demands and hurt feelings and outward polish.