What about God’s Wrath?

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

When I was growing up in the Lord, I used to picture God as an elderly, unsmiling man with white hair, white eyebrows, and a white beard. I used to see Him holding a big club, waiting to bash me on the head as soon as I failed or made a mistake. Of course, when I grew in my understanding of God, I started to see Him without that big menacing club, but He was still not smiling and He was still very old.

I still remember how, as a teenager, I was praying one day when I heard God’s voice saying to me, “Son, why do you picture Me like that, as an old man?” I replied confidently, “Well, You are a Father and that’s how fathers look like, right?” He replied, “Son, do you know that growing old is part of the curse that came upon the earth because of Adam’s sin? In heaven, there is no curse. We are forever young.”

When I heard Him say that, all of a sudden, I began to see God as the same God who spoke with Abraham as a friend under the terebinth trees and showed him the stars, the same God who parted the Red Sea and delivered the children of Israel from slavery, the same God whose hand of favor made a young shepherd boy king over all of Israel. That’s how I see my God today. He is forever young, strong, and loving! He is not wielding a club and ready to punish me. His arms are spread wide, ready to embrace me.

My friend, do you see God as an aged judge or a young-looking, loving Father? Do you see an angry God today, or a God who is smiling and ready to embrace you? Because of Jesus’ finished work, I finally came to see that we are no longer under the covenant of law where God is happy with you sometimes and angry with you at other times. Today, He will never be angry with you, but will always accept, love, and favor you because of Jesus Christ.

Years ago, a very disturbed looking guy came running up to me after I had preached a sermon and said, “Pastor, you talked about God’s love, but the Bible also says that God is wrath!” I explained to him that while God has wrath, the Bible never defines God as wrath. Instead, according to the Bible’s definition, God is love (1 John 4:8). He then exclaimed, “But Pastor Prince, sometimes I see God being angry in the Bible!”

I explained, “When we see God being angry in the Old Testament and in the book of Revelation, His anger is toward those who have rejected Him and Jesus. But for you and me, believers in the new covenant, we will never be punished because we have already received Jesus. As believers, God is not angry with us because all His anger for our sins fell upon Jesus at the cross. Jesus became the Lamb of God who took away all our sins. On the cross, He cried out, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ Why do you think He cried that? He cried that so we would all know specifically that at that point in time, God’s wrath fell upon Him. He became our sin offering and the fire of God’s wrath punished Him completely. He who knew no sin became our sin, so that you and I who are already believers will never experience God’s wrath.”

After I had explained this, this precious brother thanked me. The disturbed look that had creased his face had given way to a smile. I believe that as he walked away, there was a peace and assurance in his heart that God was not angry with him because his sins had already been judged completely on the cross at Calvary. Hallelujah!

It’s time to end the confusion about God’s wrath and to start seeing God for who He really is. God is (present tense) love. Believe Jesus, the Lamb of God, has taken away all your sins and that His grace is shining on you. You are His beloved child, in whom He is well pleased!

This devotional is taken from the book Reign in Life—90 Powerful Inspirations for Extraordinary Breakthroughs.

If you or a loved one are facing a health issue, know that we are praying for you. We would also like to encourage you to read "How do I walk in faith and wisdom as I look to the Lord for healing?" to help you build your faith as you wait for your breakthrough.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.