If God is for us, who can be against us? —Romans 8:31
I love the psalm in which David says, "God is for me" (Ps. 56:9). To know that God is with us and "for" us is a greater cause for rejoicing. This always make me think of my Grandpa McCurley, who was almost the only relative who stood with me when my theological views changed in 1955. "I'm for him, right or wrong," he said to the rest of the family in those days. That was the kind of support I needed at that time. And yet that is how much God is with us and for us all the time!
This does not mean He approves of all we believe and do. Yes, He is for us—right or wrong, but it does not follow He will uphold my unrighteous cause. He is able to be for me—whether I deserve it or not—in order to demonstrate patience that I might be brought to repentance and get sorted out, if that is what needs to happen. The amazing thing is that He still maintains love and support for me when I am unworthy. He sees the end from the beginning. He does not have to explain Himself for maintaining an everlasting love toward us, even when we are in the wrong. This is why we should not be self-righteous if we feel the presence of the Lord and claim this proves we are in the right.
God has a way of manifesting His presence to the most unworthy child! That is why He can be real to me. It does not mean I am better than others or that God approves of all He sees in me. He is that way with all His children! He stays with them until they get sorted out. What love! Amazing love! This is why we rejoice always ... in the Lord.
Excerpted from Pure Joy (Charisma House, 2006).