Elevated Faith God the Father The Grace of God

If God is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?

When a person becomes a Christian and they are striving to do the very best that they can to live the kind of life that the Lord wants them to, sooner or later they learn that they are going to be confronted with difficulties and challenges that are unique to being a child of God. And, indeed, there are burdens that we have to bear; things that, if we had never become Christians, we would never have to endure.

I recently noticed some Christian songs that were encouraging listeners with the refrain “God is not against you,” and “God is for you.” I know that some famous preachers also seem to make this their regular mantra when they appear before their congregations.

Whenever I hear such encouragement, however,  I wonder how someone can make such a blanket statement to all people who might be listening.

I think of stories like the Exodus where God was clearly  for  the Israelites as God led them out of bondage, whereas God was  against  their Egyptian captors (Psalm 81:5).

Sometimes people  have a fairy tale image of God. We can be prone to think of God as there for our well being, as existing to grant our wishes (at least sometimes), and as one who is always nice to us, whose prime goal is to make us comfortable in life, and who would never think of disciplining us.

The fact is, though, that God does discipline. And our sin does affect our relationship with God in this life. It is even possible that  God can be  against  you.

  • “God  opposes  the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).
  • “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is  against  those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).
  • “Now the hand of the Lord is  against  you” (Acts 13:11).

Even though God can be against people,  there is still a sense that God is  for  everyone, if by this we mean that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We can even say that God wants what is best for us.

At the same time though,  sometimes God gives us “tough love”  to help us straighten up. For example, Paul warned the Corinthians that if we celebrate the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner we might be “judged . . . by the Lord” and “disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32).

I cannot tell everyone that God is  not against  them. I don’t know about you, but knowing this gives me strong impetus to repent of my sin and ensure that I stay in a good relationship with God.

The good news is, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Praise the Lord!


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By Andrew K. Gabriel, Ph.D.

Dr. Gabriel is a theology professor and the author of four books. You can follow him at and get your FREE copy of "Spirit Baptism in the Old and New Testaments (Not Just Acts)."

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