Why do people believe that God loves them?
"Man thinks and God directs"
Many people believe in some otherworldly power that determines life. Belief in it exists in different religions and cultures: fate, kismet, karma, providence. The thought that something like this exists can either relieve or block.
Made for one another
“I no longer believed in love,” says Anna. "When my last relationship broke up, I thought: Okay, that's it. Me and the men, that's not supposed to be. ”The early 30-year-old had set herself up to be a happy single with a handful of sponsored children whom she could indulge in every way. "And then all of a sudden Felix came into my life," she beams. “I didn't look for him, and yet I found it. Otherwise I'm not like that, but I think: It was a stroke of luck. It should be like that. We are meant for each other. Sounds trite, but that's what it feels like. "
Many couples in love tell of their meeting in this way. “Actually, I wasn't in the mood for a party that evening. Then I went and there he was! ”-“ If I had taken the other way, we would not have met ”. Somehow there seems to have been an invisible hand that brought the two together. The word chance gets a new sound: “It fell to us.” Well understandable when it comes to love and happiness. But what if you feel bad? An illness, a great loss, one bad news after another. Is that also predetermined? And if so, by whom?
Oedipus is the classic example of a person who is prophesied of terrible things. He tries everything to escape his fate and just thereby fulfills it. Oedipus has only just been born when the oracle of Delphi speaks: This child will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus ‘scare parents. They abandon the newborn in the mountains. But little Oedipus survived. Foster parents take him in. They don't tell him that they adopted him. As a young man, Oedipus heard of the bad omen that weighed on his life. For anything in the world he wants to save himself and his supposed parents from it. He leaves the city and goes into exile.
Do not escape fate
This is exactly how Oedipus meets his biological father. For him a stranger whom he kills in a scuffle. Without knowing her, he then meets his mother. It comes as it has to come: the two get married. In the end, Oedipus learns that he has unknowingly committed parricide and incest. He stabs his eyes out. Fate is inevitable, man is at his mercy. Oedipus stands for this primal experience. “Fatalism!” Protest modern thinkers and theologians. Man is free and responsible for his own actions.
Free will and God's providence
Man's free will and God's providence. In the Bible the two go hand in hand. Right on the first page of the Bible is the belief that God created the world well. Every plant, every animal and of course humans are not a product of chance, not a whim of nature. God willed every thing and living being and gave it its place in life.
God gives Adam and Eve, the first human couple, freedom. They use the two and attack the fruits of the tree of knowledge that are not intended for them. The hour of birth of freedom, one could say. But a freedom that God built into his plan of creation. So everything was predetermined after all?
My time in God's hands
“All the days were written in your book, which were still to come and none of which was there,” prays a person in Psalm 139. God can overlook my whole life. He brought me to life and also knows the hour of my death. What happens for me one after the other, God sees in one thing. I can decide what to do or what path to take. But none of my days are lost. My time is in God's hands, as Psalm 31 puts it.
Jesus teaches his disciples to address God as a loving Father. In the Lord's Prayer, the Christian prayer par excellence, Jesus prays to God: “Your will be done!” (Matthew 6:10) Such trust in God can relieve: I don't have to create the meaning of my life myself. This releases forces to shape the time that has been given to me. Jesus Christ teaches: God guides our history and our lives on ways of love. But these are always ways of freedom.
Is everything good for something?
Man and his freedom are not to blame for all evil in the world. Our brain is constantly trying to find meaningful connections. And if there is no point, then we construct one. “Everything is good for something” - “In the crisis there is an opportunity”. Such sentences are supposed to give courage. But they are not always correct. Some things are not good for anything. A crisis is a crisis. I can get lost in it too. There are strokes of fate that cannot be explained. For some it helps the thought that Arno Pötzsch formulated and that Margot Käßmann made strong: "I cannot fall deeper than in God's hands."
"Tie up your camel and trust in Allah"
“Kismet” is the name of fate in Turkish. A word for when an event cannot be explained rationally. “Why didn't it work? I did everything for it, ”complains one of the missed opportunities. “It wasn't your kismet,” his friend comforts him. The thought that it shouldn't be, can leave one with hope and hope for another opportunity.
“Allah is Almighty and Wise”, teaches the Koran (sura 57). “Allah gives life and lets die. He has the power to do everything. ”According to the Koran, this applies to all of creation. He promises to the individual believer: “Allah is with you wherever you are. And what you do, Allah sees well. ”Nothing happens without God's will, so the belief in Islam.
According to tradition, a man asks the Prophet Mohammed: “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie up my camel or trust?” Mohammed replies: “Tie it up and trust in Allah!” Trust in God is good. But it does not release you from your own responsibility.
Belief in deed can turn into superstition
Belief in fate can be fatal. Adolf Hitler perverted the term and spoke of the "providence" that made him the leader. For millennia the man regarded the woman as subservient to him. The Creator intended it to do so. “The man is the head of the woman”, it says in the Bible (Ephesians 5:23). The men diligently overlooked the fact that God created both sexes in his image (Genesis 1:27).
Belief in God's destiny can turn into superstition. Whether the traffic light turns green or I'm wearing the same sweater with which I have already passed an exam, such arbitrary signs are declared to be a sign of fate.
A lot can happen to me, but ...
The Bible is based on the belief that God has endowed people with creativity. People should and may use this, even if they are wrong. God can also turn bad things for good. God can deal with my mistakes and errors just as much as with what I do well. A lot can happen to me, good and bad. But there is no evil plan behind it, but a loving God who is with me.
Pastor Martin Vorländer
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