On Sunday, Reverend Tiate Carson of The Greater Allen Cathedral A.M.E. in Queens, New York, preached a message entitled, “Do You Know How Much God Loves You”. Carson challenged believers to consider that they are loved unconditionally by the Father.
Beginning his sermon with a personal anecdote, Carson shared a story of him training his daughters to cross the street as young children. He remembered emphasizing to them that they should always look both ways to ensure there were no cars coming. As his children became older, Carson gave them the freedom to cross the street without his instruction. However, he noticed that in their freedom, they would still look to him for guidance because they trusted him as their father.
Carson suggested that we sometimes have a hard time trusting God because our experiences in life make us question God.
“Some of you may be having a hard time loving God because you feel as though He broke trust with you by allowing terrible things to happen to you,” he stated.
Lack of trust also creates an inability to love because, “when trust has been broken in any relationship or friendship, the ability to love is hindered and the feeling of love becomes strained.” Not trusting creates the illusion that we must trust solely in ourselves rather than others.
Carson went on to explain how our feelings have a way of deceiving us into believing that we shouldn’t trust who God is and what His word says. This was demonstrated in the story of Adam and Eve. In Genesis, the Lord instructed them to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Unfortunately, they were deceived by the serpent who made them believe that eating from the tree would make them see clearly.
Our lack of trust, the Queens preacher suggested, can cause us to be deceived and conduct ourselves in a way that is outside of the will of God. He used a familiar parable found in Luke 15, the prodigal son, to illustrate his point. In the story, the younger son asks the father for his inheritance, and the father obliged. Theologians believe that the son asked his father for his inheritance because he was angry with his father. Like the son, we too can make mistakes out of our anger.
The story continues by informing us that the younger son squandered his wealth and had to return home once he realized his mistake. However, the father showed the son compassion despite his son’s poor decisions. “
“We all want to be loved and feel loved,” explained Carson. “Godly justice is not about looking to punish, it looks to make us whole.” When we make mistakes, we can still come back to God. As Psalm 136 and the book of Peter state, God’s love never fails!