Understanding God can be difficult, even for us Christians.
In fact, it is almost impossible – God will always be beyond our understanding, but that does not mean we should avoid the subject altogether. It is important to try and understand God so we can in turn understand what He expects from us.
Understanding God is key towards knowing how we should act and behave as Christians – but who is God?
It’s a pretty big question to ask, but the Bible actually gives us a lot of answers. Many times we are given a characteristic of God so today, we are going to deep dive into these characteristics so we can further understand who God is and how knowing this information will help us grow and learn in turn.
Why It Is Important To Understand God
God is the central figure in Christianity – He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Everything we are and what we have is thanks to God, but failing to understand Him can sometimes make you feel uncertain or even afraid. You may begin to question and lose faith because you don’t understand who you are thanking or requesting guidance from in your prayers.
Wanting to know more about God is completely natural. We all want to know who made us and why, and finding the answers can help you in many ways.
By seeking out God and actively learning about Him, you can strengthen your relationship with Him once you know who He truly is.
You may feel more confident and trusting in his guidance, and put more faith into his plan for you because you know who He is and why He does the things He does. Knowing who God is can make it easier for you to love him and trust him.
Knowing and understanding God can in turn help you understand yourself. Knowing why God made you and why He put you on this Earth can help you appreciate yourself more. Remember that God made us all in His image, so learning more about God could mean that you will also learn more about yourself.
Also, it is important for every Christian to understand God so we can all follow His example and learn to behave and act. We should all aim to be more like God and remember how He would react in our place when faced with choices and decisions. Understanding God’s characteristics can make this process easier and help all become better people.
Overall, there are many reasons why it is important to understand God. It may not always be easy but if you seek out ways to learn and comprehend Him, you will in turn learn more about yourself and how you need to behave in order to become a good Christian.
Who Is God?
God is mentioned many times in the Bible by the Apostles, who all describe God in many different ways. Therefore, we can piece all these verses together to create an image of God that best describes His attributes and characteristics.
This way, we can try to understand and comprehend God better so we can put more faith into His plans and love Him better.
Here are some of God’s characteristics as said in the Bible.
God Is Holy
God is afterall, a divine spirit. He is sacred and set apart from anything else in our world – He is holy.
It can be difficult for us to comprehend just how awesome God is as to be holy to be perfect, complete, and endless. God is all of these things – He has no beginning, and no end. He has no flaws. His holiness is a characteristic that puts Him apart from us and all His other creations.
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty” – Revelation 4:8
Through God’s holiness, we can learn how to be good people.
He is never wrong, so we should follow His example as what He does is always the right choice. Through God’s holiness, we can learn to forgive and love those around us just as God chooses to forgive and love us.
If God in all His holiness can forgive our sins and trespasses, then we can turn around and forgive those who sin and trespass against us.
Also, God’s holiness is a way to unite the rest of us. We are not holy. We are not perfect. Instead, we are all united together with this one characteristic we have in common – we are capable of making mistakes, and so we should all be kinder and more understanding of one another.
God Is Powerful
God is often described as ‘omnipotent’ – this means that He is all powerful and is able to do anything He wishes. God is indeed very powerful and is able to do awesome things because there is no limit to His power.
In the Bible, we see God use His power in various ways – flooding the Earth in the story of Noah, sending the 10 plagues of Egypt in the story of Moses, and even sending angels to do His bidding like in the story of Sodom. From these examples, it is clear that God is almighty and overpowers all of us.
“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.” – Psalms 147:5
God’s power can sometimes be frightening and you may be worried that you too will suffer God’s wrath like the people of Sodom or Egypt – but there is another important thing to remember.
God only uses His power when He wills it, and only against those who sin and act evil. If someone tries to manipulate you with the threat of God’s power, know that it is not for them to say when and where God will use His power. Remember that only God can judge you.
God Is Wise
Wisdom is not the same as knowledge and intelligence. You may understand facts or can recite the periodic table off by heart, but to be wise means that you understand all the factors in a choice and still make the best decisions. Someone who is wise uses both logic, emotion and reason together to make the right choice.
And God does all of this and more.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” – Romans 11:33
God’s wisdom is both infinite and consistent. He sees and knows all, thus He can make decisions that are both wise and correct. He is perfectly wise.
Sometimes, you may want to challenge the decisions God makes or the path He has seemingly set you down on.
In the Book of Genesis, Joseph was enslaved and imprisoned for many years after being betrayed by his brothers and although Joseph endured years of pain, his path eventually led him to save thousands of people from starvation during the seven year long famine.
This is why it is important to remember God’s wisdom. It can be easy to challenge and forsake God when things get rough as we cannot see the wisdom in God’s choices – but God’s wisdom means that He has made the best choice even if we cannot understand it.
For example, if you fail a test, it could be a sign from God that you need to study harder or are becoming lazy. This may encourage you to value hard work and dedication, which can prepare you for greater challenges yet to come in your life.
Of course, we cannot pretend to always understand God’s actions, but when you understand that God is wise and His decisions are always for the best, it makes the tougher times a little more comforting knowing that it will all pay off.
God Is Faithful
We people are fickle creatures but God is definitely not.
God is faithful, and is infinite and unchangeable. He will always remain true and will never change. His word is as good as a sure promise, and you can always rely upon Him. Even though you may feel hurt and betrayed by other people, God can never do such a thing because He is forever faithful.
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13
This means that you can put your trust in God where you may not trust other people. He never forgets, never fails, and will never change His mind. Understanding that God is faithful will allow you to find comfort in his promises and word because you know that He will never go back on something He has said.
God Is Good
There is no evil in God.
God has always been and forever will be good. He will never test or punish you for His own pleasure or gain – only to punish those who deserve it for their actions. He will never be cruel and cannot be selfish because he is undoubtedly and unchangingly good.
“This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:15
Because God will never set out to do something in malice or out of spite, you can know that any hardships you face are either a test or a lesson from God. In understanding that God is good, you can also appreciate the fruits of his goodness more.
Everything that is good is because of God – every kindness is influenced by Him, everything you gain is a gift from Him, and you should be encouraged to act the same.
As God is good, so should you be. You were made in His image, and thus you have the ability to show the same kind of goodness to others.
God Is Generous
We have received many gifts from God that show his generosity. He created the world, he created us, and He generously gave us stewardship over His creations. Every plant, every animal, every miracle is a gift from God – and He has been very generous indeed.
Sometimes it is easy to forget how much God has given us and that we have Him to thank for everything around us. Without Him, we would not have life nor a wonderful world to live in.
And the greatest gift God has ever given us was His Son.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” – John 3:17
When God sent Jesus down to Earth, He sent Him to deliver us from our sins so we could be forgiven. He allowed His Son to be sacrificed on our behalf, giving us the gift of forgiveness. It is a gift no person could ever imagine giving, but it is one God made for our benefit.
Understanding God’s generosity allows you to be more thankful and grateful for the good things in life – whether it be the people, the places or the experiences.
Knowing that everything around is because of God’s generosity and God’s sacrifice allows you to appreciate everything more. God has given you a lot, and now it is time to give some back with extra.
Follow God’s example and be more generous with others. Be generous with your time, your forgiveness, or your belongings.
God Is Loving
We cannot stress enough just how loving God is.
Love is one of the most powerful emotions we feel and it can motivate a lot of good behavior. When we love someone, we are willing to do anything for them. Love encourages us to be kind, be generous, and be patient.
Because God is loving, He has been all of those things to us. He has given us a beautiful world to live in, He protects us and guides us, He forgives us for our sins – because He loves us.
God loves us unconditionally. His love is eternal and infinite. He loves you from the moment you are born to the moment you pass on. His love is unchanging.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
God’s love for us is what motivates a lot of His actions towards us – He sent us Jesus because He wanted to save us, He makes promises and gives us wonders because He loves us.
Knowing that God loves you is one of the most important things to understand. He loves you for all you are, even the things you think are imperfect and desire to change. Of course, we all wish to grow and change over time but remember that there is nothing you can do to stop God from loving you.
He loves the person you were before, and He will also love the person you become.
Remembering this fact can help guide you through some difficult times and face some tough choices. God will not abandon you for making a life-changing decision. He is loving, and will continue to be loving no matter what you choose.
God Is Patient
When dealing with people, you have to have a lot of patience.
Unfortunately, we are known for changing our minds. One minute we can be doing something kind, then the next minute we could say something cruel to someone else. It is enough to drive any of us crazy – but not God.
God is patient. He even said so himself:
“I am the Lord Good. I am merciful and very patient with my people.” – Exodus 34:6
His actions also prove this. God is willing to wait until someone is ready to repent for their sins. He will not force you to ask for forgiveness soon, but will sit and wait for you to realize the error of your own way.
Understanding this can make you feel more responsible for your own actions. You cannot expect God to constantly tell you right from wrong.
It is your responsibility to undertake his teachings and act upon them, plus your actions are completely independent. This means you have to evaluate yourself constantly and ask yourself if you could have been a better person.
But when you feel you have done wrong and want to seek forgiveness, God will always be there for you. He will have been patiently waiting for you to see your own mistakes and seek out your own repentance.
God Is Fair
God is described as fair in the Bible because of the many ways He treats everyone equally.
He does not love some people more than others, nor reward some while He will not others. God is equal with all and gives everyone a fair chance to repent after they have sinned. The greatest example of God’s fairness can be seen in Matthew 5:45.
“So that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:45
This sums up God’s fairness very well – He still allows the sun to shine on both good and evil people. Basically, God will treat everyone equally despite their behavior or deeds. There are times when God will punish sinners and reward those who follow his teachings, but we will discuss that later on.
Overall, God will show no partiality to others. You cannot win God’s favor and be treated specially over the rest. His impartiality helps to unify the rest of us, as we are all equal under his eye. It does not matter how diverse a crowd of people can be – because God not only loves them all equally, but will give them all the same amount of chances and opportunities.
Understanding this can help you view others in a fairer light too. As we are flawed people, we are more inclined to have prejudice against others for reasons beyond their control – but the fact that God is fair to us all means that you should not view yourself above someone else.
God will let the sun shine on you both no matter what.
God Is Just
However, God is more than just fair. He is also just.
Being just means that God always does what is right and what is best for everyone. For example, His sentencing of unrepentant sinners to punishment is good and just although those people will suffer.
“His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” – Duet 32:4
Some people may argue that because God sentences people to eternal suffering, that He is not as kind and good as the Bible claims in other areas. You also may feel that God is being unfair for the hardships you face but it is important for you to understand God’s goodness and just go hand in hand.
God punishes sinners for their evil deeds – the sinners are responsible for their own actions. Those sinners deserve punishment for their evil deeds, just how those who have followed God’s example and His teachings deserve reward for their good behavior.
It is important to understand that God does not enjoy punishing the wicked, nor does He thrive or feel pleasure from any harm or pain He inflicts. Everything He does is for a higher cause and when it comes to punishing the wicked, God is fair and just.
God Is Forgiving
One of God’s most important characteristics is His mercy.
God is compassionate, and this means He is always merciful and forgiving. Without God’s ability to forgive, we would never be able to hope to get into Heaven. God’s ability to forgive us for our sins allows us to constantly grow and rebound after sinning, and it is His mercy that allows us to ascend to Heaven.
“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
Forgiveness is one of the key teachings in Christanity, and it is also one of God’s key characteristics.
The kindness He displays when He forgives us is inspiring, and thus we should aim to carry this practice on. Understanding that God is forgiving to all those who repent and seek forgiveness can help you learn how to forgive others.
Forgiving someone does not mean that you have to let them back into your life or allow things to go back the way they were, but it can help you find peace and move on from upsetting events.
Understand that forgiveness is one of God’s greatest qualities and although it may be difficult at times, it is something you should try to do by following His example.
God Is Here
No matter where you are in the world or whatever you are doing, God is always there with you.
God is described as ‘omnipresent’ – meaning that he is capable of being in all places at all times. God does not run on a schedule, or needs to be in bed by 10pm. He is always watching over you.
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3
Because God is omnipresent, this means that he sees everything you do – both the good and the bad. He will see every sin you commit, but also every good deed you do. He will hear your every prayer and see your struggles. He will see you repent and hear you ask for forgiveness.
He is also all-knowing because He can see everything you do, hear everything you say, and feel everything you feel. This makes it impossible for you to hide your sins nor go unnoticed in your good deeds.
It is important for you to know that God is always there with you, even in your darkest of times. He will see you be strong, be loving, and be kind. He will always watch over you, no matter the time or place.
God is mentioned frequently throughout the Bible, and we could not include every quote in this list. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of God and who He is, and hence why He does the things He does. God is a complex being who will always be beyond our full comprehension, but that does not mean we cannot try.