Return to Your God

Open Your Bible

Hosea 12:1-14, Psalm 135:13-21, Revelation 19:11-16

I am a recent and reticent convert to hiking. Moving from the flat Midwest to a state of unending mountains, there’s a certain peer pressure to become a more outdoorsy girl—the type who likes to hike. The problem is that hiking sounds wonderful to me in theory, but the reality of slowly trudging up and up and up is not always as fun.

So a couple of hours into a spontaneous hike with my husband, I was ready to be done. Tired, hungry, and lost, it felt like we were getting nowhere and only increasing our chances of being eaten by a bear. Growing “hangrier” by the minute, I convinced my husband—at this point, probably more afraid of being eaten by me rather than a bear—to head back. 

About fifty feet back down the worn path, a woman came walking in the direction we had just abandoned.

This woman had hiked these woods before, and she knew the mountaintop was just out of sight, beyond the ridge. She assured us the view from there was absolutely breathtaking and worth every inch of hiking heartache. How could we give up now, knowing we were so close? 

Feeling a bit foolish, we did a 180-degree about-face, and with renewed hope in our step, we ascended to a clearing. Sitting in silence, staring out at mountains for miles, I realized what we would’ve missed if that woman had not encouraged us to keep going.

In our walk with God, it can be just as easy to get distracted, tired, and lost along the way. 

Do you ever feel like you’ve drifted too far from God to ever come back? Maybe you’re lost in the forest and don’t know just how close the mountaintop really is.

The book of Hosea reminds us that even when we are unfaithful, God is faithful. Even when we’ve given up, God pursues us. Our God called Hosea to take an unfaithful wife and be relentlessly compassionate toward her. This demonstrates God’s character and just how much He loved wayward Israel—how He loves us, too, rebellious sinners though we are.

God declares loud and clear: there is nothing you can do to lose the Father’s love (Romans 8:31–39). 

It can be difficult for us to grasp the unfailing love of God because it seems so counterintuitive to the way we operate out of our humanity. When we’re hurt, our instinct is often to hurt someone in return or withdraw our love altogether. When people disappoint us time and again, we start to give up on them. To think we can hurt and disappoint God endlessly, yet He still draws near to us, is unfathomable! 

Our Lord isn’t some begrudging judge, waiting for us to shape up on our own. He comes to rescue us, helping us turn back to Him (Hosea 12:6). He is the loving Father, running unashamedly toward His prodigal child (Luke 15:20). He is the Good Shepherd who goes off in search of just one lost sheep (Luke 15:4).

Sometimes the climb is tedious and disheartening and downright painful. In those moments it’s tempting to give up and turn away. But what we might not be able to see through the trees is the most magnificent view up ahead: our gracious Father, extending His arms and calling us home. 

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65 thoughts on "Return to Your God"

  1. Kristen says:

    But what we might not be able to see through the trees is the most magnificent view up ahead: our gracious Father, extending His arms and calling us home. Beautiful visual! Thank You, Lord!

  2. Beverly E Watley says:

    I am in so much awe of our Lord that he loves us while we’re still in our mess. Hosea is a great example of His undying love. Even when we turn away from Him, he still loves us. Nothing we can do to change that.

  3. Nichole Hobson says:

    My prayers are for us all. That we would stay close the the Living Word of God. That we deny ourselves pick up our cross & follow Him. Be encouraged.

  4. Sky Hilton says:

    This means a lot to me. Not so long ago (only 2 years ago) I was heavily considering never talking to God ever again, and leaving the faith. I was so bitter, frustrated and mad. But then, I made the best choice I have made in my entire life: I chose to trust God one more time. Since then, I couldn’t imagine living without Him. HE has made me an entirely different person. I want to serve Him forever, and never take away myself from Him every again. I pray for those who are struggling with their own faith to please go to Him one more time. You will NEVER regret it

  5. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I loved listening to the podcast yesterday. It was so convicting to think of all of the idols I have in my life. I remember thinking, what can I do to stop sacrificing to these idols? I loved what the speakers in the podcast said, “worship God.” In other words, return to God. I think so often instead of focusing on what we should stop doing, we need to focus on what we can start doing. ❤️

  6. Traci Gendron says:

    MAURA – your comment about God holding our face in his hands, brought tears to my eyes. What a visual! Thank you!
    I have started listening to the podcast. Why I waited so long, I have no idea. Time?
    Hosea 8 is so evident in todays world. Taking all credit for our successes. Foolish behavior. We think of idols as material things. The podcast talked about idolizing our success, education, intelligence. God gave you that brain! Always put your hope in God, not in yourself. Amazing to think we can hurt and disappoint God endlessly and yet He still draws near to us. He will look for every lost sheep.
    Thank you for your prayers dear ladies. It means so much!

  7. Traci Gendron says:

    ❤️

  8. Dorothy says:

    Though I may turn my back on my Lord and Savior He WILL NEVER, EVER turn His back on me. I’m reading Joyce Meyer’s book, “Help Me I’m Worried” (another short read but with much meaning) and in it she said, “Worry is the opposite of faith.” I had to write that down and put it up where I could read it regularly.
    Have a blessed and wonderful day sisters and remember He is there for you when you need Him and even when think you don’t.