There was a time when people believed that God should be feared. They believed that God was just waiting for them to make the simplest mistake so He could smite them or send them to Hell. People had been scared into believing that He was a merciless God that counted your sins one by one and laughed in your face when you begged for forgiveness.
That is not the same God that I've gotten to know.
I grew up in a religious family that went to church each Sunday and it took a long time for me to actually know God for myself. The way I knew God was kind of like he was the founder of a company and I was a janitor. I knew who He was. I was fully aware of the power He had. I could see all the beautiful successes He had created, but I would never come face to face with Him unless I did something majorly wrong.
That's not how God works. God is the owner of a small Ma and Pa shop that hired us after a one on one interview, and still hand writes and delivers our paychecks. He created us, and knows each one of us individually.
In Isaiah 43:1, the Lord says to Jacob, "But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine."
When God says those things to Jacob, it's not just something Jacob needs to hear. All of God's children need to hear that. They need to know that He loves us like a father and will take absolute ownership of us. He will always be there for us, through the good or the bad, watching over us, always, because He is that invested in our lives.
The God that I have come to know is one that's full of love and forgiveness. God isn't constantly waiting for you to stumble and fall so He can point and laugh at you. He's the one that's watching you, so that when you mess up He can be there to catch you.
He is never going to deny you from being forgiven. There is no sin too great that he cannot forgive. When we make a mistake He wants to help us fix it. He is a cast that will help mend any broken bone. Not the fall in which caused the injury.
I know that God loves me and that He loves and cares for each and every person who has ever or will even walk this Earth. I know that as we strive to draw nearer to Him, He will draw closer to us. And I know that everyone is capable of feeling Gods infinite love.
"God is Love." [1 John 4:8]