As believers we acknowledge that God is our Father, but that reality too often feels inadequate to us. We would rather have a loving father with flesh — a human daddy — than a heavenly Father. I have heard it said on multiple occasions, “I know God loves me, but I want my dad…”
Yet when Jesus instructed His followers to pray, “Our Father…” He was initiating a new way to think about God. There is (an infinitely) greater blessing in having God as our heavenly Father than the kindest and most gentle human man as our earthly father.
Thomas Watson has done us a great favor by enumerating 20 blessings in having God as our Father:
- If God be our Father, he will teach us. Cf. Is. 48:17; Ps. 71:17; 1 Cor. 2:14; Mt. 10:18-20.
- If God be our Father, he has bowels of affection towards us.…He is the Father of mercies. 2 Cor. 1:3.…his love to his children is a love which passeth knowledge. Eph. 3:19. Cf. also Rev. 3:12; Is. 62:3; Ps. 105:14-15.
- If God be our Father, he will be full of sympathy. Cf. Ps. 103:13; Jer. 31:20; Is. 57:18; Is. 53:9; Jg. 10:16.
- If God be our Father, he will take notice of the least good he sees in us; if there be but a sigh for sin, he hears it.…If there be but a good intention, he takes notice of it. Cf. Ps. 38:9; Is. 38:5; 1 Kings 8:18.
- If God be our Father, he will take all we do in good part. Cf. 2 Cor. 8:12.
- If God be our Father, he will correct us in measure. Cf. Jer. 30:11; 1 Cor. 10:13; Ps. 103:14.
- If God be our Father, he will intermix mercy with all our afflictions. If he gives us wormwood to drink, he will mix it with honey. Cf. Dt. 33:24-25.
- If God be our Father, the evil one will not prevail against us. Cf. Rom. 16:20.
- If God be our Father, no real evil shall befall us. Cf. Ps. 41:10; Lk. 10:10.
- If God be our Father, we may go with cheerfulness to the throne of grace. Cf. Mt. 7:9; Lk. 11:13; Is. 63:15-16.
- If God be our Father, he will stand between us and danger. Cf. Ps. 27:5; Acts 18:10; Heb. 1:14.
- If God be our Father, we shall not want anything that he sees to be good for us. Cf. Ps. 34:10.
- If God be our Father, all the promises of the Bible belong to us. Cf. Heb. 6:17.
- God makes all his children conquerors. Cf. Ps. 149:8; 1 Jn. 5:4.
- If God be our Father, he will now and then send us some token of his love. Cf. Rom. 8:23.
- If God be our Father, he will indulge and spare us. Cf. Mal. 3:17; Ps. 103:10.
- If God be our Father, he will put honour and renown upon us at the last day. Cf. Is. 25:8; Ps. 37:6; 1 Cor. 4:5; Mt. 25:35-36.
- If God be our Father, he will settle a good inheritance upon us. Cf. 1 Pt. 1:3-4; Lk. 12:32; Rev. 21:19; 2 Cor. 5:8.
- If God be our Father, it is a comfort in case of the loss of relations. Cf. 1 Tim. 6:16; 1 Cor. 3:22; Jn. 16:28.
- If God be our Father, he will not disinherit us. Cf. Rom. 8:28-30; Jer. 32:40. [The Lord’s Prayer, pp. 15-25.]