The disciple living by grace rather than law has undergone a decisive conversion – a turning from mistrust to trust. The foremost characteristic of living by grace is trust in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ… The tendency in legalistic religion is to mistrust God, to mistrust others, and constantly to mistrust ourselves. Allow me to become personal for a moment. Do you really believe that the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is gracious, that He cares about you? Do you really believe that He is always, unfailingly, present to you as companion and support? Do you really believe that God is love? Or have you learned to fear this loving and gracious Father?… If you think that way, you are wrong. The Father’s love is revealed in the Son’s. The Son has been given to us that we might give up fear. There is no fear in love… The Father is not justice and the Son love. The Father is justice and love; the Son is love and justice. Abba is not our enemy. If we think that, we are wrong. Abba is not intent on trying and tempting and testing us. If we think that, we are wrong. Abba does not prefer and promote suffering and pain. If we think that, we are wrong. Jesus brings good news about the Father, not bad news. We need a new kind of relationship with the father that drives out fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt, that permits us to be hopeful and joyous, trusting and compassionate. We have to be converted from the bad news to the good news, from expecting nothing to expecting something.
The Ragamuffin Gospel, Multnomah 1990/2000, 75-6.