There is a cliché phrase I’ve heard (or seen) many times, and I’m sure you have, too.
All the time, right? I’ve used it myself! Now, I admit, I’m sensitive. My spiritual gift is Mercy, so when people are suffering it breaks my heart. I have seen so many heartbreaking comments on social media from “I don’t understand why God did (or is doing) this” to “How can people serve a God that would do that?”
I’m not sure what is more heartbreaking – that a believer is essentially blaming God for their trials or that a non-believer has this impression of God. What are we, as believers, doing to give them this impression? It could be because we are unconsciously saying these things that come across as blaming God.
I don’t think it’s intentional, and I don’t even think that they necessarily even believe God gave them all their trials. It’s a popular quote, and it’s clearly interpreted by many that what they’re saying is God can help them. I’d just love to cross out that quote and replace it with “God Can Handle Any Challenges Or Trials In My Life.” Period.
I have had this on my heart for a while, but it was really stirred up again as I’ve been reading through Job this month. He’s in pain physically and emotionally, and he’s crying out in frustration and anger. Why was this happening to him? He’s been faithful to the Lord. We even ask today why bad things happen to good people.
On the flip side, Job is being accused of having committing some heinous sin. I mean, he had to do something wrong, right? Clearly, God must be angry with him! What else could it be?
When it comes down to it, though, they’re all wrong. God did allow it, but He didn’t do it. The fact is this: Satan was to blame.
When we are affected by trials and tragedy, we’re so quick to point the finger. We know God is in control. With that understanding, though, blaming God could be easy. Many believers cry out to Him and Trust in Him. They may feel that is the message they’re conveying. When statements are made that both blame God and honor him in the same statement, though, how will others interpret it? Believers may understand the sentiment (and even overlook the negative), but nonbelievers may find it quite discouraging! What message do we truly want to convey?
Heartbreak and tragedy affect the world every day. Why? It could be for many reasons. Can it be that God is testing us? Sure, but can we go deeper than that? Trials shape us and refine us. Sometimes trials bring us to our knees, and only then do we look to God for help.
Does that mean He is the reason for every trial? Of course not. What can be confusing, though, is that God does use our trials for His good. Let’s look at it like this: God didn’t give us that challenge, but he is going to use that challenge for good. Just like He can take sinners like us and make them beautiful, He can do that with challenges as well.
What are the Other Factors?
It seems we have forgotten an important detail – Satan. Until Jesus returns, Satan still has influence in our world. Spiritual warfare is constantly around us. We can’t be naive to think the enemy doesn’t have influence over believers. Anyone can be subject to that influence. It’s just one of the reasons why we must read His Word daily and connect with other Christians.
Additionally, there is free will. It’s a factor many people forget as well. We want free will, though, right? Between the enemy’s influence and free will we experience tragedy, heartache, illness, etc.
Should we be blaming God for that accident? Or was it because someone chose to drink and drive?
Did someone get cancer or suffer other illnesses because God gave it to them? Or was it because we have carcinogens all around us?
Did God cause the recent tragedies? Or did people who had darkness in their hearts cause it?
There is one thing I know for sure – As long as there is evil in this world, bad things are going to happen. That is why we will rejoice when Jesus returns! Only then will Satan be defeated. We should all be looking forward to that day!
Being More Conscious
So will you take a challenge with me? Let’s be more conscious about the way we word things. Let the words that come out of our mouth (or from the tips of our fingers) be glorifying to God. May an unbeliever hear (or read) what we’re saying about God and think “I want to know more!”
Our family has experienced many challenges, and I am confident God can see us through everything. I want others to know He can do the same for them! Let’s pray for the brokenhearted and pray for those that have hardened their hearts towards God after experiencing challenges or tragedy. May they come to know Him as the God who loves them and can help them through whatever they are facing!
Perhaps this is you. Perhaps something awful has happened in your life, and you became bitter towards God. I encourage you to dig deeper. Get to know God more and understand His character. If you are struggling, please feel free to reach out for prayer or just to start a dialog about the subject. I pray you will be blessed!