Trust God Anyway

I recently received this note from a young lady:

“I’m slowly beginning to give up on God; he never fails to make me mad every day!

Yesterday, a WONDERFUL family lost their 2 year old little girl. Her mom was putting vegetables in the back of the truck while the little girl played inside the truck. The little girl must have put it in neutral; the truck took off down the hill, went into the pond, and she drowned. The mom dove in the pond after her like any mother would do but couldn’t find her in time.

Why does stuff like that happen? If there is a God he is doing a poor job and I hate him!

Just like that family this summer where the mom, dad and kids were in the car and they crashed and the car seat, with the baby strapped in went through the windshield killing the child.

Why would God just take them away like that? I have never met either of these children, but to think that God would snatch my child at any time makes me sick.

I have never been so angry in my life; he has let me down. Out of ALL the people God could remove from this earth he takes helpless children in the most awful and painful ways. I really don’t think I can ever go back to him; he is no god in my eyes.”

This is my response:

I care. You’re obviously hurting right now and I wish I could be there to let you know how important you are. The words you are about to read are written with love – the kind of love which should let you know that nothing you could ever do would make God love you less.

Bad things happen to good people.

We live in a broken world. It all started in a perfect Garden, thousands of years ago when the first humans were unable to obey a simple command and sin began to multiply in this world. Since that time, sin, which is at work in all of Adam and Eve’s descendants, compels us to be in charge of our own lives; to live without God. Living in a sinful world means we deal with accidents and sickness and all kinds of tragedies that happen to good and bad people alike.

If it were not for God’s mercy (when He withholds what we really deserve for our sinfulness) and grace (when He generously gives us what we could never deserve) our lives would be filled with the horror of constant tragedy, pain, and separation from all that is good. At this very instant, God’s goodness is being poured out all over the world because He loves us in spite of our rejection of His only Son, Jesus as the Master, King and leader of our lives.

Is God powerful enough to stop tragedies like the death of the two children you heard about? Yes, absolutely! And He does prevent accidents all the time – but not every time. That’s what we find so difficult to understand and accept.

Why doesn’t God stop all the bad things from happening? Because He loves us. God understands how foolish it would be to let us have our own way all the time. If I got my way and what I want every time, I would soon think of myself as god.

We have finite minds and that makes it difficult to understand an infinite God. Every day we grapple with the limitations of being human but God is not limited. We can only guess what might happen tomorrow but God knows every detail.

Don’t reject God because He doesn’t measure up to your standard. My measuring stick and your standard is broken and faulty. God is trustworthy because He is all-powerful, always present, and knows everything. Even when everything seems to be going wrong, God is still in charge.

Trust God.

“I” Trouble

“I” Trouble

I took the test and failed.

Several months ago I was challenged to try going a whole day without using a personal pronoun; I, my, me, mine, etc. I failed. In fact, I failed within the first hour! It’s very difficult to have any conversation without “I” or “me.” (Maybe you should try this exercise?)

I now openly admit: I have “I” trouble. New glasses or contacts will not correct this type of “I” trouble. This condition is a great concern because the life of a fully devoted follower of Christ should have God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit at the center – not the little trinity of “me, myself, and I.”

But there is a response to “I” trouble: Humility.

Humility is seriously maligned in our culture but it’s because it is so misunderstood. Humility is not weakness, or timidity, or an attitude of worthlessness. Humility is not an attitude of “poor me; nobody loves me, everybody hates me; I’m going to go eat worms.” That is not humility as portrayed in God’s Word.

In Philippians 2, beginning at verse 5 we find a description of humility: “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death . . .” (from The Message)

The best way to summarize what Scripture teaches us is: “Biblical humility is being able to look at myself and see what God sees.”

What does God see when He looks at a follower of Christ? Someone who is forgiven, restored, and adopted into the family of God; one whose brother is Jesus and who will share in the inheritance of the Son. Can you see yourself from God’s perspective?

Humility is the ONLY response to “I” trouble.