Life gets messy. If there is one constant in all of our lives, it is that hardship will come, trauma will find us, pain is on its way. Do I sound pessimistic enough for you? The flip side is that life equally hands us the beautiful moments. And yet still I’d much rather avoid the suffering and stay put in the happy.
Historically the church hasn’t been a place to ask those big questions. Like the one I’m asking you today. It hasn’t been overly safe to question or doubt in this environment. In fact, you might feel right now that you’re walking into a trap. When you feel like God has let you down, you tuck it away and don’t share your thoughts.
I want to say this: At the foundation and the epicenter of the Christian faith is that you are loved by God and should be loved by me whether we agree on anything or not. The church should be the safest place in the world to ask these hard questions. That’s part of the point of this podcast, to re-create safe spaces that genuinely question what the church and God have said.
I want you to feel safe to ask continuously, why do I believe that and why do I not believe that. So as honestly as you can answer, have you ever felt like God has let you down? Because I have.
For an all-knowing, all-powerful God, the ball seems to keep getting dropped
Life isn’t just messy. Sometimes it’s downright disastrous.
The truth is that God allows the bad with the good because of patience. God loves you and me and because of that love puts up with our bad.
Isaiah 48:9-10 (MSG) says,
“But out of the sheer goodness of my heart,
because of who I am,
I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper.
I don’t wash my hands of you.
Do you see what I’ve done?
I’ve refined you, but not without fire.
I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction.”
If God were to eliminate all that was bad in the world … well, have you ever been the one who hurt someone else? Maybe a small lie? Ended a relationship on not great terms? Took something that wasn’t yours? Had to say sorry for the pain you caused someone else? How many people in your life whom you love have also done the same?
For God to remove all that is bad, the people — you and me — whom God loves would also be eliminated. Instead, God holds his temper, is patient and allows us to make our choices both good and bad.
God is patient
Not convinced that God’s patience and love for you have a lot to do with it? Here are a few more verses worth your time and attention:
- Genesis 18:16-33
- Exodus 34:6
- Numbers 14:18
- Nehemiah 9:16-17
- Psalm 78:38, 86:15, 103:8, 145:8
- Jonah 4:2
- Acts 13:18
- Romans 2:4, 9:22-24
- 2 Peter 3:9-15
Yes. You may feel that God has let you down. Suffering does happen. But there is a bigger picture at play, a purpose we may not yet understand. Is there pain in your past that has brought you into something better?
God is all-knowing, all-powerful and patient. At that moment that you and I felt let down, God was actually working for our good.
Join us at Unfiltered Radio as we explore what it means to authentically follow Jesus.