Saturday, February 7, 2009
INTERNET CAFE DEVOTIONS -QUESTIONING GOD
The Internet Cafe today is talking about a woman named Helen (a British medical missionary) who, in her walk with the Lord, suffered many difficult things. Though she was fearful, her desire was to grow closer to the Lord. One awful day, something horrible happened and she barely survived. Even during her long recovery, however, she desired to go back and serve the Lord. David Jeremiah said of her in his book "Captured By Grace:"
"There was no bitterness within her, though Helen had experienced terrible, mindless evil. It would have been so easy to demand of God why He allowed these atrocities, when she had been so faithful to His service. But in her heart of hearts, she felt that God’s question would be, “Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?”
For today’s Chat we are to give our thoughts about this question, as if it were being asked of us by our Lord, "When faced with difficulty, can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?"
This is truly the heart of the matter. Can we trust God and not question Him? Can we rest in His loving arms and not wrestle or struggle with the Why? Can we trust in His sovereignty? Do we even have a right to question Him?
Romans 9:21 says "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'"
Sometimes the temptation is to say to God "Well, that's just not fair. I am following you and yet you allowed this to happen. It's just not fair!!!"
Why are we surprised when suffering comes? When illness comes? When difficulties come? We live in a fallen world. We have never been promised that there wouldn't be pain or suffering, or unfairness. But God has promised that He would walk with us though the fire (Isa. 43:1, 2), He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Joshua 1:5), He has promised that He is continuing to work in our lives (Phil. 1:6) and that He will never give us more than we can bear (I Cor. 10:13).
It can be difficult to keep walking and keep trusting when difficulties come, but that is where our faith comes in. We pick up our shield of faith (Eph. 6:16) and we put on the armor of Christ and we stand firm in our faith. Trusting that He is in control and is doing what is best for us. Taking Him at His promises.
We are putting feet to our faith here and we continue to move forward, trusting God. We don't stop and listen to the enemy. We keep moving forward in the Lord. It it trusting Him in the dark, even though we cannot see we trust Him. God is either a liar or He can be trusted. He can't be both. Since we know that God cannot be a liar, than we know that we can trust Him to keep His promise to be faithful. We know that we can trust that what He is doing is for our good and our growth and His glory.
When difficulties come, I have to ask myself: Why shouldn't I have to suffer? What makes me so special over everyone else? Do they deserve to suffer, but not I? Who do I think I am?
I have to keep it in perspective. God is doing a work in me, in you, and sometimes it is not what we expected. Sometimes it hurts. He is drawing us closer to Him, He is making us more like Him. Like a clay pot has to go through fire to be purified, so do we sometimes.
I have had moments of suffering in my life, I have lost people I loved, I have gone through difficult times that tried me to the core. But always, God has been faithful. These are the times when you want to, need to, offer Him the sacrifice of praise.
Saying "yes, Lord, Thy will be done," even when it hurts. Our adversary cannot work in an atmosphere of praise. We praise God, even when it hurts, especially when it hurts, whether we feel like praising Him or not. Faith is not based on feelings, ever.
Helen did not make it through her suffering because she was an exceptional person (although I imagine she was). She made it through because she had an exceptional God. And so do we. He did not fail her and He will not fail us. Ever. Please head over here to the Internet Cafe to see what others are saying.