Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blaming God

I'm catching up on a few blog post topics I've had lately. One very important topic is the tendency for people to blame God when something bad happens. Don't fear that you are the only one, we all have thoughts like these at times:

Why, God, would you let this happen to me (or someone you love)?

If you're so loving, why do you let your "loved ones" feel so much hurt?

If God knows everything, why didn't He stop this from happening to me?

I'm sure you could think of additional questions to add here...

Everyone struggles with doubting God's goodness at some point in their lives. After all, doubting God's goodness was the first sin committed by Adam and Eve, remember?

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" 4 The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

They were living in perfect relationship with God, but because Satan suggested that God may not be as good as He seemed, that seed of doubt was planted, and Eve chose to focus on it, which in effect watered it and allowed it to yield a full-blown plant of sin. And that was that.

How have you doubted God's goodness, or taken it a step further and blamed God for something in your life?

Do you easily believe God is good and cares for you when times are good? But what about when something bad or painful happens? Do you feel slighted by God? Forgotten? Unloved? Uncared for? Doubt His good intentions? Do you feel tempted to seize control of your life, because if God lets bad things happen in your life when you let Him be in control, then surely you can do a better job yourself? Have you ever thought that way?

I have. Lots of times!

When we first decided to try starting a family, and month after month passed and nothing happened, I took control of my life because I thought, "If God's not going to 'just make it happen', then I'll figure out the way to get the job done." So I read all I could about how my cycle works, how to track it, when to have intercourse, how, what to do afterwards, what products to use, what foods to eat, what vitamins to take....on and on and on...I attempted to cling to every ounce of control I could lay my hands on. But I was only fooling myself. No matter how hard one tries, no one can will a life to begin except for God Himself. Hey, He created this world, so I guess He deserves that solitary right to create all life...

Once I yielded the control back to God, the feelings of doubt started to creep in. Satan skillfully tempted me with suggestions to doubt God's goodness. Remember, Satan is called the most crafty beast (Genesis 3:1), and that he prowls around like a lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8). That's some serious imagery. Satan suggested that perhaps God doesn't care for me as much as I originally thought He did. Perhaps God doesn't care if I hurt as much as I am. Perhaps God doesn't care that I so desperately long for a child, a desire that supposedly God wants His people to have, so why in the world would He not give me that desire? Satan -- you gotta give him some credit -- he's super talented at his job. He is the epitome of the slimy snake businessman who can sell a pebble for a $1 million. Don't underestimate his ability to tempt you. I've faced many, many of his tactics. His suggestions. His subtle whispers that speak directly into the heart of all my fears. It's truly scary how well he knows my fears. How he can so easily target them.

I fail often when Satan tempts me. And sometimes, I'm just so used to thinking negatively, to doubting God's goodness and blaming Him for the suffering I'm going through, that I don't even need Satan's help to provide me with those suggestions of doubt. It's just buried inside of me, in the pit of my biggest fears.

So now let's talk truth. Let's focus on what's true and sure according to God's Word, so that when Satan or your own self begins to step down the road of doubting or blaming God, you can fight back.

Truth #1: God is complete perfection.
Everything about God is perfect. His actions. His thoughts. His will. His plan. He is the Creator God, and all that exists, exists because He made it so.

Psalms 18:30
As for God, His way is blameless; 
The word of the Lord is tried; 
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

Colossians 1:16
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Truth #2: God is only good.
God cannot be anything other than good. Because God is complete perfection, only perfection can be in His presence. This is the root of why we need a Savior -- because we are all sinful creatures who fall short of God's standard of perfection (Romans 3:23). God is only good. Only light. It's impossible for God to have evil intentions towards anyone. So when Satan or your flesh suggest otherwise, cling to this truth.

1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Deuteronomy 32:3-4
For I proclaim the name of the Lord;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.

Psalms 5:4
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."

Truth #3: God will always love you.
Just like the Third Day song, God's love reaches to the heavens...and everywhere and everyone in between. His love is immeasurable. Unstoppable. All consuming. Unconditional. Yes, unconditional. No matter how hard a person rejects God and chooses to never believe that Christ was real or died for their sins, that doesn't change the fact that God loves that person and mourns that he/she will not accept God's free gift to enter into a right and eternal relationship with Him. A right relationship with God is conditional on a person putting their faith in Christ and believing that only through Christ and Christ's death and resurrection can one enter into a right relationship with the Holy and Perfect God. But God's love is unconditional, and extends to all people in the world. He created man, and He said Himself that it was very good (Genesis 1:31). God's love is neverending.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

1 John 4:8-11
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Truth #4: God will never leave you.
Not only is God complete perfection, only good, and will always love you...God will never leave you. He does not forget about you. He does not abandon you. He does not turn His back on you. He sent His Holy Spirit for goodness' sake...clearly God has no intentions of leaving you!

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you"

Romans 5:5
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

And do yourself a favor and read all of Psalms 139.

Remember these truths when you're tempted to blame God or doubt His good intentions for you. I'll leave you with one of my favorite verses:

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

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