I was reading a blog post recently in which the writer encouraged women to receive what the Bible says God will do for them. A question came up in the comments to the effect of "what about what (insert influential individual's name here) says about that? How not receiving x promise may be a blessing from God?" (The question was asked genuinely, not as a challenge to the author).
Well friends, nobody is perfect in their theology...but I think that we need to dig a little deeper when questions like this come up. We need to go to the Word when we aren't sure who God is in our lives or what His intentions are toward us.
Jeremiah 29:11 states:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
And in James 1:16-17 it says:
"Do not be misled, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]." (Amplified. Emphasis mine).
So we can see that God does not desire for one person to be sick and yet another person to be healthy (or one to be healthy and then suddenly sick). Or one person to live in poverty and another to live in a mansion.
Bad things are not God's will for us! God does not "smite" us because He has something to teach us as some would believe. Consider the words of Job: even though God declared him a righteous man, he said "the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away..." (Job 1:21) Now, don't we hear that ALL the time? Yet, I believe because Job's heart was right before God, verse 22 tells us that he didn't sin or charge God foolishly. (God looks at the heart).
The fact is: God is good. He desires good for us. But bad things do happen. We live in a fallen world.
We may wonder why, when we pray for a specific outcome, our desire is not manifest. I've been there! There have been many times where I was so confused, thinking, "God, I prayed for this or that to happen, and it didn't!" One tends to start asking questions: Is something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with God? Is there something wrong with the person I prayed for? Is something wrong with my Bible? But as believers, we will not be dismayed if our hope rests in God, rather than a particular outcome. That's the power behind true faith. Didn't Jesus say to His disciples, "Have faith in God."? (Mark 11:22) We need to be like David who said,
"...for You [You only and altogether] do I wait [expectantly] all the day long." (Psalm 25:5 Amplified)
Let's not let our view of God become skewed through the filter of our experiences! God is who He says He is! Not (necessarily) who we flawed humans say He is."...let God be true but every man a liar." (Romans 3:3)
When things don't turn out the way we think they should, we must remember "for we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 2:7)
That means our faith in God is not dependent upon external circumstances. We must continue to believe, trust and rely on Him!
Linking up with Women in the Word Wednesdays