It is amazing how in a matter of moments, the world can fall off its axis for us. Panic can stalk us as life and death seemingly hang in the balance. Our pounding hearts betray the anxiety within us. “But where is God? Does He know what is happening? Why have the heavens grown dark and silent? What have I done to deserve this abandonment? Haven’t I served Him with a willing heart? What must I do to regain His favor?” As frustration and fear accumulate, our human spirit recoils in distrust and confusion.
The agony of a shattered faith is a circumstance in life with few other equals. It is a crisis that D. R.T. Kendall of Westminster Chapel of London calls “The Betrayal Barrier”. In his opinion, 100 percent of believers eventually go through a period when God seems to let them down. Something in life suddenly starts to unravel. It makes no sense. It seems so unfair. The natural reaction seems to say, “Lord, is this the way You treat Your own? I thought You cared for me, but I was wrong. I’m not sure I can love a God like that.”
So tell me, where did we get the notion that the Christian life is a piece of cake? Where is the evidence for the “name it, claim it” theology that God will skip along in front of us with His great Cosmic Broom, sweeping aside each trial and every troubling uncertainty?
Jesus told His disciples to anticipate suffering, John 16:33. Paul wrote about troubles, harassment, conflicts and fears, 2 Corinthians 7:4-5. Peter talks about painful trials and suffering, 1 Peter 4:12-13. You may note that in all there references, that there is a coexistence of it with joy. Clearly, what we have in Scripture is a paradox. Told to expect suffering and hardship and on the other hand, we are encouraged to be joyful and thankful. How do those contradictory ideas link together? How can we be secure when surrounded by insecurity? That is a mystery which, according to Paul, “transcends all understanding”.
It seems that ultimately it becomes what the Bible has always shown us, that trials and sufferings are part of the human condition and that people of God went through similar hardships. What has pleased God is faithfulness even when nothing made sense. Do some believers apparently feel God owes them smooth sailing or at least a full explanation for the hardship they encounter? Do we forget that He, after all, is God? He is majestic and holy and sovereign. He is accountable to no one. He is not an errand boy who chases the assignment we dole out. He is not our servant – we are His. And our reason for existence is to glorify and honor Him. Even so, sometimes He performs mighty miracles on our behalf. Sometimes He chooses to explain His actions. Sometimes His presence is real. But at other times when nothing makes sense, when what we are going through what we see as “not fair”, when we feel all alone in God’s waiting room, He simply says, “Trust Me!”
Lots to think about, but what do you think?
[Thoughts from “The Betrayal Barrier” by Dr. James Dobson — (When God Doesn’t Make Sense)] — via Ken Darnell