“When God’s Way Hurts”

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“But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases”—Psalm 115:3, NKJV

“Dear Lord, this is how I would like you to fix the situation.” Then, with the utmost sincerity, I began to offer a solution. I mean, we have not because we ask not, right? So, my request was clear. There was no ambiguity about what I wanted to happen. Things were bad. Really bad. If I would have any peace of mind, this is how God would have to do it.

His response . . . Not!

Not only didn’t He answer the prayer how I wanted, but it didn’t seem like He was answering at all. The situation didn’t get better. It actually got worse! Meanwhile, the enemy whispered in my ear that praying was a waste of time because God wasn’t listening!

I wasn’t the only one praying. I’d called on a few of my most trusted prayer warriors who also blew up the main lines of Heaven to intercede. And still . . . nothing. Well, at least nothing that resembled my overall prayer requests. Like I said, things were going from bad to worse, and the enemy went full speed on my mind and emotions. I was at a spiritual crossroads. One choice led to a journey of disconnecting with God. He wasn’t listening, so why not stop talking to Him altogether or believing that He even cared? The other choice meant that I would need to stop thinking that there was only one solution, trust that He’s got this, and lean into Him like I’d never done previously. Well, I’m writing this devotional, so whaddya think I chose? While I cried, prayed, and prayed and cried, I remembered one simple fact: God is sovereign. I may think that I had the solution based on my limited knowledge, but He saw the big picture. I had to trust Him.

As I write, the situation is still a burning hot mess and not resolved in a manner that I prefer. Yet, I have peace. I still trust Him. Sometimes when I think about things, I get teary-eyed. When my emotions begin to get in the way, I go to the Word and recall my beliefs about the Lord. I cannot base my response to God on my feelings but on my faith.

We all encounter situations that can emotionally and spiritually cripple us. Things can get especially difficult when the answer seems clear to us, but God does something different, or from our perspective, nothing at all. Remember, the enemy’s job is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). If you give him the power, he’ll sap any faith or hope you have in God and leave you with only thoughts of despair.

When people walk away from the Lord, most times, its’ because of unmet expectations. He didn’t do something, or He allowed something beyond our comprehension. I wish I could make sense of things that God allows. Ultimately, it’s not God’s job to justify His responses to me but my responsibility to trust Him. If you are a Christian, you have that same charge.

We’ll never fully understand God, and sometimes His ways hurt. Job knew this truth more than any of us. If we read through Job’s story, we also see that his end was better than his beginning. Whatever your current situation, it’s not how your story ends. He’ll do what He wants when He wants and not a moment sooner. Meanwhile, you can rejoice in the fact that whatever is happening will ultimately benefit you in the end (Romans 8:28).

 

Check out Connecting with Christ: 52 Weekly Devotionals to Nurture Spiritual Growth

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