I remember growing up, I would get into huge arguments with my family. (Honestly, what family doesn’t? LOL) But whenever I graduated high school and left the house to go to college, there would be times when I’d come back home to visit my family and STILL get into arguments.
But me being grown and on my own, I wasn’t having it! Lol I thought to myself, “I’m grown. I actually don’t have to deal with this. I’m leaving.”
And I remember there was one time when my mom was so offended by my comment that she said something along the lines of, “How convenient it is for you to just leave when things get hard. I guess that’s what you think family is – to be here when things go well and to leave when things get tough.”
To be honest, I didn’t really know what she was talking about in that moment because I was too irritated and ready to leave, but I had a recent experience with my significant other that really helped put what my mom said all those years ago into perspective.
What Happens When I’m Upset with God?
One day, my significant other and I got into an argument and him being more laid-back than me did not want to have a conversation about it. If he were here, he’d honestly tell you that he was avoiding it.
As a result, I started to get really frustrated because I felt like he didn’t want to work out our issue! I thought he wanted to sweep it under the rug and move on.
Now there’s a time and place to pick and choose your battles, but this argument was so huge that there was no way we could just pretend like nothing happened. We needed to talk about it.
Immediately, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the conversation I had with my mom. And then it got me wondering… How many times do we leave God, run away from God, or avoid God when things get hard because it’s uncomfortable, painful, frustrating, or annoying?
If that’s our response with our earthly relationships, what makes us think that it would be any different with our Heavenly Father? Trust me, been there, done that multiple times lol, but let’s turn and take a minute to look at Job.
Living by Job’s Example
If you’re familiar with Job, Job was a wealthy and popular man who had high integrity. God was very pleased with Job’s character, so much that He told the devil that he could do whatever he wanted with Job (outside of taking his life) because Job would still worship and honor Him.
The devil took God up on His offer to the point that Job lost his entire livestock (the sign of wealth at the time), his children, and his health.
But Job didn’t curse God. His wife actually tried to convince him to do this, but Job responded to her with a question, “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?”
When I read this in chapter 2, it had me absolutely SHOOK. So let me ask it again just in case it didn’t hit you like it just hit me lol.
Should we Accept Only Good from God and Not Adversity?
Because the whole story of Job demonstrates God’s sovereignty and authority even in the midst of suffering. And although I am only discussing the first few chapters of Job and there’s way more that happens in the remaining chapters, we must learn that Job’s response is absolutely critical when it comes to our own walks with God.
We must learn to take the good with the bad, and still worship and honor God in the midst of it all.
But like Job’s friends, many of us can have an if/then theology with God. Basically, we have certain expectations for God and when He doesn’t meet those expectations, we end up disappointed or hurt. I know I’ve definitely fallen victim to this. Here are a few examples:
- If I obey, then God will bless me.
- If I sin, then God will punish me.
- If I do right, then God will provide for me.
- If I handle this incorrectly, then God will not restore me.
- If I have faith, then I can get what I want.
The Dangers of an If/Then Theology
Yes, God does operate like this in some cases, but it would be a misstep on our part to think that He operates like this all the time in every situation.
To do that would mean that we are putting God in a box and the Bible tells us that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
We won’t always understand God and why we go through the things we go through, but the truth is our lives will come with suffering. In fact, Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Job went through a devastating and honestly traumatic experience, but He didn’t curse God like we sometimes do when things get tough. Maybe your thoughts have sounded like this:
- Why would God do this to me?
- Why would God abandon me or treat me like this?
- Why didn’t God protect me or my family?
- Where is God and why didn’t He do anything about the situation?
When we really think about it, this if/then theology sounds a lot like works-based righteousness, which is basically the belief that we can earn God’s goodness, blessings, protection, approval, and love.
God’s Character Remains True Regardless of How We Feel
But God is a GOOD God. He’s a loving God. He’s a just God — regardless of what WE do. Regardless of what we think or feel, His character remains true because He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13).
The most amazing part is that God loves us despite how we feel towards Him. He cares about our needs, our emotions, our pain, and our hearts. That is the beauty of a RELATIONSHIP with our Father!
And there is no relationship that is not tested. When you’re in an intimate relationship with anyone, it comes with conflict. Just like with my boyfriend and my family, our conflicts have only tested the strength of our relationships.
But in the words of my wise mother, our commitment to God should mean that we’ll be here worshipping Him when things go well and we’ll be here worshipping Him when things get tough — not avoiding conversations or prayer moments with Him because it’s uncomfortable, painful, or hard.
We Must Remember God’s Character
At the end of the day, we have to be willing to trust God no matter what happens in our lives. Like Job, we must never forget that He is ALMIGHTY.
He is sovereign. He is all-powerful. He is all-knowing. He is the same God that created the entire universe and it trembles before Him (Psalm 97:4). He is in control, and He is the KING of Kings.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we can’t come to God with our questions or our pain even when we think He’s the one to blame. God wants us to be open, honest, and authentic with Him.
He tells us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), but we must be careful that we do not forget who HE is in the midst of what we feel and what we’re going through.
We must continue to honor and reverence the Lord … unless we’re looking to get fussed out like Job did in chapters 37-40 because God did fuss him ALL the way out (but that’s another blog post for another day! Lol)
Encouragement & Next Steps
Friend, be encouraged! God loves you. He sees you. He cares about you. “It” may not feel good, but I promise it’s working FOR your good (Romans 8:37). He doesn’t waste anything – a mistake, a heartache, or an experience. It will all be used for His glory!
So let God’s love cover you today. Let it restore you. Let it heal you.
I encourage you to take a moment after finishing this blog post (yes, right now!) to spend some time with God. Throw on some worship music, maybe this song that has been getting me all the way together, and let God minister to you.
And don’t move when it gets uncomfortable and you feel like you can’t take the pain. Let His love reach the deepest parts of your soul, and I promise you’ll be amazed at what happens.
Let’s end in prayer.
Lord, please bless the person reading this post. God, I pray that you would meet them right where they are – right in their hurt, their pain, their frustration, their confusion. Comfort them and let your love cover them in ways they can’t explain. Fill them with hope and joy. Remind them that you will never leave them or forsake them. Reveal to them that you are a God of restoration. You restore. You heal. You provide. You set free and deliver. Be a refuge in this moment. Help them to use this experience as a moment to know you in a new way! In Jesus Name, Amen.
- Have you ever had a terrible experience where you’ve questioned God? How did you handle it?
- What do you think God has revealed to you about Himself through this experience?
- How can you find gratitude and joy even in the midst of pain or frustration?