Being a Christian is not a cake walk.
If you’ve ever met someone that made you feel as if being a follower of Jesus meant that everything fell into place, your burdens no longer existed, and that you were somehow part of an priveledged inner circle, you were being misled.
Christian’s struggle with their faith at times.
The past few months have been one of those times for me. If hearing this from another believer somehow makes you nervous, or worry that you’ll question your own faith to the point that you can’t bear to read on, then stop now. Because I’m a truth talker. Not a glazer.
Because the truth is that sometimes—especially in a season of long suffering— the only faith we have remaining, is our ability to question our faith.
When we’ve been through the ringer, too many times than we can bear.
When we’ve witnessed tragedy in those around us that send us reeling with questions.
When we’ve looked heavenward and wondered if anyone is there. If anyone was ever there.
And you know what? God is okay with that. Because questioning your faith can actually be an act of faith. Questioning your faith, questioning God, and even railing in anger over your situation is still among the actions of the faithful.
Because it means that you still believe enough
to question the reasons you believe.
And that, sweet friends, is the core of our faith: Believing in what we can’t see, even when all other indicators would suggest that it’s not there.
You see, sometimes even Christians get to the end of a long hard road, thinking that they are about to come out on the other side, only to realize that there’s a cliff they didn’t see. Sometimes they hit bottom so hard, so fast, that they get angry that the road wasn’t what they expected. And, if they are honest with you, sometimes they question the role God is playing in their lives.
Kinda like a guy in the Bible that no one ever wants to read about—yeah, that guy named Job.
So, I started reading Job. Because I was pretty sure we were soul siblings, to be honest. And while my loss and pain of divorce and single motherhood did not come anywhere near his losses, it did show me one thing:
Job is proof that bad things can be redeemed.
Maybe like me, the one thing you feared most in life has actually become your day-to-day reality. A slap in the face it seems. Maybe you feel like Job when he said in 3:25-26,
“What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.”
But, what if the thing you’ve dreaded like the plague, is actually the one thing in your life that can lead you to the most real relationship you’ve ever had with your Creator? If you become so close to God that you feel you can get real with him? That you can even—dare I say it?—question him. Isn’t that a gain?
Job thought so. At the end of his rants—though he didn’t accuse God, he complained relentlessly—he sat back and realized that the situation had put him in a position of relationship with God that very few were allowed. Job said,
“I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” 42:5-6
While we may not always understand why things happen, they don’t mean that we’ve lost God’s love, companionship, or protection. In fact, he may be using the situation we are in to show us those very things.
Job wasn’t punished for anything he did wrong, just as we are not being punished. No guilt = suffering as the world would like us to believe. God works differently.
- Job was good man, loved by God.
- Job was hurt by unimaginable losses and felt defeated.
- Job was abandoned by those he thought loved him most.
But, the true showing of Job’s faith was that despite his situation, despite the fact that he didn’t like it, or even understand it, he didn’t turn away from God. Nope, in fact, he got real with God. He questioned him.
Did God then magically remove the trauma Job had suffered? No. But, he drew near to Job, even in his misinterpretation of what was happening. And he blessed him again.
Give him the chance to do the same for you.
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