How do you trust God with a broken heart that He seemingly allowed to break? Or how do you believe in His goodness when you face trials that are gut-wrenching?
I have faced very difficult situations in my life and I’ve often found myself grappling with why God allowed these things to happen. Why does He allow such pain and brokenness even for those who walk in His ways; who are trying their best to live for Him? I have questioned if the presence of pain and brokenness and trials in my life means I’m not “Christian” enough. I mean it doesn’t feel like abundant living when the weight of your situation is so heavy you can barely breathe.
And this is how we think sometimes as Christ-followers, that pain, trials, and hurts are a measure of whether or not we are living right for God, whether or not God is good, and whether or not He loves us. If these things are present in our lives, we must be doing something wrong, God must be angry with us, or punishing us.
When we are truly trying our best to live for Him, how do we dispel these faulty ways of thinking?
First, we must understand we are not immune. We all live in a sin-filled world. None of us, not even as Christians, are immune to the effects of sin. When sin entered the world it brought heartbreak and sickness and death! God in His mercy provided a sinless sacrifice so we wouldn’t have to pay the wages of sin: death! Now, through the power of the cross, we are redeemed! We may not be immune, but we are redeemed! Although we may experience the effects of sin we are saved from sin! It’s like a bad storm, we may experience the effects of the wind, rain, and lightning. A storm could rage all around us destroying everything in its path. But if we have proper shelter, our lives can be saved! Storms will rage. We can’t stop that or change that. But what we can do is run to proper shelter. And what is the proper shelter? Proverbs 18:10 says that the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run in and are saved!
Second, we must change our perspective on pain, brokenness, and trials. Although, it’s not fun, there can be a purpose in the pain. Think about surgery. Surgery can be painful, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to save a life. And the recovery from surgery can be painful as well. But in the end, we understand that it’s for the best so that a person can be whole. As Christians, we sometimes go through spiritual surgery. Pain, brokenness, or trials may be the very thing we need to remove unwanted things or correct things in our spiritual lives. That’s why the Bible says in James 1:2-3 (NKJV), “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” I am a product of my trials. They have shaped who I am. Without them I would be less sensitive to those around me, less compassionate, and I would probably be full of pride and all sorts of other negative attitudes. When I change my perspective on trials, I can count it all joy, knowing that they can produce good things in my life!
Third, we must realize that the presence of pain, brokenness, and trials in our lives doesn’t define our Christianity! Now don’t get me wrong, pain, brokenness, and trials can be a result of our own sin or poor choices. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about when you are making your best efforts to live for the Lord and walk in His ways, and you are still experiencing difficulties. It’s so important to understand that our Christianity is not defined by our circumstances! Think of Job! But rather, our Christianity is defined by how we choose to walk through our circumstances good or bad!
Lastly, we must accept that God’s goodness and love toward us isn’t circumstantial either! This one has been the hardest for me to accept at times. My humanity says, “If God loves me and is good to me, He wouldn’t allow bad things to happen in my life.” But this way of thinking is unrealistic because we live in a broken world. This quote from Lisa TurKeurst says it so well, “When sin entered the world it broke the goodness of God’s design, but in no way did it affect the goodness of God.” God is still good despite the pain, hurt, and trials we experience! We must choose to stand on this truth in the midst of our difficult circumstances!
So what is your spiritual reflex? Is it faulty thinking or truth? Let’s buy truth and not sellout to our circumstances! When we do, I know we will experience a liberty like never before!
“Buy the truth, and sell it not;…” – Proverbs 23:23 (KJV)
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32 (KJV)
Love & Blessings,