“Believing in God’s love protects our hearts.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 2, 2022
You have wearied the Lord . . . by saying . . . “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:17
I recently watched a television documentary on the beautiful Farrah Fawcett that detailed her battle with cancer. In one scene she was speaking with her father, and he said he was praying for her or, as he put it, “talking to the man upstairs” and asking Him for healing. Farrah asked her dad why God doesn’t always answer prayer—and her dad replied that sometimes God is just too busy. Too busy? What woman can trust a god who’s so busy he ignores her and not powerful enough to manage the affairs of the world?
In 1967 seventeen-year-old Joni Eareckson Tada dove off a rock into shallow water, broke her neck, and became a quadriplegic. She also believed that God was too busy and that He had abandoned her. Joni thought that just as she was getting ready to dive into the water, God had become distracted with someone else’s problems and turned His back. Thankfully, Joni is now a trophy of God’s grace and a shining light of His love.
The late author C. S. Lewis believed a different lie about God after his wife’s death. At the time, he chronicled his painful feelings in a very transparent book titled A Grief Observed. Lewis didn’t believe that God was too busy but rather that He was cold and distant:
Meanwhile, where is God? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. . . There are no lights in the windows. . . Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble?
Any of these lies—God is too busy, cold, or distant—or other can lead anyone to believe that God has been unfaithful when circumstances spin out of control.
There was a time in my life following a deep heartbreak that I believed God had betrayed me and let me down. I didn’t struggle with the belief that He was too busy, cold, or absent. I felt He was indifferent to my heartache (which, not coincidentally was the perception I had of my earthly father. He was present, but not involved.) I knew Christ had the power to intervene to solve my trouble, but He didn’t. From my perspective, He simply didn’t care enough to get involved in my personal affairs. I even had some crazy idea that He cared enough about me to die for my sins so that I could go to heaven, but that was it. Eternity was His priority—not the heartbreak I was experiencing in the here and now.
Unbelief in God’s love is a common lie that even faithful followers can fall prey to. Believing in God’s love is critical to guard against feeling that He has been unfaithful. The belief in God’s love that protects our hearts comes from walking by faith and not by sight. When we choose to believe God’s love, we can rest securely in Him when life hurts. The hard part is that believing He loves you doesn’t mean you won’t experience disappointment or heartache. It means that you’ll run toward God rather than away from Him when life gets messy.
“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:22).
Lord, help me not to focus on my circumstances when life is difficult. Instead, help me to focus on you in faith, believing that you love me, even when I can’t see that you are at work. Amen.
As you think on the last 12 months and all the blessed—and difficult—things you experienced, ask yourself, “Did I respond in faith, trusting in God’s love even though things were difficult? Did I run toward Jesus rather than away from Him when life hurt?” Talk with the Lord about it and make a choice to make any corrections in your relationship to Christ.
Psalm 28:7; Job 40:8; Isaiah 57:15
Elevation Worship: Faithful
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