"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26
It’s not uncommon for someone, even a Christian to get angry or blame GOD for something bad that happened either to them or someone else. Surely even Biblical characters struggled with this, so let’s look carefully and see what Scripture has to say. But first and foremost we must annihilate the deceiving myth, that GOD does evil. Because James 1:13 says that GOD cannot be tempted with evil, nor does He tempt anyone. Many other scriptures affirm the same truth. And we must also know the opposite Scripture:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
So could it be that we are missing it? And who better to study than the man who is arguably the most afflicted man in the Bible, apart from the LORD JESUS.
In the book of Job we read about a man who is described as perfect, upright, fearing GOD, and shunning evil (Job 1:1). Then throughout the chapters you can see how Job lost everything while Satan afflicted him. It doesn’t seem very fair.
Job questions GOD, creates a strong case, and makes a lengthy appeal, “why GOD why?”
Then something amazing happens, GOD answers Job. His answer not only silenced Job, but also brought correction and repentance.
For the sake of the article we will summarize GOD’s answer, but read His detailed and astounding answer from Job chapter 38 to 40.
GOD begins by convincing Job of his ignorance:
Who is this speaking words without knowledge? (Job 38:1)
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? (Job 38:4)
Then GOD convinces Job of imbecility (utter foolishness) and goes on to ask if he took part in any of His amazing living creations. By this point Job says:
“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” Job 40:3-5
But the LORD is not finished with His answer yet:
“Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like GOD? or canst thou thunder with a voice like Him? Deck Thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array Thyself with glory and beauty.” Job 40:8-10
And furthermore: Can you even tame the great beasts that I made? (Job 41)
Simply put, as JESUS CHRIST confirmed in John 15:5, compared to GOD we are nothing, we understand nothing and can do nothing.
So what was Job’s reply to all of this? Anger? More questions? No, it was repentance:
“I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6
To us Job might seem to be 100% right in his complaints. He certainly thought so. Yet after hearing GOD’s reply he changed his mind.
It’s out of a prideful heart that we lift up our voice to GOD and blame Him for the things that have gone wrong in our lives, or others’ lives. By questioning GOD we are making ourselves GOD. By thinking we understand and know more than Him or by thinking “Surely GOD doesn’t see clearly and He missed it”.
Think about it for second. Who’s more likely to be wrong?
GOD Almighty, the One Who always was and is and is to come, who has no beginning or end. The One Who created you and the heavens and the earth, Who sustains all things by His Word?
Or you, a created being living in a fallen world in the flesh, with limited knowledge and primarily only know what we see, hear and feel.
Job realizes he spoke but didn’t really know what he was saying:
“… I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” Job 42:3
Even before starting his accusations Job admitted that the things GOD does are unsearchable and marvelous without number. (Job 5:9)
King David also agreed:
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.” Psalms 145:3
And Apostle Paul adds:
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of GOD! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33
We don’t even have a clue about the creation we see around us, how then can we know the depth of every situation and circumstance? Don’t let emotions fool you. We are wrong to assume He missed it and not us. How foolish!
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” Proverbs 21:2
Who are we to be angry at GOD, to question Him and accuse Him like a guilty criminal?
“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before GOD: for GOD is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2
Surely we have all sinned in this area and done foolishly. Therefore let us heed to the words of King Solomon:
“If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.” Proverbs 30:32
It’s always us who miss it, never Him. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.” Proverbs 21:30
Philip Yancey, a Christian author said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
There is also another danger when we look at a seemingly faithful Christian and wonder, why hasn’t GOD blessed them yet? Why didn’t they get their breakthrough? Why are they still at that minimum wage job, or why are they still single and unmarried? Why aren’t they healed yet?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of doubting GOD because someone we know didn’t receive their blessing. Doubting GOD and His faithfulness and righteousness is a serious sin and even worse than that, see what the Apostle Paul had to say:
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living GOD.” Hebrews 3:12
This kind of thinking and comparison can also bring doubt and a serious hindrance to our own breakthroughs. Let’s look at a few and sadly common situations that occur among Christians to shed some light on the subject.
Why is GOD not bringing that special someone?
There was middle-aged man who was single and never married. There was nothing obvious about his appearance, character or even behavior that would cause one to think “that’s why he is single”. Everybody felt sorry for him. Then after some time it was revealed that he insisted on a wife to be half his age with a perfect body who will wait on him hand and foot. The man refused to budge on the subject.
How could GOD let those people struggle?
There was a well off family from a prosperous country. They took all their children out of school and moved to a third world country and then to another area of Europe just for an “adventure” without considering their financial condition. After a few short months they were in real trouble and hardly had any money left due to foolish decisions and no jobs. The husband admitted finally that he was never called or led by GOD to move anywhere, nor were they doing mission work of any kind.
The landlord was kicking them out of the house because of missed rents and they lived with minimal food and no electricity in horrendous poverty conditions. At this stage people didn’t know the story and wondered, “How can GOD let such a wonderful family with five kids starve and live in such aweful conditions”.
When their situation was made known, individuals from a Christian Church took provisions until they could find a way to go back home. Finally their home country embassy offered to fly them back immediately, with the condition that the airfare cost must be payed back. The man rejected the offer because he didn’t want to repay. Instead he chose to leave his family in the same dreadful situation while others were helping them. In the end immigration eventually sent them back home for free, with the airfare of course coming out of local tax payers’ money.
Why isn’t GOD blessing that family financially?
Another family was struggling financially for years. Many people helped them but the more they helped it seemed the less this family had. After years it became evident that despite being believers, nobody in the family gave their tithes to their local Church. On top of that they had awful financial habits and extravagantly spent everything they earned, never saving a penny.
The LORD JESUS CHRIST spoke much about faithfulness and the principle of promotion:
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10
Simply put, if people aren’t being faithful handling what is already given to them, then they can’t be trusted with more. In fact, not only can they not be trusted with more but even what they have will be taken away and given to the faithful (Luke 25:28). The important lesson is, it’s NEVER GOD’s fault. We live in a world full of sin and that is why bad things happen. We are missing it somewhere. We don’t seek for GOD’s wisdom many times and end up making foolish decisions. And most importantly, you never know a person’s heart (Jeremiah 17:9)
Someone may look perfect but you never know their heart! But you do know GOD’s Heart; He is HOLY, PERFECT, RIGHTEOUS, GOOD and FAITHFUL. It’s people’s foolishness and even lack of faith that withholds or delays GOD’s Biblical promises.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the LORD. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8
In Joshua 7, we read about the withholding of GOD’s protection and victory because of a serious yet hidden secret sin among the people. Once the sin was exposed and dealt with, the people of Israel had one of their greatest victories ever.
Perhaps it’s not always a sin, but wrong thinking, wrong confession and general foolishness that people don’t receive or are suffering. Also many bad things happen because this world we live in is full of sin which causes death, suffering, etc.
NEVER look at someone and blame GOD for their condition or situation. GOD is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9) and great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23). “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with GOD? GOD forbid.” Romans 9:14
The Bible says that even when we are not, He still remains faithful (2 timothy 2:13). GOD never changes and is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
After Job repented, GOD gave him twice as much blessing as before (Job 42:10), and blessed him in the end more than in the beginning (Job 42:12), and he eventually passed on being old and full of days (Job 42:17)
Apostle Paul again writes:
“… let GOD be true, but every man a liar…” Romans 3:4
We must all repent for blaming GOD, for questioning His knowledge, power, will and might. The Scriptures tell us that pride is sin, everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD, and will be punished (Proverbs 16:5). But we also know that although GOD resists the proud, he gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)
Despite the lack of popularity of repentance preaching, the Bible if full of it and here yet again we see another example. Repentance is good, it brings us back to GOD and restores unto us His blessings and promises. Even through the tears and not understanding a situation, lift your eyes to your Heavenly Father and say, “I don’t know, but I know You are faithful and I missed it somewhere, help me!”
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of GOD, that he may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6
All scriptures taken from the King James Bible (KJV)
Capitalization/underlining emphasis by writer.