My husband knows exactly how to get under my skin. He is a firefighter and he sees a lot of bad things happening to seemingly good people. Often, while sitting at the dinner table, he’ll start asking me questions:
“So, if your God is so good, why does He let these things happen?”
“If God is in control, why does He create evil people?”
“If God knows everything, why did He let that family cross paths with that drunk driver?”
I used to enter battle with my husband over these questions. I strapped on my suit of armor and I went full force defending my God. The only thing it did was create a war within my house and then silence as we went to bed.
Finally, I stopped arguing. Now I give him the only answer I am sure of: “I don’t know.” Because I truly don’t know.
God tells us: “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘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)
In short: I have no idea why things happen as they do, and I’m not supposed to know. God tells us that we can’t even imagine what He has planned. But I would argue with my husband the justifications behind God’s plan, as though God let me have a peek in His calendar of events.
And although I’ve come to the realization that I just simply don’t have an answer, my husband is convinced that he knows “the real God.”
The “real” God is not loving. Nor is He forgiving. The “real” God wouldn’t allow bad things to happen. Therefore, the “real” God is nothing but a phony.
My husband “no’s” God.
The danger in my husband “no-ing” God is that it can create moments of doubt in my own heart. Of course I know that “things happen for a reason,” and when bad things happen it’s all a part of God’s plan, but do I really believe that? How strong is my conviction in what God says about His thoughts and ways?
It can be difficult to stay faithful during moments of doubt. Every once in a while, those thoughts slip into our minds: “really, God? Really? Why this? Why now? Don’t you love me? Are you listening to me? Are you even there?”
It’s in those moments of doubt that we need to rely heavily, and only, on God’s word. When doubt enters our heart, our enemy finds that foothold and climbs in with the intention to build on the doubt and eventually push God out of our hearts.
But if we fill our hearts with God and His promises, there’s no room for the enemy to build.
Here are some practicals for staying faithful during moments of doubt:
1) Pray. Seems obvious, right? In moments of doubt, it can be the most difficult thing to do. But praying and talking to God will bring Him close to us: “The Lord is near to all who call on him,” Psalm 145:17
2) Read. Another thing that is difficult to do in times of doubt. But spending time in God’s word reminds you of His love and His promises: “For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4
3) Remember. I know you have seen God work in amazing ways in your life. Even if it’s as simple as hitting every green light when you’re running late to church. He has answered your prayers. Write them down. Write a list of all the ways you have seen God work in your life, from the greatest blessing to the smallest victory. Remind yourself of God’s presence in your life. Being able to recall God’s presence in your life will kick that enemy right out of your heart.
4) Be faithful. God is with you. He will never leave you. Your trials and your doubt are meant to bring you closer to God because only He can reassure your heart. Be faithful and trust God.
So many people think they know God, when in reality, they only “no” God. Don’t let their doubt dig a foothold for the enemy in your heart. Instead, use their doubt to strengthen God’s presence in your soul!