Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Disappointment with God

Here is a letter I just sent to a dear friend who has experienced many failures and closed doors – and he had believed that God was leading him – and, as a result, is disappointed with God

I can't speak with any authority about your situation, but I can about mine! I too had asked for and trusted in God's guidance on many occasions, but I got failure instead - like when I set up a Christian counseling service. Almost immediately, it fell apart (along with me). It was a humbling experience, but I needed humbling - something I couldn't see at the time.

After my life-threatening chain saw injury, the surgeon told me I'd have to exercise my hand in order to insure its future use. However, I didn't, thinking instead, "God is totally in control. He's going to take care of me. I therefore don't need to exercise my hand."

Well, it froze up on me just as the surgeon told me it would, if I didn't get some mobility into it. I therefore felt betrayed by God - that I had trusted Him completely, as He told us to do.

However, over the years, there were so many times I felt like punching the daylights out of someone, but had to dismiss the thought because I couldn't use my right hand. So I began to see that, even in this, God was mercifully directing things, even by allowing me to have my errant theology.

For years, I tended to think that I couldn't trust God because He had let me down. But now I see that this thinking was wrong. Instead, I now thank God for the pain and failures because I see that I needed them, as King David had recognized:

  • It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. (Psalm 119:71) 
However, at the time, I didn’t realize that to be the man that my Savior wanted me to be, I required some rigorous training. Paul also confessed:

  • We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. [9] Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Cor. 1:8-9)  
I trust that God has a purpose for allowing you to go throw the Valley of the Shadow of Death. You may not see it for many years, but just know that it is there. He has taught me so much through my pains and failures. In retrospect, I wouldn't want it to be otherwise.

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