What to Do When God Lets You Down
There are famous clichés that the church has recited throughout the years especially when expressing God looking out for His people. Maybe you heard, “God has not failed me yet.” Possibly it was this saying: “He may not come when you want, but He’s always on time.” This may be a hard pill to swallow and many people will not admit it, but there were times when people felt that God did not show up in crucial situations in their lives. It may even be you.
You trusted God, prayed, fasted and believed your marriage would work, but you still find yourself in divorce court. That bad mortgage loan left you going into foreclosure and you know God gave you that house and now it is gone. Your loved one was diagnosed with cancer and you believed healing was going to be the outcome. Yet, less than a month later you find yourself planning the funeral arrangements. Someone in his or her adolescent years may have experienced heinous abuse. This person cried out to the Lord and pleaded for the assault to end. Yet, the violation occurred and may have gone on for a number of days, months or even years. Never will you tell anyone, but you truly felt that God let you down.
The question many will ask is “Where was God in my situation?” Or they would say, “If God is everywhere, which is Omnipresent, why didn’t He stop it? Why allow the abuse to happen and continue especially since it had such a negative effect on me? Why did my prayers go unanswered?” I asked these questions within myself when I lost my job, apartment, had to deal with abuse, heart ache and disappointment from those who said they cared. These real-life scenarios happen not only to the wicked, but to God’s people as well. For we are reminded with these events as the Scripture tells us in Matthew 5:45 that reads, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust.”
All of these events, or just one of these events, can result in someone not loving, trusting or believing God. One of these examples would leave someone discouraged, angry and/or bitter with God. Many people quietly build this hidden frustration and the church has helped shamed individuals that feel this way. King David is known for his quote: “My God, My God, why have thou forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1). King David, received a prophetic word from the powerful prophet Samuel that he would be king. Yet, David experienced disappointment, grief, murderous attacks and betrayal for many years before his promise of being king of Israel came into fruition. He must have determined that God was preoccupied with something far more important since He did not show up in his life during such crucial moments. Psalm 13:1 reads, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” I love this scripture! This silences the comment from all those who still believe that no one should question God. King David, a man after God’s own heart, asked the question and had the nerve to be sarcastic in his tone. It is important to know that David had a relationship with God where he can confront God with directness about his frustrating condition. Yet, the key is by the end of this psalm David says, “But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:5-6). So many of the psalms speak to the weary heart and the anxious soul. The truth is God has not forgotten you and He knows the pain you may be facing or the trails you had to experience.
There may be instances where you feel all alone and you are the only one going through a heart wrenching pain. Please know that Jesus walked through this life and experienced similar wounds you have faced. Hebrews 4:14-16 reads,
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
You say you had a loved one die, Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was unjustly murdered. Maybe you have experienced heartache and betrayal from a friend or the love of your life. Judas, Jesus’ disciple who walked with him and lived with him for over three years, betrayed Jesus with a kiss and for thirty pieces of silver. Another one of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, who declared he loved Jesus so much, three times denied that he even knew Jesus. Have you ever done the right things and it seems like the evil and wicked seems to get ahead? Jesus knows what that feels like. Jesus was lied on in order to be executed and the wicked succeeded at their plan. Thanks be unto God that Jesus did not stay dead. Nevertheless, there is a peace to know that someone understands or has experienced our pain. It helps to know that we are not the only one experiencing such turmoil. Jesus knows the pains we face in this life. The famous hymn is correct when it says, “Jesus knows all about our trouble.”
No matter what you had to experience or what you deem to be a defeat or difficulty, understand the Father knows best. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Despite everything you may have gone through, or will have to go through, know that God is faithful.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 reads,
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”
This passage was a promise that God will give speed and strength to His servant even though difficult times were their current position. Therefore, understand where you are presently will not be where you are in the future. Some life occurrences cannot be explained in our finite thinking. Isaiah 55:8 reads, ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” It is possible that God may or may not reveal the reasons for such attacks in your life. There will be times just like Job where conversations are being said between God and Satan and God will throw you in the ring and say, “Have you tried my servant, Job?” When the trail and test is over hopefully we will have the record of Job that reads, “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:22).
Plus, this world is in a fallen state and that means evil and sin has penetrated the world and as a result we will experience pain because the fall of Adam. Yet, we may not enjoy what we are experiencing, but the situation could have been worst. God told Satan that he could not touch Job’s body. Sometimes we do not see God moving in our situations, but He does. If King Saul had his way, the plan was for David to be killed. Yet, David always escaped and remain with his integrity. You may need to take the time to thank God for protecting you from the unseen danger and from what Satan wanted to do to you, but God’s grace spoke up and said, “Touch not God’s anointed” (Psalm 105:15).
Nevertheless, God is using all that you went through to help others and to make you the person you are called to be. Plus, whatever the attack, disappointment, heartache and assault you may have experienced, recognize that it did not kill or destroy you. God did let us know that the weapon will be formed to come against us, but it will not succeed in destroying us. Therefore, remember, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17a). If the truth be told, some of the drastic events that brought the most pain in our lives in time we can see it had provided the testimony of God’s goodness you can share with others. When I share my story about not growing up close with my father, I recognized other young people listened to what I had to say because they could relate to that pain. This realization was hard for me to agree with at first, but as time went on I recognized all that was set out to destroy me did nothing but make me better. I was more humbled, appreciative and recognized that God is still God regardless of my situation and He still loves me no matter what. Therefore, I pray that you may walk in confidence during your trail and say just like Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:5).
© 2018 Raenell Dionne