Part two – How to deal with the frustration of your unsolvable problems

How much of God’s activity in your life do you think is beyond your ability to understand?

A few things? Many things? Most?

If you’re like me you say ‘most,’ but you live your life as if you expect to understand everything. And if we don’t understand something that’s important to us, we can cop an attitude (that we would never admit) towards God.

God knows this. So he wrote the book of Job.

Job was way better than you and me. ‘None like him on earth’ and ‘blameless and upright’ describe him. He was loaded with servants, property, possessions, and had a wife and ten kids.

In one day all his kids died and all his wealth was destroyed. He never knew why, but we do.

More going on than you can see

Satan announced that Job loved, trusted, and worshipped God only for what God could do for him. Satan said that without God’s blessings Job would curse God to his face. In the heavenly counsels where no people can go, this was all between God and Satan.

So Job loses everything in one day to swords and fire and catastrophe. You know the famous saying, “He gives and takes away; blessed be the Lord?” Those are Job’s words after he lost everything. Wow.

It gets worse. The whole Satan-God conversation is repeated, this time concerning Job’s health. Job ends up covered with “loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” His friends can’t even recognize him.

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing

– Job 1.22

If your whole family was killed, and everything you owned was destroyed, and you suffered horribly 24-7, what would you say to God? Job’s wife tells him to just curse God and die. Instead, he calls her foolish. Wow again.

Job is a rock-star believer. He’s human however: he wishes he had not been born; he loses hope; he complains to God that his suffering would be understandable if he had been unfaithful, but he’s innocent.

His friends visit. They’re good people, but like you and me, one of the ways they try to help is by becoming little teachers explaining God’s ways and why this has happened. The explanations go on forever, chapter after chapter. Most of the book of Job is about the ‘help’ from the friends, and Job’s reaction. Their explanations add to Job’s suffering.

Understanding: a privilege not a right

In the end, Job not only gets NO answers to his questions of ‘why?’ but he is also LECTURED by God for expecting to understand!

Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me

– Job 38.3

A grieving, sick, suffering man gets no babying.

Then Job REPENTS of his expectations and worships God. Job’s family is still dead and he is still suffering and he still has no answers–yet he worships. Then God tells Job to pray for the guys who tried to explain God’s ways (warning to us all!).

The end. That’s all you get. No answers, no coddling.

You end up thinking that God is very politically incorrect. He doesn’t just let the worst happen to a good man–he started it. And then God rebukes the innocent man.

The most normal reaction to struggles is to ask, Why is this happening to me? Where is God? What kind of God would let this happen? He must not love me.

Isn’t it interesting that worship resulted from NOT understanding ‘why?’ We can make ourselves the judge of God if we imply, when it all makes sense, then I’ll worship you.

What if you found out that your confusion, waiting, regret, and hopelessness was all rigged, and intended to be an opportunity to prove to heaven and earth that you don’t trust and worship God just for what he can do for you?

* * * *

The Everything Fits affirmation:

Everything about my life, everything that happens

– the family I was born into

– the circumstances I have experienced and find myself in

– my personality and DNA and wiring and gifting –

is engineered or permitted or governed by a sovereign, just, loving God who always has three good things in mind

1) to develop my personal relationship and intimacy with him

2) to accomplish his purposes in the world, and

3) to further his own awesome, immeasurable aims that are bigger than my ability to understand.

Therefore, whether it’s past, present, or future, I can have confidence and peace that somehow, someway, Everything Fits Even When It Doesn’t, and I will trust and cooperate with God in the fitting.  

About the Author

Gary

Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).

Comments

  1. lyricpdx

    Thanks, Gary….I needed that just now.

  2. Joan

    …thank you…I am RE-encouraged and RE-inspired…thank you for RE-minding me that God is Faithful…period…whether I understand the events or not…He is Faithful ! I have a RE-newed anticipation of the opportunities to praise Him and ‘prove to heaven and earth’ that my trust and worship is not just about what he can do for me… <3 RE-penting of misaligned expectations, asking for a RE-check of motives …Blessings to you and yours!

  3. Pam Cason

    These last two posts have been so thought-provoking, Gary. I have really been chewing on your words this week. And today’s post with the story of Job . . . well, HE’s using your words to show me something new in this story. I shouldn’t let my not understanding of circumstances in my life affect my worship (I allow this to happen more than I think I do) nor should I try to give understanding about a situation to others in their tough stuff. Your words that I believe HE is leading you to write have helped shed light on this story in a way I haven’t seen before. Thank you.

  4. Abbie

    As much as I don’t understand of what’s happening in my life (what GOD is doing), I cling so much closer to Him the more it (seemingly) falls apart.

  5. disqus_immNsnp5Ko

    A wise man once told me, to ask “WHAT” can I learn from this, instead of “why” is this happening to me…I have also learned that when I enter into true worship & praise, my fleshly desires fall away. Seeking HIS face (& not what HE can do for me) brings comfort to ALL things:) Thank you G!!! Blessings & <3 M

    • I like that :)

      • M

        Ps. I do not know why it did that disqus_immNsnp5Ko thing either!?! lol;) It’s M here:)

  6. Rebecca

    oh wow. so thought provoking. not exactly comfortable. shouts the truth. will be reading and rereading this one. thanks so much for an incredible series. so excited that there is a bonus coming. I mean it is like a book that you can’t put down because it is so good and want to know the end but then you are so sad when you get to the end.

  7. This post made me a bit uncomfortable. When there is nothing left to do, we can only worship.

  8. Robin in New Jersey

    This series of articles has really helped me understand better a difficult situation I am going through. I have been printing them off and sending them to someone who has no computer access and really needs encouragement. He just asked me today to send him “some more articles by that Gary guy. They are really good!”
    You have been a blessing!

  9. Jenny Lorraine Nielsen

    Why the hell should I worship a God who “tests” my love? If my mom abandoned me at a mall and then came back to find me again, to see if I still loved her, we’d say she was abusive…..God is either good or not good, if he is “testing” us, he is not all knowing, and not all good…. this interpretation is not sufficient to make anyone happy with the story.

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  1. […] who loves me and works all things for good! I was painfully aware of my bad behavior after reading this post by Gary Morland. I may never understand the purpose of some of the circumstances in my life, and as […]

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