Refer to Step 4: I choose to believe what God says about Himself: that He is good and can be trusted. I recognize that God is not the abuser; rather, people who misuse their authority are the abusers.
It will not do, my friend, to grant an easy indulgence to natural appetite and desire, for they ever seek to be our masters.
When things go wrong in your life and you’re convinced God has abandoned you, it will shake your faith, regardless of how strong it might be. At the same time, the disquietude that comes from this doesn’t have to be destructive. In fact, it can be very constructive, depending on what you do with it.
I remember when I was younger, I prayed, “Thank you, Lord, for always being there for me and for not allowing anything difficult to happen in my life. I have You to thank for that, and I do thank You.”
I was thirty-three when I said this prayer, and I meant every word of it. It was true.
From nearly that moment forward, however, things began to change. Nothing seemed to go right—except for one thing. My relationship with Christ grew through my adversities—not in spite of them. It wasn’t a steady climb by any means, and I often fought God, indulging in anger and self-pity, neither of which helped me mature or resolve my troubles.
As one difficulty after another threatened to overwhelm me, my faith and commitment to Christ increased rather than diminished—not because that was what I had planned or wanted, but because I had no alternative.
He was all I had. After years of wandering in a fruitless desert, I finally understood the line from my favorite Christian song, “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise.” When I was young, that’s all I wanted—riches and praise. Now, such desires seem shallow and vapid. When I was young, I wanted what the Lord could do for me more than for whom He was. My thoughts and desires were completely self-serving. Occasionally, they still are.
For the most part, that has changed, however, and all it required was three decades of pruning. My adversity may have rattled me, but it has also made me stronger—much stronger. I may not be rich, but I definitely have stronger value than ever before.
Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)