When you fall on hard times, do you ever catch yourself blaming God? I think it’s safe to say we’ve all done it. Whether it’s an unexpected financial burden, sickness, stress from work, most of us tend to think, “why me? Why, God, did you let this happen to me?” You’ve been good. You’ve helped others, you’ve paid your tithes, you’ve prayed, read your Bible. So why does it seem like God has gone out of his way to make you miserable? Maybe I can shed some light on that.
I’ve been reading in the book of Joshua. In this book, chapter 2:20, God grew angry with Israel for their persistent disobedience. Because of that, he no longer aided them in driving out the enemies from their land, but instead used those opposing nations around them to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey Him and keep His commandments as their ancestors did.
This particular chapter really caught my attention because even though God was angry that His people kept turning away from him and he allowed them to be troubled by their enemies, He intended their punishment to be a new opportunity to turn back to Him and away from sin, and strengthen their faith in Him.
Not to say that the reason bad things happen to us is because we are being punished, but maybe bad things happen to us for a few reasons; 1) God knows we are strong and knows we can overcome any situation if we trust Him. 2) God is giving us the opportunity (or “testing” us) because he wants us to pray for his will. He wants us to come to him willingly. 3) From personal experience, sometimes the hardest and darkest things in our life can bring the greatest blessings. Instead of living in shame we can start over with a new life, because of Jesus Christ- and it’s absolutely free.
So maybe next time you’re in a difficult place, think back to this: God loves you, and he wants you to trust Him. He wants you to turn to Him. The Bible says many times that God is a jealous God. He is jealous for you, and wants to deliver you from your troubles. Your next struggle in life could be your biggest opportunity for abundant blessings and a love beyond comprehension.