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Psalm 136:1:  Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy enduresforever.

 

That is a beautiful verse, one of many throughout the Bible extolling the goodness of God. In church we sing and talk about how good God is, and we praise Jesus as we go about our daily lives. This, however, is an incomplete picture. Many of us do this when all is going well in our lives. But what happens when things take a negative turn? Most of us know the answer all too well: We either blame God for it, or we have blamed God in the past.

 

Why is it that when bad things happen, we often end up blaming God? Of course there is no simple answer to this question. People are complex and reasons are varied. One good possibility today is the prevalence of the bad or absent father figure. People have a tendency to view God the way they viewed their father. If the father was loving, folks have an easier time identifying with His love. If the father was overindulgent then those who grew up in their household view God as someone they can get anything out of. If the father was abusive, undependable, or absent, then these who have suffered at the hands of such fathers tend to see the Lord as mean, capricious, and uncaring. And on it goes.

 

Also, the way church is done these days does not help. Many churches portray God as a doting grandfather who loves to spoil His children. Others, which are more legalistic and preach mostly hellfire and brimstone, portray God as the worst kind of tyrant. There are, again, many reasons folks blame God when things go wrong, but these are several prominent reasons.  “I guess God got His tithe when my transmission tore up. I must not have given enough money in church.” “I wasn’t specific enough in my prayers. Because I forgot to ask Him to protect my co-worker, that’s why he was in that traffic accident.” “I was mean to the neighbor’s dog so God let my cat get run over in order to teach me a lesson.” “I declined to volunteer at the church picnic. That’s why I got food poisoning.” “No matter what I do, it’s never good enough. God is never satisfied. He’s just like my dad!” “No matter how sorry I am for what I did wrong, folks won’t let me forget it. God isn’t stopping them because He hates me for what I did and won’t forgive me, either.” Fill in the blank, folks. You name it, someone has blamed God for it. I have been guilty of it myself. Because I saw God as a mean, vindictive Person who could never be pleased, I struggled for a very long time to believe He ever really forgave me for the things I did wrong in my past, particularly if they were of a criminal nature. I am glad to be in the process of learning that God is a lot more loving and forgiving than I gave Him credit for.

 

The truth is, God does have a wrathful side. However, His wrath is reserved for those who are not saved. The Word of God confirms this:

John 3:36:  “He who believes in the So has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10:  For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

 

Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God has been working to reconcile lost sinners to Himself. Because God is holy, He cannot excuse sin. Because God is love, He cannot stand by and do nothing to help those who are in sin. The sacrifices offered in the Old Testament from the time that God made coats of animal skins for Adam and Eve all the way through the Mosaic Law with its system of animal sacrifices pointed the way to the ultimate sacrifice: The atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross for us. If you stop to think about the implications of what He did, the magnitude of God’s sacrifice, it will cause you to rethink how you view God if you have struggled to trust Him.

 

Think about it. The Godhead—God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit—have been around from eternity past (John 17:5; 1 John 5:7). Divinity Himself came from unimaginable glory in heaven to be born as a helpless human baby and laid in a manger—a stall or feeding trough for animals. As a Man, after all the good He did, even being present as Israel’s long-awaited Messiah, He was falsely accused and sentenced to crucifixion, dying one of the most horrible and degrading deaths anyone could die. On top of that, God laid all the sins of the world on Jesus so that His atonement could cleanse anyone who got saved. It is hard to comprehend the level to which He humbled Himself in order to provide the free gift of salvation for us. Look at what the Bible says:

 

John 3:16-17:  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

 

Luke 23:33-34a:  And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

 

Romans 5:6-10:  For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21:  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

Philippians 2:5-8:  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

 

Hebrews 12:2:  …looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and he has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Those and other Scriptures speak volumes of the kind of God the Lord is. Look, bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. Good and bad things happen to both saved and lost people, and He loves all of humanity (Matthew 5:44-45; Luke 6:35-36).  Hell was never intended for man, but for the devil and his angels, and God is giving all the world extra time and space so they will have the chance to decide whether or not to be saved (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 3:9).

 

We do sometimes suffer from the wrong things we do, whether as consequences or, as children of God, loving chastisement from our heavenly Father (Galatians 6:7-8; Hebrews 12:3-11). But to blame God for so many things—that is wrong. If you are one of those people who struggle with believing that God is loving and forgiving and that a lot of times bad things happen for other reasons, get into the Word and see for yourself how good He is. You may need Christian counseling and even deliverance. Certainly, you should be around mature Christians who are spiritually healthy. The distrust may not go away overnight—it has taken a number of years for me—but eventually you will heal, and when you see how much your heavenly Father really loves you, it will take your breath away and bring tears of joy to your eyes.

 

There are five contemporary Christian songs which really stand out to me and communicate the love of the Father to me: “Jesus Messiah” and “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin, “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave, “Clean” by Natalie Grant, and “Through Your Eyes” by Britt Nicole. I would strongly encourage you to listen to at least one of those or else find another one which touches your heart. Also, be familiar with the Word of God and sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. God is for us as His children, and the people who are outside of His family He wants to save.

 

 

 

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