What is your scenario?
If you are reading this on our website, you probably have your own story. Maybe you are facing a similar struggle. Is it possible to maintain our faith in God when we face extreme and difficult circumstances? Or, if you have lost your faith, is it possible to regain it?
Let me introduce you to a man called Job.
Job lived about 4,000 years ago. He was a godly man with a lot of wealth and a large family. But within a day’s time, his riches were stolen or destroyed and his children were killed. Soon after this, he also lost his health and fell victim to a plague of boils that affected his entire body. Things got so bad that even his wife told him to give up.
“Curse God and die,” she said.
One day three of Job’s closest friends showed up. Job was glad to see them until he discovered their mission.
“You must be a sinner,” they said. “God is punishing you for something you have done. We have come to help you acknowledge your sin and repent.”
Despite his misery, Job resisted this accusation with all his being. Only his faith in God and in his own personal integrity kept him from going to pieces completely. The debate between him and his friends takes up thirty-four chapters of the book of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Job’s big question was “Why did this happen to me?”
His friends told him, “Because you have sinned.”
Job replied, “No, I have not sinned. It is not fair for God to let this happen to me.”
His friends said, “You must have sinned. Why else would these things have happened to you?”
It was an irrefutable question. Why, indeed? Job had no idea. He only knew that he had not sinned.
Why did this happen to me?
You can read in the book of Job why God allowed this to happen to Job. But I don’t think Job ever found out. In the last chapters of the book, God showed up in a whirlwind to talk to Job. He began asking Job questions, and Job soon realized that he knew almost nothing in comparison to God.
While God never did tell Job why these things happened to him, He did go to great lengths to show Job how great He was. Once this sank into Job’s comprehension, he realized that he could trust this great God. He didn’t need to know why God allowed what He did. All he needed to do was trust God that what happened was under God’s control and under His direction. It seemed bad from Job’s perspective. His friends were sure that it was bad, but Job knew now, for certain, that God was good. Therefore everything a good God did had to be good as well. For Job, that became answer enough.
Can you trust God like that? Even if God has allowed your worst fears to come to pass? Even if He has allowed your cherished hopes and dreams to be destroyed? This happened to Angela, and she lost her faith. However, she didn’t understand that if a good God allows something to happen to you, it must be good. This lack of understanding destroyed her faith. She never regained it, and she doesn’t want to regain it. She doesn’t blame God anymore, though, because she no longer believes God exists. Or at least that’s what she says.
Dan’s situation is a little different. He finally came to the place that he thought he had irrefutable evidence disproving the concept of a Creator and a loving heavenly Father. He came to believe that the Bible was just an old book of myths handed down over the centuries. It was a book that might have been useful in some ways at one point, but was so badly outdated that it was totally irrelevant. Today, he chuckles at his “childish” faith and notions. In his eyes, going to university was one of the best things that ever happened to him. In his mother’s eyes, it was the worst thing that could have happened to him. By the way, Dan is a successful doctor now, and he’s even donated time for the medical needs of people in third world countries. But he makes sure that they know that this is because of his own benevolence, not God’s.
So, if you are a Dan or an Angela, can you regain your faith? Do you even want to? Could you stop the process, somehow, before it is too late if you saw yourself in danger of becoming a Dan or and Angela?
Only you can answer that for certain. If you get on your knees and cry out to God to show you His reality and power, as He did to Job, He will. He may not talk to you audibly or perform a great miracle for you. However, He has ways to show His reality, if you are willing to accept it. If you really don’t want that, maybe you’d better not ask, because He might decide to answer your prayer anyway.
The peace and the joy we get from deciding that God is good and that we can safely trust Him is a prize almost beyond description. But we must want it, and we need to trust God to get it. And, we need to believe God when He speaks, whether through the Bible or otherwise.
“ My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)
More Questions? See these links…
Do you wonder if God exists?
See our post on Evidence for God
Trouble finding God?
Read: Why is God Not More Obvious?