When you embrace the truth of who God truly is, your burdens lift. If you choose to believe God is unjust and unloving, he’ll teach you to trust him through God-ordained trials. Today’s post is by biblical counselor Dr. Donna Hart, PhD, who works from our Arlington Heights, IL office. This article appeared first here on her website.
When our burdens seem too heavy a weight to carry, we can be tempted to believe that God has unjustly piled them on us. The heaviness of the burden can lure us toward an unbiblical view of God that leads us to distrust His goodness and feel depressed.
He loves us too much to give us inner peace when we hold on to attitudes or beliefs about Him that are not true to who He is.
One belief we are prone to have is that we have a right to certain things or relationships. This can cause us to think that when we don’t get what we want, then our “rights” are being denied us.
We can mistakenly believe we have a “right” to what we want rather than realizing the truth that it is a blessing to have but not a right. The emerging emotion can often be anger, causing us to think that God is not good and faithful. This path of thought will lead us to presume we know better than God, and we will likely try to do things our way.
When things don’t please us, we can start to believe God is arbitrarily making us miserable. We base this thinking on our persistent feelings of discomfort, rather than upon God’s words of promise. It is no wonder we are miserable.
Asaph Questions God’s Character
We see Asaph address this in a similar way in Psalm 77:7-9:
Will the Lord reject forever? Will He never show His favor again? Has His unfailing love vanished forever? Has His promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?
Asaph questions God’s character, but he asks his questions from a place of faith in God. He may have questioned God but he did not waver in his faith.
Our questions may be like Asaph’s, but they may not be asked from a position of faith.
An unbiblical interpretation of our lives can lead us down a slippery slope of false beliefs about God, which cause us to become more deeply saddened, thinking the future holds no hope.
Our Hearts Hurt When We Doubt God
Our hearts can start to think this world is all there is and seek only temporal relief rather than longing for His glory (2 Cor. 4:17-18).
When we continually reject the truth of God’s Word by believing our own thoughts and emotions about our circumstances, we start to feel guilty and think that God has rejected us, leaving us with little hope. If we do not address any known sin in our lives biblically we will continue in unrest, doubting that God’s promises apply to us.
Our hearts often cry out as Asaph did, asking if God’s mercy will ever return. But we must remember that it is not true that God has forgotten to be gracious or that He has withdrawn His love, leaving us victims.
We must rebuke the lies that cause us to think God is standing with a raised hammer just waiting for the opportunity to lower it on our heads.
Asaph foresaw the inevitable judgment on Israel. In his heart he cries to God as he anticipates the coming misery of the Israelites’ suffering in captivity. He voices his fears to God but continues to appeal to God’s divine power to change all that is to come.
Trials Teach Us to Trust God
God ordains our trials to teach us to trust Him and to grow our faith.
In those trials, we must exercise a strenuous faith and give God glory and honor regardless of the circumstances. Be determined to resist self-focused desires of insisting on comfortable lives with easy answers, and convenient timetables.
As we learn to give God the glory and honor Him no matter the circumstances, He will help us to make discerning decisions with the right perspective, grow in our faith, and persevere with joy.
We must learn to not gaze long and hard at our own suffering, but rather stay focused on the promises God has set before us.