God, Are You Good?
In explaining God’s perspective, I remember one of my son's complaining in frustration, “No matter what happens, you turn it around so God is always good!”
Maybe you’ve felt that way. Maybe you’ve had terrible things happen to you, or you are in a hopeless situation, or you are just struggling in life? And well-meaning friends and church members give you 'faith platitudes' that ultimately make them feel better but leave you more frustrated and trapped in pain....
As a facilitator for the Trauma Healing Institute with the American Bible Society, the first lesson we learn is, "If God Loves Us Why Do We Suffer?”
With sin, an Enemy and man's free will roaming the earth, God can get caught in the crossfire. Thankfully, we can have conversations with Him and hear His point of view! (See my earlier blog post "God Can I Hear You?").
One third of the Psalms -50 of them - are 'lamenting' Psalms. By definition, a lamenting Psalm’s primary, core component is a 'complaint' and yet I have not found many friends, church members or church leaders encourage me to complain against God! David, identified as a man after God’s own heart, wrote the Psalms. So, if it’s ok with God for David to complain to find the answer, I am confident that we too can complain to God and wait to hear what He has to say, without retribution.
When I first became a Believer as a teenager, I loved God. As life continued, I had more questions than answers and I realized it wasn’t a lack of love but a lack of trust in 'Who He Was' and what the Bible said about Him. As I began to know Him and be known by Him through conversations with Him and Unbound ministry, I found Holy Spirit exposing lies I believed about myself and about God.
In Keys 1 and 3, 'repenting' and 'renouncing' are so “key” to breaking into the freedom that God has waiting for us. However, just as important is for us to hear the Father speak into that deficit in our hearts and replace the lies with Truth by the Spirit of Truth, Holy Spirit. Because where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!
Too often we judge God’s motivations by what we have experienced with our earthly father and there presents a battle with the Word and our experience. I read that God loves me so much that He gave His only Son for me as a sacrifice so I could be in His company. However, maybe my earthly father said he loved me but used isolation from his presence as a form of punishment and emotional manipulation to get me to behave properly. Consequently, when I pray and don’t feel like I’m hearing from God, I can become fearful that God is punishing me for not choosing His way or that, in my most desperate time when everyone has abandoned me, He will abandon me too because that has been my earthly experience.
My belief system tells me, "I deserve it", "I should have known better", "I’ve made my poor decisions so now I can suffer the consequences". This then, is a great opportunity to complain to God so that in our frustration, we are led to forgive our earthly dads for their failings and repent for judging God based on our experiences.
In breaking the lies of the enemy, we ask Father, "what is the Truth He wants to reveal to us"? Jesus said if we’ve seen Him, we’ve seen the Father (Jn 14:27). Jesus, who met humanity where they were, healed disease, healed traumatised hearts and restored honour and dignity to the marginalized and outcasts of society for them to know that they were, in fact, sons and daughters of the Most High.
Complain to God, invite Him to reveal the lie, ask Him to tell you the Truth, see if He’s really good!
Therese Griffin is a graduate of Global Awakening's School of Ministry where she served Janet & Matt Lozano when they introduced Unbound. She serves locally & internationally for Heart of the Father Ministries and is an experienced Unbound Minister.