When Trials Come
It is an undeniable fact of life that trials will come to test us. Although it is fitting and proper to take authority over any situation that rears its ugly head, it is still an absurd notion to suggest that trials and hardships are all minor inconveniences that anyone can navigate with mindless ease. It is talk like this, in fact, that has done much to discredit our walk with God in the eyes of the world. The comment lacks base humility and promulgates a grotesque lack of appreciation for those who have endured their crosses before us.
Even so - in our trials and hardships, is it ever right to lash out at God? To question His authority or judgments? I know that there are many (in ministry) who teach that lashing out at God is a natural thing that should be indulged during such times. But ask yourself; does the lack of a suitable answer to a perplexing question grant us (by extension) the right to bring our Creator before the bar?
The Lord is sovereign and His judgments are just. No matter what. To assert that we have autonomy to question our Holy Father because of passing circumstances, is to twist scripture and thumb our nose at the authority of Almighty God. When the Bible entreated us to "come boldly before the throne", it was not suggesting an excusal of arrogance or presumption during hard times that come to test us. Just as (when you were a child) you would never get your way by kicking and screaming, you cannot do that with our Heavenly Father and expect to receive anything other than mercy and grace to return at some other time to lift your petition with a repentant heart and the proper tone that is due a Great King. Try demanding your way under the authority of a human king and see how quickly your head is removed.
But understand this - there is no trial from which Jesus cannot deliver you. Our Holy Father loves you more than you have the ability to assimilate, and He is ever eager to deliver you from any peril when you bring it to Him in humble supplication. Most evils that befall us are either from the enemy of the soul, from our own foolish carnal-minded decisions, or from a combination of the two. The reality into which Abba created us contained none of these hardships - but we inherited this mess from forbearers who disobeyed our Holy God and helped the enemy take dominion in the Earth.
Sometimes Abba allows hardships to come - either test us, to draw a point of weakness into sharp relief (for the purposes of removal), or to prepare us for battle. But understand this if nothing else: God is perfect - He is Holy - darkness cannot even enter into His midst, far less reside from within it. Can such a Being ever be guilty of a wrong thought or alterior motive? If not, then what can we possibly gain by lashing out at Him in a blatant case of unjust and unrighteous transference?
We must accept, humble ourselves before our God, and then seek His guidance on what must be learned so that the trial may pass. If it is an attack of the enemy, He will deliver you. If it is a disciplinary action against you, repent - humble yourself - learn from your mistake, and He will deliver you. Like a good Father, He does this for those whom He is trying correct (or teach) so that their salvation can be assured and their inheritance be made great. The lessons can become quite harsh if necessary. He loves you just that much.
CS Lewis called this "the intolerable compliment"; God Almighty loving us too much to allow us to become anything less than what we were created to become. The Bible forewarns that "whoopins" will come if they are necessary - and it is His great love that makes this possible. We need to re-think the Father-son/daughter paradigm and rid ourselves of the current politically correct version of matters. Sons obey - Fathers teach. When rebellion lifts its ugly head, it is stamped out if the Father truly cares about the son in question - and for us, He certainly does.
Open-ended questions, therefore, do not equate to the lack of an answer. Just because we do not understand a trial (or why we should be subjected to it), this does not impugn the motives of our Holy Father or His reasons for allowing it. We may never know why certain things had to come - but we will prove victorious if we always reach out to Jesus when they do. If learning is needed, He will teach - if deliverance is needed, He will deliver. If we are victimized by the actions of others (for our free will certainly allows this to happen on occasion), He will heal.
I know of which I speak - for this is written by a man who (at present) is enduring such a trial. Like many of you, I am in the teeth of it - but I will emerge victorious. I know that God will deliver - I know that He alone is Good and that His plans for our lives are wondrous. Let us all resolve to walk in lockstep with our King in perfect obedience, and there will never be an enemy who will triumph over us.
All praise, power, glory and honor to our Holy Father - and to our Lord and Savior, Jesus - forever and ever, AMEN.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett