Life does not go our way.
I’m not even going to use the word “often” because it really doesn't go the way we think it will at all. Nothing happens the way we thought it would, and while we can sometimes have a general idea of what’s ahead, the circumstances will still surprise us. More often though, there are times when life goes the very opposite of the way we would have desired. Like Job, we also sometimes begin to complain and question what God is doing. I was in this place recently, and here’s what the Lord revealed to me….
But God, don’t You want me to be happy?
“No dear one… at least not if it’s your definition of happy. My child, you do not know for what you ask. You think you ask for what is best and what will bring happiness and joy, but I alone know what is best for you. Your happiness is not MY goal. My glory and conforming you to Christ is MY goal. If your sense of happiness is defined by your expectations than you will live your life disappointed; but if you surrender and trust Me, hold on to both My sovereignty and My goodness you shall have peace and joy that no one can take from you. In this world you will have trouble, but do not fear, for I have overcome the world. I have a purpose and a plan that is bigger than you can see and it is for your good, just not the good that you have in mind. Trust Me dear one, I am good. I love you with a love that is deeper, wider and higher than anything in existence. I have forgiven you your sins, I have made you My child, I have cleansed and purified you and made you righteous. All this was through Christ’s work and none of your own. It is finished and done and you are perfect in Him. There is no spot in you. I delight in you and rejoice over you with singing. I shall never leave you nor forsake you, for I am yours by covenant. Delight in My love and walk in My steps. I am what you need, I am all you need, and I will satisfy you abundantly.”
But God, don’t You want me to have dreams?
“Oh yes. I have lots of dreams and desires too. Do you want to know what my biggest dream is? It’s that what I desire might be your desire. You see beloved, your dreams come from a heart that is not pure, eyes that are not all-seeing, and a mind that is not all-knowing. Dear one, I know your desires and dreams seem so precious and important, I know that your heart aches with hardship and sorrow, with hurt and disappointment; but there is more that I have for you. I desire for you to desire none upon the earth besides Me. I dream of My glory being displayed in your life; I long for your heart to be fully given to Me. I gave up much for this dream. Actually, I died for it. Christ died that this passion of My heart might be fulfilled, that people could be redeemed from their sin and brought into fellowship with Me. I am the One you desire, I am the creator of all dreams. Beloved, My desire is towards you, will you not put your desire in Me and give Me your dreams?”
But God, don’t You want me to be healthy?
But God, don’t You want me to succeed?
But God, don’t You want me to have a spouse?
But God, don’t You want me to have good things?
“My child… I desire to give you many good things… but while there are many things that you and I can both call good, there is one ultimate good that I desire for you beloved, and that is Me. I am the “good thing” that you long for. If I give you something, is it not good being from My hand? Am I not good? If I withhold something “good” from you, am I not still good? If I did give you many other good things in this world you would not long for the greater good, that is, Me. What you think is good for you would lead to your ruin, it would merely feed your selfishness. So I may often withhold good things from you My child, because I desire for you to have what is eternally good – a heart that is undivided in its love for Me. What is your good is that you walk before Me in faith and obedience, for that is the way of life. Trust Me beloved, for I am good.”
But God, I thought life with You was supposed to be happy!?!?
“Oh beloved, you are still looking at your life based on your feelings. It is faith you need, not happy feelings. Feelings change and deceive. I never change, I am the same yesterday, today and forever. Shall not I, the Judge of all the earth, do what is right? I am faithful. I will fulfill My purposes through you. I am good and will work all things for your ultimate good – conformity to the image of Christ. No, it’s not easy, but I bore the worst of it for you and made it possible for you to walk at all. And I will walk with you and carry you through. I will never give up on you. I will always forgive you, for you are Mine. Trust Me, not your feelings. Give Me your heart. In My presence is fullness of joy and at My right hand pleasures forevermore.”
While Job questioned, He also held fast to the sovereignty and goodness of God. He said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10) and “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). That last sentence always amazed me. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” How can you trust a God who could bring you to your death, even a painful one like it appeared to be for Job? Because He is good. Even when we don’t understand, even when it looks impossibly difficult, even when it hurts, we can trust in a God who is sovereign, faithful and good. We must trust Him, for otherwise we shall find ourselves resisting Him.
May we find the grace to surrender to His purposes and rest in His everlasting love. That perfect love that will never let us go.
“If we could see what God could see (which we never will, because we will never be infinite), we would see millions upon millions of purposes in every action of the Son of God. God is never doing just one thing in what He does with us. He is always doing thousands of things that we cannot see. He never has only one purpose in what He does. He always has thousands of purposes in everything He does… For those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, all of them – all of them! – work together for good.” – John Piper