When we face trials, our most common reaction is to ask God, “Why won’t you relieve us?” And when he doesn’t, we resignedly ask, “What do yo want me to do?” Now we have a new question, “Where is the Romance headed?” . . . .We are still in the drama of Act III and the heart of God is still on trial. The question that lingers from the fall of Satan and the fall of man remains: Will anyone trust the great heart of the Father, or will we shrink back in faithless fear? . . . . As we grow into the love of God and the freedom of our own hearts, we grow in our ability to cast our vote on behalf of God. (The Sacred Romance, John Eldredge)
The story of Job (a man in the Bible who lost everything including his health) is haunting. He was one of God’s favorites yet he suffered much.
His wife told him to curse God.
His friends told him God was punishing him.
He didn’t agree with them, but he did shake his fist at God and question why God brought him into this world–it’s a natural thing to do when we suffer. If only he could’ve seen the bigger picture playing out in the eternal realm, the battle between Satan and God. The battle to prove God’s goodness and humanity’s choice to praise him or curse him.
Job’s scenario plays out all around me everyday. Broken people struggling to survive, seemingly “slammed” by God over and over.
They question, “Isn’t he in control? Why won’t he do something?”
And then they tell me, “God is punishing me.”
For a moment the God of the Old Testament flashes through our minds and we view a God ready to smite those who don’t obey. We forget how he saved them, and time and time again he forgave them, receiving them as his own.
God holds faithful to his covenant. We don’t understand that the purpose of the Law was to reveal his holiness and our desperate need for his Salvation, and it also revealed His faithfulness even when his people aren’t faithful.
We forget that Jesus was the image of the invisible God (1 Col. 1:15). God wrapped in skin. Yet man. A God who was born homeless, on a dark, cold night. A God rejected and murdered for something he did not do. A Savior who also experienced feeling forsaken by the Father.
A friend of mine once said to me referring to the Bible, “Andy, you’ve got to take all of it or none!” That was my awakening back to the deity and truth of Christ. After a year of searching for truth, only Truth himself could fill the gaping hole inside.
Today, I must write concerning our struggle with the trials and pain of this world, “Friends, we’ve got to take all of Jesus or none of him.”
All his goodness.
All his wisdom.
All his promises.
All his sacrificial love.
All his holiness.
Or none of it.
If the heart of God is on trial in our lives, we will be angry, empty people. Click To Tweet
I know because I’ve been that person.
It’s our choice.
If we want to choose to believe he is good, thanksgiving and praise will help our hearts get to that place. According to the Bible thankfulness and praise are essential to our spiritual health.
For although they knew God, they did not honor (praise) him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile (vain) in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21
God’s love doesn’t make sense to us. Nor does the order of things now. But one day they will. One day when the dwelling of God is with man, “. . . .He will wipe away every tear from their (our) eyes, and death shall be no more, neither mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things (the old order of things) are passed away.” (Revelation 21:21 addition mine).
That’s our God. He will not just hand us a tissue, but he will wipe away our tears.
Is God’s heart on trial in your life today? What are you going to do?
This post first published as “Is God’s Heart of Trial in Your Life?” November 2014.