by Pastor Tim Burt
It's an understatement to say that everyone at some point in life experiences difficult seasons of life. Psalms 34:19 (NKJV) says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous..."
It hurts when I see good people who love God, do all they know to live right before the Lord, yet go through difficult times. These are people who have been serving in ministry or helping people. These are people who have been tithing and giving offerings. And yet the thoughts and questions have come up over and over. Lord, I am doing everything I know to do. Lord, your word says if I do these things, you will take care of me and help me and protect me from the enemy. Lord I don't understand what is going on. I thought you'd protect me from all this.
People often feel this way in hard times and I understand the pain and questions. I know for some people it's led to confusion and doubt about some beliefs and promises they've held as sacred truths. Now they are being tested and that is when our character—what we are made of and what we really believe, comes out for all to see and hear. What would come out of you? It's easy to declare God's love and faithfulness when things are good or great but what about when you are tested to the core?
When circumstances are difficult and we are hurting and we can't figure out why, it often leads to confusion and frustration. People feel hurt, angry, disappointed, frustrated, and want to be mad at someone. Some do get mad at God. They may know that isn't very bright but they want to take their frustrations out on someone somewhere. Because we can't see God, some get mad at those that represent God. That may be your Pastor, your church—even your Christian friends.
I want to encourage you. This is a trap of the enemy. The blame game has been happening since Adam blamed God for Eve in the garden of Eden. The temptation to want to blame almost always shows up when bad things happen and we are hurting. This is why it's critical to recognize Satan's devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV says, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." Satan will attempt to do his best to divide you off from God, His Word and promises, and from those that represent God to you in this earth. He'll get you to be spiritually touchy and overly sensitive to every word ministered. Through your doubts, he'll get you to raise your walls and see things through a negative and critical heart. When the truth of God's Word is ministered, it is often the most conscientious people—the ones trying the hardest to obey God that feel most hurt.
I want you to realize that there are things that turn wrong in life and you will never know why except that we should simply understand that it’s the devil. Jesus told us a parable that helps us understand that we can do everything right and still have conflict of some kind pop up into our life that we can’t humanly resolve. Read this story and see. Matthew 13:24-29 Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' “‘An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' “‘No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them…”
Jesus was teaching that there are some things that come up on your life that if you tried to fix yourself (like pulling up the weeds mixed with the wheat) you’d do damage to both. When you discern that you’ve got one of those situations, know that for you, its hands off. You can’t fix it so don’t try. This is a mountain to move! Only God can move mountains!
If you are doing what is right, than stand through the troubled times unmovable in your faith and know that God is with you! Rest in that! Declare that before the Lord. Remind the Lord of what He promised you—not with a jerky entitlement attitude, but with thanksgiving that He will not fail you. Jesus taught us what to do in the face of impossible circumstances. He called them mountains that we were to speak to. Mark 11:22-25 says, “Have faith in God," Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Use the dominion given through Jesus Christ and speak to your impossible circumstances. Tell the mountains of your life to be moved and cast into the sea. Speak the promise of God over you and your family. Post them on your mirrors. Post them on your refrigerator. Post them everywhere. Speak God’s promises with conviction and authority. Don't isolate yourself. Don't blame God. Don’t blame your Pastor, your church, or your Christian friends. You don’t need to. God has not abandoned you. You’ve learned the promises of God and your authority in Jesus; now rise up in your life and use what Jesus has given you. When time goes by and when God’s help, provision, and hindsight comes, you will be blessed that you stood on the Word and honored God with faith. You'll be blessed that you kicked unbelief, doubt, and blame from your life. Ask your friend to pray with you and you will see God prevail!
Psalms 34:19 (NKJV) "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt