What are you doing to me?!!

It doesn’t happen often, but from time to time, I hear of someone who is mad at God.  An elderly woman lying in a hospital made the statement to me once that she didn’t think God knew she was there.  There was a tone of impatience and bitterness in her voice.  She seemed to be saying, “God’s not doing His job.”  We see the devastating affects of a tsunami in Asia.  Or hurricanes that rip through Florida or the Gulf Coast.  I still remember vividly surviving a killer tornado in my parents’ home in Indiana as it was being torn down around us many years ago.

Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me someone who is angry at God means they don’t really understand who He is and what He is about.  The Bible says His judgments are true and His precepts are right.  That’s all we have to know.  Some people have a tendency to blame difficult circumstances on God or on the devil.  The devil is still at his business, but I think he gets way more credit than he ought to.

There is a third entity in the mix and that is man, us, and how we relate to all of creation.  We live in a broken and fallen world.  Isaiah 24 reads, “The earth mourns and fades away… the earth is defiled under its inhabitants; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.  Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and they that live in it are desolate…” 

New Testament affirmation of this is found in Romans 8.  “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is the redemption of our body.”  A verse in the same chapter says… “the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.”  That manifestation (being made real, or plain) hasn’t happened yet in its fullness but it can happen at some level in this age and will happen completely in the age to come.

So how are the children of God manifested (made real)?  First John 3 makes it simple.  “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother (italics added).” The children of God are manifested (revealed or demonstrated) when they love one another.

Your life and work for God, whatever form it may take, cannot be performed with an expectation of a physical or material reward.  It’s all your reasonable service (Romans 12:1). The work, including attitudes and behavior, all acts of worship, are their own reward.  And if you find yourself angry at God, it’s a sign your perception of Him is warped, that you have a higher regard for yourself than for your brothers and sisters and you need to repent quickly.  Whining and complaining is always distasteful to God.  In the Old Testament, it was rewarded with plagues, earthquakes and snakes.  An old country song puts it this way.  “Some people say life is hard, but I say, compared to what?” All creation is waiting on you. Don’t let bitterness take hold and drag others with you. Be thankful. That’s encouragement to us all.

Terry Everroad

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