|“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. Yet Thou art holy…”1|
This Psalm written by king David speaks to God about David’s personal struggle in two areas:
- His sense of rejection by God
- His obvious rejection by others
I read this recent expression from a fellow blogger:
“I've been struggling with my Christianity BIG TIME. I know some of you are scoffing at that statement and are saying with a sarcastic tone ‘Oh well who isn't struggling in their faith.’ Well, guys I need you to be a little sympathetic here. Anyway, as I was saying, it's been so, so, so hard with everything. Earlier, I was trying to express to my friend ____ how I was feeling but I couldn't quite find the words to say.”
I read this and thought back to what seemed for me an eternity ago but in truth it has only been five months since I expressed similar thoughts. After years of ignoring God, I finally decided that my life and the decisions I’d made resulted in complete and abject failure. I decided to seek the Lord in January, beginning with daily prayer, bible study and meditation. At this time, I was not attending a church; I was attempting to connect with God in my own comfortable way.
The skills I developed in my professional career were what I depended on to analyze, identify, strategize and implement a plan that would successfully resurrect me from my personal abyss. For me, this is the methodology I always used for problem solving and resolution; it’s what I knew, I was comfortable with this approach because it worked for me.
What I didn’t know was this methodology didn’t work for God.
God was going to resurrect my life but it would have to be done His way, using a schedule and method I was unfamiliar with. I was too dependent on me, instead of God. In order to experience a real resurrection in my life, it would mean I’d have to forsake me.
Through the first four months of 2010, I experienced a peace in spite of the outward chaos around me, but not once did I feel or sense that I was really connected to God. I was following my methodology but God remained silent to me. By April, I began to ask myself,
What’s the matter? Why is God silent? Why am I being ignored when I genuinely want to hear from Him?
These series of questions became a part of my daily prayer, but still, there was no reply from God.
I remember being home alone and as I prayed, something happened, I began to confess to God that I didn’t know what to do, there was no one else for me to turn to, I had no place to go; there was only God and me. I began crying from a sense of utter helplessness and part of me tried to hold back those tears because, I’m a man and where I come from, men don’t cry.
I found myself struggling then; with myself. I don’t have a clear understanding of what I was saying or doing; there is a part of me fighting to get composed and there is another part of me pressing to escape. I remember saying,
|“If God is done with me, if what I’m doing is pointless and miserably hopeless, then I’ll be miserable but I’m not going back to where I was.|
I’m not giving up!”
“Yet Thou art holy…”2
Despite what he felt, David acknowledged that even in the midst of his unenviable circumstances, God is holy, just and right in every way!
I finally arrived at the place of worship and like David; I recognized the righteousness and holiness of God. It no longer mattered to me what I thought or felt about my own personal circumstances; the only thing that matters is my recognition and acknowledgement of God. The supremacy of Almighty God is all that matters to me.
Even if it meant that there was no God at all, a premise I was unwilling to accept; I would believe the truth about God rather than what others might consider a lie.
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:
“…if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins…If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”3
If salvation is nothing more than a fairy tale, then I am nothing more than a child who mails letters to the North Pole, hoping to get a response from Santa Claus. Those around me with intelligence (believe they) know the truth, but they indulge me because they understand, "I can’t help the way I am"; I am a man to be pitied.
There is a passage in Daniel which the Holy Spirit keeps affirming in my spirit. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were threatened with death by king Nebuchadnezzar. They were given the choice of two options:
- Submit to idolatry
- Suffer painful death
Faced with a fiery painful death, these three young men recognized that God could save them, if that’s what He wanted to do, but they decided that even if God chose not to save them, they wouldn’t give up on God and submit to idolatry.
God wasn’t obligated to answer me when I felt so alone. He didn’t have to prove Himself to me in order to be assured that He exists. He’s God all by Himself. God has already done everything necessary for me to live for Him. When Jesus hung on the cross and said,
“It is finished!”4
Everything God needed to do on my behalf was accomplished to save me. This is what provision from God accomplishes for me. Whatever I need is there for me, in Christ Jesus. Whether I accept the grace and provisions of God is my choice but God finished what I needed Him to do.
It was me then who changed from demanding assurances to declaring dependence. I could be bombarded with thoughts of abandonment by God, and the futility of faith; but those thoughts became irrelevant and insignificant to me. I determined that even if I never got an inkling from God, I believe in Him.
Many have faced the struggle of trusting God, hearing a voice in their head that quizzes:
If Jesus is truly the Son of God, then why…?
You may be in a place of desolation, a desert and you’re spiritually, emotionally and physically weary, helpless and feeling so alone; God says, “I AM”
You may be helpless but you’re not alone. God is with you, and in your desperation, something deep inside you wants to proclaim with a sense of urgency,
Don’t give up on God! Declare who God is, affirm your faith; worship Him.
You may find yourself unsteady as you speak, but don’t stop; keep worshipping the Lord, confessing your unyielding faith and trust in Him alone.
Your struggle to trust God will free you.
I struggle within myself to affirm that You are holy, just and true. I have doubts but I see that I'm looking inward instead of to the author and finisher of my faith. Jesus Christ completes me in every facet of my life. I see my purpose now. My purpose is to worship and honor You with my life. I trust You Lord. Though I can't see, I believe and see through the eyes of faith. I've never known real victory until now. "I have victory!" Not because of who I am but because of who You are. Even if all around me is sinking sand, I will trust in the Lord. Thank You Lord Jesus for giving me faith that is uncompromising, resolute and determined. Amen.
- Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
- Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
- The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6