We have probably all experienced those times when God did not “seem” to come through for us.
If you have been a part of the church culture for long you have heard the slogan, “God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.” But we have to acknowledge that there are times when the verses and quaint sayings don’t match the reality that is in front of us.
We recently went through the agonizing process of closing down a church plant that we had worked on tirelessly for over eight years. For the final six months we did everything we could to keep it open. God’s response to all the prayers, naming, claiming and circling verses, was deafening silence.
And then we read this: Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
How do we respond when we know in our hearts that it isn’t true, but for all practical purposes, it seems like God has let us down?
1. Talk To Instead Of Listening To Yourself
The idea is to drown out the deceptive voice of Satan who is searching your heart for a foothold to breed doubt in your mind.
Our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. If what comes out of it goes unchecked, it will eventually drive our thoughts and actions. When we dwell on those corrupted thoughts, they can quickly turn to bitterness.
Deceitful thoughts need to be replaced by:
Quoting or reading Scripture to ourselves. The best thing to replace a lie with is the truth.
Rebuking wrong thoughts. We need to tell ourselves verbally that we will not listen to the lies that our hearts generate.
Using a visual reminder. In my office I have a picture of a sewer cover. The picture is there to remind me that in the flesh, the thoughts and intents of my heart are toxic, and like a sewer, there is no reason to go looking for what is down there.
2. Focus On Attributes Over Attitude
When our heart is adrift we need to refocus on what God is, rather than what we perceive Him to be in our disappointment.
When we feel that God has let us down, more than ever before we need to be in the Scriptures.
“You need to read your Bible”, sounds like one of those Christianese sayings, but Scripture alone is the greatest weapon we have in this battle. The Bible, not our emotions, has to be what defines God for us.
To find the attributes of God (what He truly is), read Psalms, read Psalms and then read Psalms!
3. Praise Over Pity
Psalm 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
When we feel God has let us down, the most unnatural thing we can do is praise Him. Truthfully, we just don’t feel it.
A wise man once said, “Say it until you believe it.” When praise is continually on our lips, it will eventually find it’s way into our heart.
Praise will always change our heart.
If you have read this far, it is probably because you can relate to the title of this blog. Which of these three steps do you need to begin working on right now? Pick one and set God free to work in your heart!