Tuesday, April 12, 2011
When Life feels like Hell
I have a friend who has had it difficult for much of his life and I have watched circumstance after circumstance knock him down over the past couple years that I have known him. I have come to realize that he is likely mad at God. He won't go out and say it or admit it, but it seems obvious to me. I think he's holding a lot of bitterness against God and life in general. So, one can imagine the conversations we have about the difficulties of life and God's involvement (or lack thereof) in them. The problem with my friend's mindset is that He thinks God is responsible for his bad circumstances when actually, many of them are his own doing! I shared with him once the following: "__________, God is not ignoring evil, suffering, and difficulties in your life. He gave the answer to the presence of evil and suffering already. The answer is Jesus. Jesus spent His whole life overcoming and defeating evil in his day-to-day living and then in an ultimate sense in His death and resurrection. In addition, Jesus gave us the way to daily overcome evil and to ultimately overcome evil as well and it is by placing our trust in Him and following His example." In other words, if God has defeated evil, what remains? What remains is for you and I to put our faith in God and His way, and to overcome evil by His power, because He secured the victory. We have the option everyday to overcome the evil around us, or to be overcome by it and this is exactly what is happening to my friend. Instead of overcoming the evil, which he would have the power to do by believing God, he is being overcome by evil. No wonder his circumstances are overwhelming. Again, there are only two choices: overcome evil, or be overcome by evil. The ultimate victory is playing out before our eyes as we follow in Jesus' footsteps because He is the ultimate victor. Instead, my friend chooses to believe that God is responsible for the evil in his life and the resulting misery. I received a bit of profound and simple understanding today pertaining to his situation and it's actually really simple: Just believe that God wants your happiness and in fact, he wants it more than you want it! I may share it with him, because if he can just begin to see that God is not the source of evil, but of good and of happiness, maybe he'll stop blaming God and he'll man up and overcome evil in his life. Holiness, morality and purity are never divorced from happiness or the rest of life or they cease to be! Everything good about God is so full of profound and overwhelming power, joy and dynamic life! God does not just desire us to "be good." He wants our happiness!