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Pointers along the way #371

Give up on God?
- Jacob Ninan

It's true many people make false promises, "Come to Jesus, and all your problems will go away!" Then it's no wonder that people who come like this get disappointed. No, the Christian life is not a bed of roses. We live in the same world as the others, and we also have special challenges when we take our stand for Christ in the world. But some Christians also 'try out' God for some time and then give up, thinking that He hasn't met their expectations. This is quite contrary to the promise of the Bible that those who put their trust in God would never be put to shame (e.g., Joel.2:27). Why does this happen?

There will be times when answers to prayer are not immediate, or when they don't come in the way we want. Things might happen to us which we thought never happened to Christians! When we face injustice or suffer because of someone else's sin we may question where God has gone instead of protecting us. In situations like these people give up on God because they think He has failed them.

When unexpected things happen to us, what can help us to hold on to God is our personal confidence in Him. When we know Him as one who can be trusted and as one who only does only good things for us, we will not question Him. But then we will question our own understanding of His ways. Instead of finding fault with Him, we consider the possibility that perhaps we haven't understood Him right. We can ask God why things happened this way when we thought they would have happened that way, and we begin to search His word to find the answers. Then we will get to know more of His ways, and that will build up our trust in Him more. We won't have to give up on Him!

This trust takes time to develop. It requires us to get to know Him through different experiences during which we talk to God, tell Him what is bothering or confusing us, and seek for answers from His word. If we are too busy with our life and don't have enough time for God, the result will be that we won't get to know Him well. Then in the times of trouble He seems to be far away or like a stranger. Then it will be easy to think that is all His fault, and give up on Him.

Many people these days are in a great hurry. They want quick answers and solutions for their problems. They aren't willing to make the effort to read the Bible or articles that talk about their problems, but they want the answer in one short sentence! They want someone else to pray for them and move their problem away!

If we don't have time for God, we won't be able to find Him when we need Him; we aren't familiar with the approach road! God does not run a desk for handing out solutions; He wants to be our friend. Our God longs to show favour to us, and all who long for Him are truly blessed (Is.30:18). "You shall know [with an acquaintance and understanding based on and grounded in personal experience] that I am the Lord; for they shall not be put to shame who wait for, look for, hope for, and expect Me" (Is.49:23 AMP).


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