Romans 12:12, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.”
Why does God allow horrible things to happen to His people? If you think about it, if nothing bad happened to people who were Christians, wouldn’t everyone want to be one? Wouldn’t the main emphasis of Christianity be escaping all the hardships of life on earth? Because being a Christian is not easy, because we aren’t exempt from pain and hurt, our Christianity is not some shallow religion where we just feed off the benefits of being God’s children.
Many people are looking for a religion that offers only benefits and does not interfere with their lifestyles or place any demands on them. But many times those same people pick and choose which parts of the religion they want to embrace and discard any part that might be in any way negative or not to their liking. People even do this with Christianity. They make their own “god.” They don’t believe anything about God that is offensive in their own eyes and only adopt what they feel are the positive aspects of Christianity.
I hate having to be honest and expose myself. But when I was first diagnosed, my thought was not, “Oh, good! God is working a work in my life to make me more like Christ!” No, my thoughts were actually that I had served Him the best way I knew how for 22 years as a Christian, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke or do harmful things to hurt my body, and this was the thanks I got for it. Why bother! Other people who have lived selfishly and abused their body with drugs, alcohol and promiscuity were not only healthy but thriving in the world at an old age. Can you be honest? Have you ever had those thoughts? I was angry with God, although I wouldn’t admit it. I went through the motions, still taught children at church, still went to church every time they met, but my prayer life dwindled down to thanking God for my food and not much else.
The devil had a short victory in my life at that time because I gave up on prayer. Yes, I was still “serving” God, but the enemy wasn’t too worried about the serving I was doing. There was no power in it without prayer. There was no power in my life, and very little communication with God. My resentment was growing, and I was getting closer to his side than to Jesus.
But God is so patient, and He will wait for you. He waited for me for a very long time. I have a very stubborn streak in me, and my God knows it. So He just waited, working on me in little bits, softening my hard heart. He showed me things about Him that I would not have learned had I not gotten sick. I can honestly say that I have a deeper relationship with Him now than I did before my illness struck.
People do get angry with God. But He can’t accomplish the great things He wants for you if you are angry with Him and put up a wall. You have to work with Him. He does have something He wants to accomplish through your life. Aren’t you willing to find out what that is? Being angry all the time just makes a person miserable, doesn’t it? The enemy would love to keep us angry at God all the time, just like he is. Do you want to be partners with Satan in being angry at God? He can’t take away your salvation once you are God’s, but he will try to get you as close to his side as he can. Anger will keep you from being effective in your life, and then you will just be unhappy until God finally takes you home, accomplishing nothing.
In my own life, God was working to turn a rebellious, head-strong, independent person into a meek servant who was willing to serve and grow closer to Him. It wasn’t overnight by any means. Sometimes it takes years for God to break our will and develop our spirit.