Has God Forgotten About Me?
I think there are times in every Christian’s life when we ask ourselves that question, and if we haven’t, we most likely will at some time. We contract a serious illness. Our marriage falls apart. We lose a loved one. We strive to make an honest living only to find ourselves struggling to pay the bills. All of these are consequences of living in a sinful and fallen world. We may pray and pray for something we believe we desperately need, and God seems silent to our request. If you have felt this way, you should find comfort in knowing that you are in good company. Great men and women of the Bible struggled with the very same question.
Abraham was commanded to leave his homeland to go to an unknown land that God would give him. He makes it to Haran where he discovers he hasn’t gone far enough yet and he then loses his father. Abraham struggled with sin and frustration just like we all do. No doubt he was frustrated to find out that Ishmael wasn’t the promised child he had thought he was, and he probably wondered at times when God would keep His promises. Job lost his family, property, and health only to be lectured by his friends about how they thought it was his fault. All through the book bearing his name we see him struggle with the very question we are considering today. Elijah the prophet threw a pity party because he felt he was the only faithful man left in Israel. I could go on and on with examples from the Scriptures of faithful people who felt at times as if God had abandoned them to the wiles of the wicked world they lived in.
There are times when our human weaknesses will shine through even though we have the promises of a faithful God in His word. Should we have feelings like this? No, we shouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that in times of weakness we won’t. We are a weak and sinful people who will exhibit those traits in times of doubt and despair. The apostles went through times of discouragement even though they had been in the very presence of Jesus Himself. Now don’t get me wrong. Difficult times may come, but we cannot afford to sulk away our earthly existence questioning the love of God. We should constantly strive to faithfully overcome doubt and self-pity as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. So, here are a few things to consider when you find yourself asking, “Has God forgotten about me?”
1. Don’t ever give up on God. Remember His ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8), and what may seem like the worst of times may be exactly what God knows we need to prepare for what’s coming down the road. Don’t forget Romans 8:18&28!
2. Accept your spiritual limitations. Don’t become lazy or sluggish in your spiritual growth, but remember that you are not Jesus or the apostle Paul either. There will be tough times, but God and your fellow Christians are always there to see you through.
3. Stop thinking of God as your own personal sweet self-help guru. God shows no partiality. He loves us, and instead of simply making our life easy, He will allow us to go through tough times to develop into a deeper and richer relationship where we learn to lean on Him.
4. Try not to think only of yourself, but instead look at the big picture. Consider all those faithful souls who have had to suffer for the sake of God. Christ suffered for us on the cross. Moses suffered while dealing with the children of Israel. The apostles suffered. Their suffering helped fulfill God’s purposes. Sometimes we will suffer as well. Maybe our suffering is part of the bigger picture that we just do not understand. Have faith that it will all work out for the glory of God (Again, see Romans 8:18&28)!
5. Take time to make sure you are not creating your own pain. This is a big one for me. Many times I realize that my problems were brought on by my own sin or bad decisions. We often don’t realize the long term affects of the things we do or the decisions we make.
6. Never forget how much God loves you! When things get bad, remember He loves you! We know He does, because the Bible tells us so! Take some time to read Romans 8:31-39. Ed