“How could God have allowed this to happen to me?” Perhaps you have felt this way at certain points in your life. After all, it is an incredibly common feeling. When things don’t go the way we had hoped or envisioned, it is extremely easy for imperfect human beings like us to blame God.
This human tendency clearly reveals how far our hearts have strayed from our Creator. Sin has done quite a number on our hearts and minds. We tend to assume God owes us something.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
Unless your life is grounded upon the Gospel message of God’s love for you in Christ, you can easily end up imagining that God is not concerned about your struggles. Those who perceive God to be distant and uncaring often blame God when things are not going well. And let’s face it. We all have times when things don’t go well, right? Whether you are a follower of Christ or not, everyone experiences various types of turbulence and pressure throughout life.
In the midst of our daily difficulties, we can either assume that God owes us a trouble-free life on this planet, or we can place our faith in the fact that our Heavenly Father chose to send his only Son to pay the price for our sins that we ourselves could never afford to pay. You see, what you choose to believe about God truly does make all the difference in the world.
Do you believe God is for you or against you? Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:16 and Romans 8:10 explain to us that when a person accepts God’s love and grace through faith and relies upon the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as the payment for their sins, the Lord Jesus instantly takes up residence within their heart. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us when this happens, all things become new.
A relationship with Christ does not make all your earthly problems go away, (John 16:33) but it does provide you with a new and godly perspective. You begin to view God as your loving Father, your beautiful Savior, and your ever-present Comforter. In other words, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit become much more to you than a religious doctrine. God becomes your source of true joy and is now at the center of everything you do.
So how much does God owe you? If you are a believer in Jesus, you realize that while the Lord owes you nothing, He has given you everything.
In Psalm 8:4, David wrote, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” After all, God is our Creator. Why should He care about our needs? And yet He is very concerned about us because He loves us. He wants what is best for us, even when He works in surprising ways that require us to have faith and patience.
Wise and loving parents do not want to spoil their children. Likewise, God does not spoil the children in His family. Instead, God teaches His sons and daughters how to become spiritually mature by being humble, thankful, forgiving, faithful, trusting, and patient.
When God allowed Job to go through his extremely painful ordeal, Job eventually began to question God’s plan for his life. He mistakenly attempted to figure out his excruciating circumstances through his human wisdom and natural assumptions, just as we often do.
And when the Lord finally spoke to Job “out of the storm, he said: 'Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!'” (Job 38:1-5)
What a wake-up call it must have been for Job when the Lord spoke such penetrating words to him out of the storm! It is a foolish thing for us to doubt God or to question His justice.
We must never assume that we know better than God. If we are not careful, we may even end up blaming God when we encounter difficult circumstances. This is exactly what the devil wants us to do. Lucifer longs to turn our hearts against our Creator, just like Lucifer himself turned against God while he was among the highest of the angels in Heaven. Satan wants us to believe that God is against us and does not care about our trials and difficulties. But that is a complete lie and could not be further from the truth.
You owe the Lord obedience because He is your Creator. And if you are a follower of Christ, your allegiance is a supernatural response to God’s grace in your life. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13)
God owes us nothing, and yet He has given us everything. Are you ready to surrender your life to the One who willingly endured the agony of crucifixion in order to make the full payment for all of your sins? Until you repent (“change your mind”) and bring your heart, your soul, your burdens, and your sins to Christ, you will be inclined to blame God when things do not go your way.
So do you find yourself blaming God today? Perhaps you find yourself praising God. Either way, it really comes down to how much you think God owes you.
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.