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Don’t Blame God

The scenario is a common one. A sickness occurs among friends or loved ones, we fire up the prayer network, we gather round in a large group and pray for the person, but nothing happens. We do it again for another church member and get the same results. As a consequence, there are thousands of Christians walking around who blame God for the tragedies that occurred to them or to people they loved. Everywhere I go, I meet such people. The Lord took them..” or “Why did God allow this sickness?” they will ask. Often underlying those statements is a bitterness towards God.

With many believers, this bitterness leads to a loss of the “fire” of the Christian faith, a discouragement that comes from loss or bereavement. These Christians don’t deny God, they just “turn the lights out”, attend church once in a while and pretty much wait for heaven. A minority will go against God in their anger and walk away from Him. There is a more subtle reaction from many on the front line, i.e., the pastors and other ministers who are called into these situations often. They strike what I call a pose of détente, where they simply avoid challenging the enemy on this territory in the hope that they are left alone. They never teach or practice healing to avoid what their instincts tell them will be another bitter failure.

If you have been in a situation of tragedy before, I quite understand. It can be hard, brutal even, to go through such tragedy and trauma. I sympathize and empathize, because I have been there myself. However, God was never to blame. James declares,

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

Peter echoes this is 2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

God is good. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 92:15,

“The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

God is not wicked. He didn’t send evil, tragedy or sickness. He gets no glory when young men and women believers are cut down in the prime of their lives or when people suffer tragedy. To think He is, or even worse, to use the “He permitted it” in the sense we often do i.e., He connived with the devil, is just plain wrong. We know who the thief is; we know who the destroyer is, because Jesus told us,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

The devil steals, kills and destroys in this fallen world. He brings sickness, pain, sorrow and loss; God works to heal, protect, restore, and help. Jesus came to give us abundant life. Wasn’t it interesting how Luke described Jesus’ mission in Acts 10:38;

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

God was not conniving with the enemy about people’s sickness on one hand (the “permitting” thing) and then having Jesus go and undo all his planning on the other. A house divided cannot stand. Those Jesus healed were under the power of the devil and Jesus did good by healing them. If your theology has God as complicit in visiting tragedy on your loved ones, you’ll never have either the faith in God to pray effectively or the indignation against the enemy to be fervent against his works.

I know more today than I did last year about healing. I have more faith and I can be more effective. I know things today that would have made me more effective in situations years ago and I trust I will even more effective next year. My point is that seemingly unanswered prayer and tragedies do not make the Word of God of none effect. Healing is still ours and God is still able and willing to heal the sick. If we could see further in the spirit, we would understand better our failures of the past. But God’s goodness is not determined by anecdote – beloved, think on this. The Word and our hearts declare Him to be good-always good. Perfectly good. May we grow more in understanding, fire, and effectiveness in healing ministry.

So, to paraphrase a teacher I respect, if tragedy occurred in your life, know that God is still your loving Father, He was not responsible for it, only in restoring you.  Use it instead as an avenue to seek divine retribution against the works of the enemy in the future.

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