Forgiving God

When we experience hurt, it is easy to question God's care for us. We may wonder why God allowed us to be injured, or feel that God has hurt, betrayed or abandoned us. We may feel disappointed with God, and have a hard time trusting Him. We may feel anger toward God.

Our hurt can raise many questions about God. These gnawing questions erode our faith and trust in God, and must be addressed:

  • God, why weren't you there for me?
  • Why didn't You intervene? Why didn't you warn me?
  • How could You let this happen?
  • Why me?
  • God, why don't You answer my prayers?
  • Why don't You speak to me?

The Bible shows us that others have struggled with these same questions:

  • Martha and Mary both expressed their disappointment over the death of their brother Lazarus, telling Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." (John 11:21,32 NIV)
  • When the disciples feared that their boat would be lost in a storm, they questioned Jesus' care for them. They woke Jesus and asked, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" (Mark 4:38 NIV)
  • Moses, when frustrated and angry with God and the Israelites, cried out to God saying, "If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now…." (Numbers 11:15a, KJV)
  • David openly expressed his frustration with God, saying things like, "Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1,NIV).
  • Even Jesus, in experiencing all the trials of mankind (Hebrews 2:17), cried out on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" ! (Mark 15:34, NIV)

What can heal such wounds and restore our trust in God? The following helps are taken from Restoring The Foundations, by Chester an Betsy Kylstra (Proclaiming His Word, Inc., 2001):

  1. Pour out your feelings and questions to God, just as Martha, Mary, Moses, David, and others have. God wants you to "be real" with Him about how you feel about your relationship and disappointments with Him. In Psalm 51:6, David says, "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts." In Psalm 142, David expresses his hurt to God, saying, "I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble." (Psalm 142:1,2 NIV) Verbally tell God exactly how you feel about your disappointment with Him. Be truthful; it will help to bring down barriers to your relationship with God: " The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." (Psalm 145:18, NIV)
  1. Settle the matter of where the blame really lies. It can help to remember that this is a fallen world. God created a world that was "very good" (Genesis 1:31, NIV), but man's rebellion in the beginning sold this world to Satan and the ravages of sin , death, sickness, and man's sinful choices. God, in His love, provided the sacrifice that would break the power of Satan, but the process of reclaiming ground lost to Satan is a battle (Hebrews 10:13) --one in which God's people play a vital role (Ephesians 3:10-11). Jesus warned that we will experience troubles in this world (John 16:33); even believers are not exempt. God is often falsely blamed for the evil of this world, and even our own poor choices, when He is actually the One who conquers evil. We can also have a tendency to project onto God our past disappointments with parents or other authorities in our life. If you have falsely blamed God, confess this to Him and ask His forgiveness (Psalm 51:4, 7, 9).
  2. Grasp God's promises to never leave or forsake you. God's word is true, and it tells us that God promises never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). No matter what mistakes we may make, nothing will stop His love for us, because we are His (Romans 8:35). His promise to love you is backed by the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ. He is involved in all aspects of your life, to work all things for your ultimate good (Romans 8:28).
  3. Catch the larger picture. God is crushing Satan under His feet (Genesis 3:15, Romans 16:20). He has promised to redeem our hurts and to heal us (Isaiah 64:1-4; 53:4). No matter what happens to us, God can turn it around and use it for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28), and to heal those around us (2 Corinthians 1:4). He will even use this earthly battlefield to train us to rule and reign with Him eternally (Revelation 20:6). Ask Christians you know to intercede for you with the prayer found in Ephesians 3:14-21, as Paul did for his converts, that you can keep your eye on the larger picture.


Discussion Questions:

  1. What things in Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21 might help to heal anger or unforgiveness we may have toward God?
  2. Forgiving God can break down barriers in our relationship with Him, and renew our trust in Him. Has there been anger or unforgiveness in your heart toward God over a matter?

Copyright 2005   Judy Kennedy