Have you had 'hard thoughts' about God? Have you been tempted to resent Him for your troubles? 'How could you, God? I put my faith in You and look what it got me. I trusted You and look what I’m going through. None of this hardship would be happening if it wasn’t for You.' The issue is not the trials we face. The issue is not God, who allows the trials. The issue is the sin within our hearts. "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:13-15) In our trials, we will either trust the goodness of God, or we will fall to temptation and blame God. To follow our own evil desires rather than trust the absolute goodness of God is to walk a deadly path that only and always leads to eternal separation from Him.
God doesn’t want that to happen! So the very next words from James remind us of God’s goodness to us: "Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created." (James 1:16-18) Every good and perfect gift from above includes not only your life and all material blessings, but also the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, given into death for you, and the gift of faith, worked in you through His Word, to give you the blessings of forgiveness and eternal life. All this and more come from your heavenly Father who is unchanging in His goodness to you. He continually loves you in spite of your daily sins, and He continually forgives you freely and fully as you come to Him. So no matter what you face, WHEN TEMPTED TO BLAME GOD, REMEMBER TO PRAISE HIM.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.