Reading these words in Psalm 116:7 (KJV), “the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee,” reminded me of conversations with two of my strongest Christian friends. On the same day, both spoke of being mad at God.

One said a relative felt angry because of what she considered the undeserved suffering that came into the life of her young child. “Why didn’t God do something?”

The other friend spoke of a huge disappointment she had experienced. “Why didn’t God stop this?”

Both friends felt God had not dealt bountifully with them. He hadn’t done what they asked and expected. He seemed absent and left them struggling with an unanswered why.

Asking why puts us in good company.

Moses “returned to the Lord and said, O Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people?  Why is it You have sent me?” (Exodus 5:22 NKJV).

Joshua said, “Alas, Lord God, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all—to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan!” (Joshua 7:7 NKJV).

The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon saying “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor! Gideon said to Him, O my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites” (Judges 6:12-13 NKJV).

On the cross, about the ninth hour Jesus “cried out with a loud voice, saying…My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 NKJV).

Asking why is a normal response to hurt and heartbreak. It’s not a problem as long as we’re content without an explanation and willing to leave the matter in God’s almighty hands.

Along life’s journey we experience disappointment, loneliness, physical decline, stressed relationships, grief. Is God still good? The Bible repeatedly says he is. In the NIV, Psalm 116:7 reads, “the Lord has been good to you.”

How do we respond in hard places? We choose to believe in the dark what we found easy to believe in the light.

“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5 KJV).

Even when we don’t understand, we can rely on fact. God always deals bountifully with his children.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

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By Janet Chester Bly

A wounded friend of mine wept. “I prayed very hard my husband wouldn’t leave. Every day and night I prayed. But he left anyway.”

What kills hope?

Fear or rage will. Guilt and doubt try to. Sin does. Prayer answers of “No” and death of a dream can.

Hopelessness has the ability to make us mentally intoxicated—without reason, moderation, or judgment. Our wits become all spur and no rein. We lose confidence that good things will ever happen again when we hit rock-hard bottom.

The traumas of this world soil innocence and blind our view of a loving God. We become like injured, brute beasts who strike out at or flee from the one who comes to rescue. But God told us He wants to save us. He has our best interests at heart.

“But what if mine’s broken?” my friend asked.

We can’t thrive without hope.

George Bernard Shaw told us, “The life of the human race is a brief discreditable episode in the history of the meanest of planets.”

But Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Jean-Paul Sartre stated, “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance.”

But Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Sir James Jeans declared, “Life may be a disease which attacks planets in their decay.”

But Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst … [It] will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Which voice do you choose to believe?

My friend chose to trust in Jesus…despite evil lurking around her and terror that struck at night. Temporary menacing shadows conspire to hide God’s gracious design for her life. But she holds onto blessed hope in Him.

Can’t wait for the unfolding of the rest of her story.

ALT="Janet Chester Bly"Janet Chester Bly authored and co-authored 40 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids with her late husband, Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. www.BlyBooks.com.  “Voices in the Night” is excerpt from Hope Lives Here: https://www.blybooks.com/books/true-life-stories/. She’s working on another devotional, Grace Spilling Over/True Stories of God’s Tender Mercies, and a novel, Beneath a Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill Series. Both books available summer 2018.

 

 

 

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