Christians and non-believers alike might wonder, “What do you think they did to deserve cancer?” If someone’s wife walks out, insensitive churchgoers might think, “If he had been a better spiritual leader, his wife wouldn’t have done that.” If a teenager is rebellious, hardened onlookers might privately reflect, “If that kid’s parents had been more involved, this never would have happened.” When we are going through a tough time, or have a tragic loss our well-meaning Christian friends say “This was God’s will,” and that, “we don’t always understand why God does what God does, but we must accept God’s will.” What a terrible thing to say at that time! I don’t believe that it is God’s will that we face disaster. I haven’t been able to find anywhere in the Bible that God wants His children to suffer. As a matter of fact;
1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NLT) For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.
When things happen that don’t appear to make sense, or go against what we think is good, we Christians say God did it or allowed it. I’ve heard that very thing more times than you think. We say that God does or allows bad stuff because we don’t understand how a God that we believe loves us, can allow us go through situations that stretch our abilities as human beings to handle or understand.
Being a Christian doesn't exempt you from suffering. Jesus Himself assured us that there will be trouble in our lives.
John 16:33 (NKJV)33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
The Bible also tells us that no matter the situation we are never alone.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
That means He’s with you in the good times and the bad times.
Hebrews 13:5 NIV Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Psalm 34:19 NIV The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
by Debbie McDaniel, Crosswalk.com Contributor
“And the Lord answered, ‘I will be with you..." Judges 6:16
Some days can seem hurried, pressured, and tense. We know God’s truth, we believe His goodness, and yet we still find ourselves struggling, minds racing, before our feet even touch the floor in the morning.
Our focus gets blurred. We start listening to the lies of other voices that do more harm than good. The constant media headlines tell us how dark and broken our world is. Images and reminders all around us shout that we’re “not enough.” The enemy is great at heaping on guilt, condemnation, and fear. The problems we face seem more like giants of impossibility than anything good that God can ever bring from them.
But often, out of His goodness and grace, when we find ourselves right smack in the middle of huge feelings of defeat, God shows up strong.
Many others have been there too. All through the Bible, story after story tells us of those who needed God’s reminders that He was near. With them. Close.
And He never failed, not once.
Gideon found himself feeling weak and afraid. In Judges 6, we find that he and his people were facing great suffering and defeat at the hand of the enemy. He doubted God was even with him. In fact, when an angel showed up, he was threshing his wheat in the pit of a winepress, not up on a hilltop where this was usually done. He was fearful and trying to keep hidden from view of the enemy who’d been raiding their land. The angel spoke straight through to his fear and weakness, "When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior."Judges 6:12
Don’t you love that he called him “mighty warrior” right at the time he felt so discouraged and afraid?
But God sees "mighty" when we see "weak." He sees victory when we see defeat. He gives hope, when we're filled with disappointment.
Gideon questioned, "If God was with us, then why did this happen?"
Sounds familiar...ever been there?
“If God is really here, then why?”
“If God is really good, then when?”
“If God really cares, then how?”
And even with the questions, after His people had turned their backs on Him, God is still gracious, patient, loving, and kind. He sends his messenger to encourage, to remind Gideon and all of the Israelites, that He was surely with them.
Yet while staring straight at an angel, Gideon continued to persist with defeated thoughts, "But I am the weakest, I am the least...how can God save Israel?"
“And the Lord answered, ‘I will be with you..." Judges 6:16
Five powerful words. That can see us through anything we face in this life.
“I will be with you.”
God's presence is real. He gives us strength for every day. The battle can be intense. And some days especially, the enemy seems really strong, and we feel really weary. We can find ourselves wrestling again with the same defeated thoughts that we thought we'd finally laid to rest just the night before. Disappointments come. We struggle with feeling like we haven't measured up, we listen to the lies that we are "less than..."
But God still answers us. Just like He did for Gideon.
He's still with us, no matter how we might feel, or what struggles flood our thoughts. He is filling us with the power and grace of His Spirit, just enough for the day.
For this day.
A reminder for your heart, in whatever you might be facing, "The Lord is with you...mighty warrior."
Intersecting Faith & Life: How do you need to be reminded of God’s Presence? Is there an area you’ve been struggling to carry on your own?Just like Gideon, God never asks us to fight the battles we face all be ourselves. He reminds us that He fights for us, and most importantly, that He’s with us. Give Him your struggle again today, lay it down, and trust God to work powerfully on your behalf.