18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus saying, “Are You the Coming One or do we look for another?”
20 When the men had come to Him [Jesus], they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you saying, “Are You the Coming One or do we look for another?” 21 And that very hour, He [Jesus] cured many of infirmities, afflictions and evil spirits; and to many blind, He gave sight.
22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have received the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” — Luke 7:18-23 (NKJV)
When we question God’s love, His power or even the truth of His Word or that He’s real, it’s not often because we haven’t received a revelation of who God is and what His power can do, it’s the fact that, for some reason according to His wisdom, He’s chosen not to intervene in some situations in our lives the way that we would have preferred Him to. This troubles us, and when we don’t get what we want, the pain from broken hope and unmet expectation, put us in a place where we begin to question not only His love and mercy, but also His will and sovereignty. John the Baptist, like so many would have in a similar situation, wondered why Jesus didn’t rescue him from prison. We often forget that it’s not about us—this is part of being human, a fallen state—and that sometimes we have to give way, even in our suffering for the cross, for others to see God with undivided attention or they may lose the way. Don’t allow your suffering to persuade you to doubt what God revealed to you about Himself or disbelieve the Word that He gave you. There’s always a bigger picture that you don’t understand.
How then do you know that God is at work in your situation?
By paying attention to His works in you and around you. As you respond to the Holy Spirit, you will see changes in your heart amd lifestyle that you know are beyond your making. Good works that have changed you and purified you for good!
In my experience, when God witholds intervention, there are underlying issues, brokenness and mistrust of God on some level that need to be confronted and overcome by the power of God (Was this true for John the Baptist? I don’t know). But this brokenness will usually only rise to the surface for us to see in the presence of the pain in our personal lives—the kind of pain that will drive us to seek God. In pain, the real you that you try to suppress and hide from God, others, and even yourself, comes out no matter how hard you try to reign it in. It’s often an ugliness, insecurity or fear that we don’t like to acknowledge or didn’t, on a concious level, know about, but have been operating under for a long time. God will always, per season, deal with you according to what you need first, and then, may grant you what you want, although, this doesn’t always happen, because, by the end of the experience, God, who’s worked on your heart, may also change your desires to something new, better, and higher, purifying it of the selfishness that came with the issues that He’d healed you of; you will learn the sacrifice (and see the beauty) of being poured out like a drink offering for others and what it means to take up your life again with your cross in this place, and you’ll understand that life on earth and calling are not about you. It’s about the overall benefit of the Kingdom of God and what will best move it forward on earth (which may include death in some cases, like in Stephen’s, Acts 7), but with the promise that no matter what happens, you will NEVER fall out of God’s hands, for nothing can separate you from God—not death or life.
The presence of pain isn’t the absence of God in your situation. It’s often a sign of growth or a call to grow and overcome a particular struggle. You don’t overcome by running away (being in denial), going over the problem (acknowledging but suppressing), or going around the problem (making excuses). You overcome by going through the problem. You must face the buried issues that keep you wounded and/or in bondage. God won’t let you get by any other way. And until you do, there, you’ll remain stuck, unable to move forward. And this is where you find a lot of people today—stuck in the same place you met them years ago. It doesn’t have to be this way for you. In the presence of your pain, fear, insecurity or struggle, stop running or struggling. Humble yourself and admit that you are powerless to defeat this monster. Place it in the hands of God and give way for Him to use the pain in your current season to purify you. This can be very painful, but not impossible. Each moment the pain shows up, acknowledge it, and then choose to be encouraged by the Word, Scripture or song that the Holy Spirit will supply to your heart. And then watch His peace and comfort wash over you. This is how you overcome moment by moment—not by your power or might, but by the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). This is how we come out of seasons gaining freedom from strongholds and overcoming them for good. And at the end of these seasons, we’re able to receive and live out the blessing of being more than a conqueror.
About The Editor
Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a screenwriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards, in 2014, in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/SuspenseCategory. In 2017, she was invited by actress, Jenn Gotzon to become one of contributing writers for the forthcoming and highly anticipated Christmas comedy movie, The Farmer and the Belle, due for release soon. In 2018, Miranda was invited by Waterbrook Multnomah to be one of book bloggers to be part of a special launch team that helps launch its elite authors whose books have been listed as bestsellers on the New York Times Lists.
*The article, It’s Not About You, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).