“Preacher, I just do not have confidence in God anymore.”
It has been close to thirty years ago, but I have not forgotten the sound of pain contained in that statement.
The only thing I could do at the moment was just listen to the one pouring out the complaints that had become embedded in a saddened heart. There was no doubt that the individual had been going through much disappointment over the previous months, despite making effort to trust the Lord through one let down after another. But, the breaking point had been reached—-at least in their reasoning it had.
Although I tried to off set their perspective with proper questions, say the right things, and cite the right Scripture, this individual insisted that there was no other recourse for them than to give up on God.
And, thus, they did.
It is the unfortunate reality that many people fumble to this same conclusion. Some express it by not going back to church. Others give up any sense of zeal for the Lord. Doubt about God’s power sometimes super-cedes faith and trust. People resort to socking themselves in the mires of immorality. The resignation to give up on God is manifested for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways.
God’s Word reflects having to deal with this every concern. According to Isaiah, Israel was on the verge of giving up on God because they felt “their way was hidden from the Lord.” They felt that their lives were disregarded by the Lord. The context of the book of Hebrews involves a stout encouragement to certain Christians about ready to quit consistent hold on their profession of faith. The Gospel of John records that a host of followers gave up on Christ when His reaching did not adequately coincide with their particular perspectives.
However, it is a rather useless matter to give up on God if one will take the time and give up the self-will to reason honestly with the question.
For example, it is useless to give up on God because of His superior wisdom. Are you smarter than God? Has God ever been a student in your school of hard knocks where you could teach Him a few things? Can you teach God a few ways to properly deal with people’s life circumstances?
The Scripture poses the following question, “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor has taught Him? Well, for sure, you have not. No one has, or ever will.
The reason this is true is because only God has the wisdom to work out matters exactly, efficiently, and consistently for the perfect outcome. The wisdom of God never fails those who allow God to work out and work through the details of troublesome times and difficult circumstances which in actuality have been instigated by the devil.
Furthermore, it is useless to give up on God because of His constancy. It is true that God has done many things right in the lives of people. Those who quit on God lamely point to a time adversity and say that God has “never” done anything right for them. That cannot be true, because if God has done at least one thing right for you in your estimation, that is certainly enough. Then, there is the ultimate truth that we are unworthy of anything God does for us.
The amazing truth of the matter is that God is constantly doing right things for our lives. He constantly supplies us with our every need. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory. He constantly “causes us to triumph.” He constantly answers our prayers. He is constantly with us. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” You cannot beat with a stick all that our God does right here and right now for our lives.
It is down right dumb to give up on God. It is useless to have any reason that will justify such a decision.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.