JOB 40:8 LB 8 Are you going to discredit my justice and condemn me so that you can say you are right?
Many are quick to blame God for all the bad things in their life and in the world. “After all, God is ultimately responsible, isn’t He?”
Is a parent responsible for the choices their grown children make? Certainly, they had influence in raising their children. But ultimately, each human makes their own choices and we are each responsible for our own actions. We cannot blame our parents — our spouse — or anyone else. If we choose to do wrong, it is our choice.
People are guilty. The devil is guilty. Not God.
“But what about storms, earthquakes, and such?”
Jesus rebuked the storm in Luke 8:24. Are we to believe that Jesus was rebuking something that God was responsible for?
Although it is not clear now to most people, one day it will be clear to all: God is not guilty of anything. The devil and people shoulder the blame for all the heartache, misery, and pain on earth.
JEREMIAH 9:24 NIV 24 but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
John 10:10 NIV 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
There is a stark contrast between the Lord Jesus Christ and the devil.
Jesus is for you. He loves you and desires the best for you. He loves you even more than He loves Himself. He proved it by dying in your place. His desire is for you to have life in its fullness — life as God planned it to be — both now and for all eternity.
The devil is the opposite of Jesus. The devil is against you and is always trying to steal from you, kill you, and destroy everything that is good. The devil is selfish and does not care about you or anyone else but himself.
Can you trust the devil? Yes . . . to be the devil. You can depend on him lying and trying to always deceive you. The purpose of this deception is always to draw you away from God and His Word because that is your only source of help and deliverance from the devil’s strategies — which are stealing, killing, and destroying.
Can you trust Jesus? The answer should be obvious. Anyone who cares for you enough to die in your place, suffering for you, so you won’t have to suffer, is trustworthy. Jesus promised to never forsake you. He will never quit loving you and trying to help you.
The trouble is, too many people hinder Jesus from helping them. They believe and follow what the devil says, and turn away from Jesus and the Word of God.
You need to invite and welcome Jesus Christ into your life — in every area. He wants to help you, but will not force His help on you. If you don’t — the devil may get into those areas of your life and wreak havoc.
ROMANS 5:17 NIV 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The New Testament reveals the good news that God offers righteousness as a free gift to everyone who receives the Lord Jesus Christ.
Righteousness means right-wise-ness, or being right. So righteousness is right standing, or good standing with God.
Righteousness is a GIFT from God — not something you can earn or achieve. God simply declares that you are innocent, as far as He is concerned, because you believe in Jesus.
You are righteous if Jesus is your Lord. In fact, Jesus is your righteousness. So, you are really as righteous as God is — because He IS your righteousness. As a believer in Jesus, you will never be more righteous — no matter what you do.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:30 NIV 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
HEBREWS 3:1; 4:14 NKJ 1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
HEBREWS 10:23 NKJ 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Your confession is what you say. You should persistently continue speaking in faith, agreeing with what God has said, regardless of circumstances. If it never seemed like it was not working, there would be no need to hold fast, or hang on, to a confession of faith.
Some people are surprised when they act on God’s Word and it does not immediately come to pass. But there is abundant evidence in Scripture showing that is normal. God never promised that everything would happen instantly. The time period involved gives us opportunity to walk in faith and please God.
Remember that authority is released through words. When we speak in DIS-agreement with what God says, we are giving authority in that area of our lives to our enemy. This is why Scripture tells us to struggle (if necessary) to keep speaking in agreement with God’s Word.
Why does the Bible tell us to “hold fast” — or you might say “hang on tight” or “hang on for dear life.” Obviously, something or someone is trying hard to get us to turn loose. Who or what do you think that is?
JOHN 16:33 ICB 33 “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”
Jesus never promised us that everything would be perfect here on earth. He recognized that we would encounter trouble. But His instructions were to be of good cheer — not to let it get us down.
As we encounter difficulties in life, it will help us to remember the big picture. First, God is our Father and has a wonderful eternal plan for us. We are His children and He loves us. Second, this time is but a training period for our future life with God. We are supposed to be learning to trust God and to obey Him.
So, every problem we ever face is an opportunity to walk in faith and please God. Every problem is an opportunity to overcome with God’s help. How can we expect to receive the blessings promised to the overcomer if we never have anything to overcome?
What is the answer when we seem overwhelmed with trouble? Look to Jesus. He has already won the victory. He has overcome and defeated the world. In Him is victory.
You may ask how you can look to Jesus. It is mostly a matter of focus — what you choose to think on. What God says in His Word will set you free and give you peace. What the circumstances say is not the final word.
So, go to God’s Word. Cling to the promises. Speak them. Sing them. Shout them. Rejoice over them. And thank God for them.
Also, you need to develop a closer relationship with the Lord. That is His desire and it should be yours. All relationships are based on communication, so you must talk to the Lord to deepen your relationship with Him. Develop the habit of talking with Him about everything. You can speak freely to Him — after all He knows what you are thinking anyway.
MATTHEW 9:24 KJV 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
Do others think you are crazy for being a follower of Jesus? Do they think you are too extreme for believing the Bible literally? Well, don’t feel lonely. Jesus faced the same type of problems. As we see in Matthew 9:24, sometimes people derided Jesus. They did not just laugh at Him — they laughed Him to scorn. They made a big deal out of it.
It is the same today. When we believe what Jesus said, there may be times when others think we are crazy. They may laugh at us. They may even mock us for believing God’s Word. That is nothing new. But why should you let it affect you?
Often we are too concerned about what other people think. After all, they are not our Judge. Nor are they our Provider. But God is, and we should care what He thinks. That was the stance that Jesus took.
We must remember that we are not in a popularity contest. Yes, to some people the message we have to share will be received with gladness and thankfulness. I am sure the parents of the girl Jesus raised from the dead — after He was laughed to scorn — were glad. But to others we are often not understood.
That really is the root of the problem. People are in darkness. They do not understand what is really happening. They don’t understand there is a spiritual side of life. They do not understand that the words we speak are important and carry authority. They do not understand that with faith in God, nothing is impossible. And people generally mistrust what they do not understand.
So we must walk in love and be patient with people, knowing that they are in darkness — but someday they will see the light. If we continue to walk in the light ourselves, we can be the means of God’s light beginning to shine into their lives and bring understanding.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:19 AMPLIFIED 19 It was God (personally present) in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them]; and committing to us the message of reconciliation — of the restoration to favor.
A popular idea is that God is really mad at people and can hardly wait to punish them for their sins.
The truth is that God has already forgiven people. Now you must accept His forgiveness to enjoy a restored relationship with Him.
What a shame it is that people are estranged from God and go without His help and blessing — simply because they think God is against them and would have nothing to do with them.
1 JOHN 2:12 NKJ 12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
No matter what you have done — God has already forgiven you! More than forgiven — you are loved!
Forgiving you was God’s idea — you do not have to convince Him. You must believe God forgave you and thank Him.
Jesus Christ already paid the price for all your sins — and God is no longer holding any sin against you! You have been forgiven.
ROMANS 8:39 NLT 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You may find it difficult to believe — but it’s true — God loves you. His love for you is not based on your appearance or your performance — but on the fact that you are His creation — His child.
Just as a good parent loves their children, so God loves His children — and even more so. You will not be able to make God stop loving you, no matter what you do or don’t do. You can displease Him, you can disappoint Him, you can anger Him — but you can’t make Him stop loving you.
What are the practical consequences of God loving you? First, it means you can trust Him. No one who truly loves you will mistreat you. Second, it means God is doing all He can to help you and bless you.
“Then why am I not more blessed, if God wants to bless me?” Because you must cooperate with God to receive His blessing. That is why we need continuing instruction from the Bible — so we can know how to receive all that God has for us.
The promise of Jesus is that if we continue in His Word it will reveal the truth to us and make us free. That is the blessing which God has provided for you through Christ because He loves you: true freedom! Freedom from fear, freedom from confusion, freedom from lack, freedom from sickness, freedom from strife, freedom from sin.
HEBREWS 11:6 NKJ 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
You may be working yourself to a frazzle trying to be perfect so you can please God.
You may have tried so hard and become so frustrated that you are about ready to give up. Well, maybe you should quit trying to be perfect on your own — because none of us will ever be perfect through our own efforts, anyway.
God knows you are human. He does not expect perfection out of you. If you were perfect you would not even need a Saviour.
God loves you and accepts you because He made you. And He is able to make you into what He desires for you to be — if you will trust Him and allow Him to work in you.
God wants you to trust Him. He wants your love and respect. He has certainly earned it and deserves it. Don’t let the devil keep you from giving to God what He really desires: your love and faith.
What does God desire from you? Not perfect performance — but total trust. God wants you to believe that He is good — a rewarder!
JAMES 1:17 NKJ 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Some people have the idea that God was a mean bully — a bad guy — during the Old Testament, but has changed in the New Testament period to being a nice guy.
But Scripture reveals clearly that God never changes. What God was in the past, He is now, and He will be in the future.
MALACHI 3:6 NKJ 6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
HEBREWS 13:8 NKJ 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
“Then why are there verses in the Old Testament that seem to ascribe evil to God?”
This question is not easily or quickly answered. There are many reasons, and we can only touch on some briefly in this article. Here are a few key points.
The Bible is progressive revelation. We know more about God and His ways now than we did in the past.
JOHN 1:17 NKJ 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In the NT (New Testament) God is dealing with people differently than in the OT (Old Testament). We have a new covenant. Until the death and resurrection of Jesus the most important goal for God was to preserve the Jewish people and get Jesus here to be our Substitute. Some things had to be done to protect the people of God so that could happen. Compare it to a surgeon who amputates an arm or a leg so that the person’s life may be spared. It is not an act of hatred, but of love. No one would condemn the surgeon as being guilty of anything bad.
Now under the new covenant, God is able to fully display His grace. Jesus has already arose victorious. The battle for man has been won, and Jesus is Lord!
Another problem is our Bible translations. None are perfect. Some verses are wrongly translated in a causative sense instead of the correct sense of allowing something to happen. The truth is that God did not cause bad things to happen. The people and the devil were responsible. But sometimes our translations make it sound like God was at fault, when He was only allowing it.
Also, the devil and demons are almost NEVER mentioned in the OT. Yet when Jesus began His ministry we see them everywhere. Did they just show up then? No! Demons were present in OT times also. It is just that God did not yet reveal all that was going on. Maybe the reason God did not reveal more was to prevent people from worshiping the devil. So God just kept quiet. (The one exception to this is the book of Job, which makes it clear that all the calamity was the result of the devil’s actions, not God’s actions.)
Another key point is that Jesus Christ perfectly revealed God to us. Look at His life. Jesus never harmed anyone.
ACTS 10:38 NKJ 38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
JOHN 1:18 NLT 18 No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 PHILLIPS 9 Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete expression of himself in bodily form.
JOHN 12:45 NKJ 45 “And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 NLT 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
God never has been a bad guy.