How to respond when life isn't going the way you expected.
Have you ever asked yourself this question?
- Maybe you’ve experienced a tragedy in your own life or witnessed one in someone else’s.
- Maybe someone close to you is battling illness.
- Maybe you’re frustrated at the way God made you or the place He’s put you right now.
You look at life and ask:
Why does it have to be this way?
Why is this in my life?
We all ask questions like these.
When we are surrounded by the confusion and emotion of such questions, we can gain some perspective – perspective based on God’s truth.
1. Let go of anger
Oftentimes, when we ask such questions, we are holding on to something inside: anger. We feel angry that God has allowed such suffering not only in the world but also in our world, our lives. We feel angry that God gave us the family He did or that we have certain circumstances (whether it be a particular school, place of occupation, city, etc.).
When we are holding on to this type of anger, it blinds us and keeps us from embracing the freedom that is found in grabbing hold of God’s truth (Jn. 8:23).
The good news is, we can let go (and we can grab on to something else).
2. Grab on to Jesus’ example
We are told to be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1). We can see how Christ responded when He was in a situation where He could have grabbed hold of anger.
As He was on the Mount of Olives with His crucifixion soon to take place, Jesus prayed: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Lk. 22:42).
Jesus could have thrown "why?" questions at God, like...
Why do I have to die?
Why do I have to die in this way?
However, He chose to surrender instead. He chose to speak to God of His situation and then to lay His life before the Father, and in doing so, He was accepting God's will for his life.
3. Accept God's will for your life
When Jesus was praying, His submission before the Father showed a deep understanding of the Father’s holiness and power. Jesus’ surrender was showing humility.
If Jesus had the humility to realize that it’s all in God’s control (and God is good and can be trusted), then who are we to not do the same?
- Who are we to hold on to our anger as we continually ask "why?"
- Who are we to not accept that God is working for His glory in our lives even if we aren’t always happy at the ways He is displaying His glory?
- Who are we to claim that our lives aren’t good enough for us or aren’t what we wanted when we really should be praying: “Father, not my will but yours be done?”
Ultimately, when we are asking God "why?", we need to remember this:
- By refusing to give up this attitude, we are choosing to hold on to anger.
- We can let go of anger, hold on to Jesus’ example, and choose to submit to God’s will.
- We can realize that God’s ultimately in control, and He is working all things together for good (Rom. 8:28)