By Hannah A from The Art of Chatter
One of the debates which is as old as time is about the problem of evil. Scholars and people going through trials or witnessing the hardship of others debate answers to this issue to this day.
Why do bad things happen in this world? In particular, why do they always seem to happen to loving, innocent people? Particularly during this time of loss and confusion, I’m sure whether a believer or not, you have pondered on something along these lines.
When we go through such times or experience such evil ourselves God sometimes feels distant, a frustrating feeling since we perceive these moments as when we need God most. I think it’s comforting to know, even in Biblical times, people were wondering the same thing. In the Book of Psalms, Chapter 10 (NIV), its author David writes in a desperate prayer:
Why, Lord, do you stand far off?Psalm 10: 1
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
Similarly, in Psalm 13 he exclaims:
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?Psalm 13: 1-2
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
From these we can see that even King David had low moments in his life – times where it felt God was silent and distant, David’s prayers falling on deaf ears.
Deciding to Believe
However, what I love about many of the psalms in the Bible, is that even though they start off with David outlining feelings of distress, they end with remembrance and reassurance about the promises and might of God. In other words, David makes a decision to believe, even in his lowest moments, consumed by anxiety and fear – he chooses to believe that God will come through and deliver him, as he has promised, and done so for his ancestors.
The decision to believe also plays a part in every Christian’s life. Contrary to popular belief you don’t just become saved at one moment in your life and then experience a smooth sailing life. No, you will have points when your overwhelmed with anger, with questions or doubts. Despite feeling this way in Psalm 13, David ends the poem (verses 5-6) uplifting God, saying:
But I trust in your unfailing love;Psalm 13:5-6
My heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise.
For he has been good to me.
Can you imagine the strength and confidence it takes to say that in such a moment? When in Matthew 24 it talks about the man building his house upon the rock, perhaps this is what that looks like in person. Being rooted, and therefore comforted by the promises and character of God. We often fall into the trap of using our welfare or the state of lives as a litmus test of God’s goodness or love. Decisively believing is an important counteraction to this common mental trap – the goodness of God or his love for us doesn’t change depending on whether we are going through trials in our life or not. Similarly, a good God doesn’t equate to a suffering free life.
Living Out Your Decision
What does making the decision to believe daily look like in our lives you wonder? When you wake up in the morning and say a prayer to start the day – you make the decision to believe it’s in God’s hands regardless of how it may go. The decision manifests itself in your everyday actions too – when you uplift someone by speaking words of life to them, when you tithe in church or volunteer your time to help others. All these actions start and are evidence of the decision to believe. The wonderful thing about having a relationship with God is that the Holy Spirit is there to help us every step of the way, sustaining our belief. Wonderfully, this means we have a helper and don’t have to do all of these things in our own strength.
Some Scripture to Delve into for Further Reading:
Making the decision to believe doesn’t occur in a vacuum, over time it should be accompanied by the fruits of the spirit and an internal transformation that comes from the Holy Spirit constantly working inside of us!
Colossians 3: 1 – 17
Titus 3: 1 – 9
About the Writer:
Hannah is a London-based, twenty-something year old Christian who loves blogging in her spare time. You can find her blogging at her own site The Art of Chatter where she posts motivational content and film and TV reviews. You can also follow her blog on Instagram at @TheArtofChatter