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When you can’t understand life, don’t get mad at God – Psalm 119:59

11-11-11
Psalm 119:59 I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.


Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States. We remember, we celebrate and also thank those who are serving or who have served in the military and support organizations. It’s the perfect day to write this note that’s been developing in my spirit.
People frequently ask me why I love God and have such a positive outlook. Surely I haven’t experienced tragedies or trials that make me wonder about the faithfulness of God? They think my life is perfect and that God is constantly waving his wand of blessings over me. Some of the questions I’ve been asked include:

How can I be sure that God is there?
Why is this happening to the one I love?
God won’t forgive me for blaming him for whatever tragedy, etc.
Why is this tragedy happening to me/to those I love, etc.?
I’ve fallen away from God and cannot find the road back to him.
God can never forgive me for the bad things I’ve done or think about doing.
If God really exists, why don’t I know it for sure?
Is God out there wanting to pop me when I do something wrong? No! – read on…
This list isn’t complete; you can add your question to or thought about God.
1 Peter 1:6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

My answer is: There is no answer until you know God.
You can search great philosophical writings, read through all the greatest theology books ever written, read Christian or secular self-help books, read the Bible* (yes), or ask your parents, your friends, your spouse, your child or “wise/spiritual/in-the-know” people, etc., and you’ll get different answers. 

But the answer really is simple: There is no answer until you get to know God and develop an intimate relationship with him.
By getting to know God, I don’t mean going to church, asking others to pray for you, reading the Bible whenever you are in trouble, and “praying” when you are in trouble or doing good deeds to make you feel like a good person, doing the “right” Christian or secular-person things, following the 10 Commandments (see Exodus 20), etc.

I mean having an encounter with God where he reveals himself to you. It’s hard to describe his powerful presence and light – but he changed my life in that instant. It’s a different experience for each of us. I resisted that connection to God because I wanted to do things my way. Pride got in my way. Life and tragedies also got in my way.
I was mad at God because my 36-year-old father passed away when I was 12.  This is my dad, the veteran.
Your story is different from mine. But we all have stories that define our lives.
God has given us free will to love him or leave him. I left God and wandered through self-imposed exile for decades until I could not do life on my own. It gets hard out there depending on yourself or people.
You also get angry, bitter and blame others (especially your family) or your lack of “opportunity” when you do life by yourself. Alternately, you can create the perfect, but silently desperate lifestyle because you know something is missing. I did a little of both because my life has been good. We all put up our personal defenses.
As my relationship with God has developed over the last decade, I have gotten more insight into the things he plans for my life, and an understanding of the way my life unfolded because of my choices. God healed the deep sorrow I harbored over the loss of my dad during a soul-searching prayer. I told God that one of the first things I was going to do when I got to heaven was ask him, "Why did my dad die in my childhood?" He gave me the answer on the spot and it was life-changing.
God didn’t want me wasting time stuck in park because he wanted me to get on with my life – doing the things I was meant to do.
And I have. J

I do want to make it clear that God’s answers to my prayers can be surprising --- they bring true peace or shake up the things that have to change in my life.
1 Peter 5:6 Be humble under God's powerful hand so he will lift you up when the right time comes.
Then there are times when the Lord is quiet and there is no answer. I’m learning to be fine with that. But I do question things… Again, because I have that relationship, God knows what I need to get moving and not stay stuck in life situations that happen to all of us. He encourages me every step of the way. All the time. I can depend on the Lord.

It’s truly special to know God at an intimate level.
He has taught me how to love, how to treat and love others, how to use my spiritual gifts in a powerful way and how to laugh and have a joyful life despite my circumstances. Read my blogs to get an idea of my journey.

1 John 4:17-18 The Message (MSG) To Love, to Be Loved
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
The key to my positive outlook is that I am passionate about God.

1 Peter 1:8 You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory.9 And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
He is my consuming priority. Sharing what he does for me is what my life is all about – it’s why I was made. God has given me a clear purpose of my life!  I am here to encourage you to seek that love and guidance that God wants to give you, too.  Find out what God has planned for you! No matter what you are going through, let God be with you and guide your choices!

Let God love you!
1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul. He loves me right back. He knows I'm not perfect yet his love is unconditional!
He loves you, too.
1 John 4:15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

It’s all good. J

Note: * Until you have God's spiritual wisdom and you ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and start that journey, the Bible is really just an epic novel. That's how it was for me. Now it is my Book of Life.


  

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