“Preacher, I just do not have confidence in God anymore!”
It has been over 30 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 this individual had been going through much disappointment over the previous months, despite making effort to trust God, yet experiencing one let down after another. But the breaking point had been reached — at least in their thinking it had.
Although I tried to reason with the right 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 supercedes 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 very concern. According to Isaiah, Israel was on the verge of giving up on God because they felt their way was hidden from the Lord, and 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 holding fast to their profession of faith. The Gospel of John records that a host of followers gave up on Christ when His teaching 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 our self-will to reason honestly with the question.
For example, it is useless to give up on God because His wisdom is astounding. 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 how to deal with people’s personal circumstances?
The question is posed in Scripture, “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counselor hath taught Him?” The answer is clear that no one has or ever will, for that matter.
The reason this is true is because only God has the wisdom to work out matters in the most timely and efficient manner. The wisdom of God never fails those who allow God time to work out and through the details of troublesome times and difficult circumstances.
Furthermore, it is useless to give up on God because His constancy is amazing. Would you not agree that God has done at least one thing you have considered to have been done right in your life? Those who have quit on God usually point to a time of personal adversity and say that God has “never” done anything right for them. That is absolutely untrue. Besides, if God has done at least one thing right in your estimation, that one time is certainly enough. After all, we are unworthy of anything God does for us.
But, 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. “But, my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He constantly causes us to be winners. Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ.” He constantly answers our prayers. “And this is the confidence that have in have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 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 for our lives!
Do not ever give up on God. It is useless to come up with any reason that will justify it.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.