“Any thought that God has abandoned Christians is a lie from the pits of darkness. The very opposite is true. Believers are being watched over and provided for 24/7 by none other than Jesus, the resurrected Christ.” - Terry Wardle, The Transforming Path
Expectations. Life seems to be so often characterized by missed expectations. We desire for relationships to go a certain way, only to feel rejected. We have plans for our future, only to ﬁnd out that door has been shut in our face. We seek after intimacy, only to ﬁnd isolation. Sometimes the pain is raw and weighs us down like an elephant on our shoulders. Sometimes we are numb and apathetic because we avoid acknowledging our missed expectations.
It is in these times that most Christians ask this question: “Where is God?” We have been told that God loves us. We read in the Bible that God is good. Yet, when we look at our lives for proof of God’s character, often we feel like God is absent at best, or at worst that He is evil.
This is only exacerbated when we look around and see people who seem to be receiving the very things we want. Why does their relationship seem to be going so well? How did they ﬁnd such a good internship? Why did they get accepted for that program? How did they ﬁnd such a close group of friends?
If you feel that God has abandoned you, please know that you are not alone. In fact, let me tell you a little secret: at some point in their lives most Christians think this way whether they admit it or not. For some reason Christians don’t do well at making their doubts public, but it’s true.
Terry Wardle makes a striking claim, that these thoughts of God’s abandonment are “lies from the pits of darkness”. We must remember that we live in a contested world, a world in which we have an enemy that Jesus calls “the father of lies” (Jn 8:44). We have to remember that one of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to focus our attention on our pain and missed expectations as proof of God’s abandonment. The lie often sounds like this: “if there was a God who loved you, your life wouldn’t have gone like this”.
To move forward in the journey of following Jesus, we have to recognize two realities that will be hard for our ﬁnite minds to completely understand. First, that the world is messed up and pain is unavoidable. Second, that if God loved you enough in Christ to come, to suffer, and to die an excruciating death, then He absolutely will not abandon you. Whenever we are tempted to think God has abandoned us, we must shift our focus to the reality that there will be a day when God makes right everything that has gone wrong. In the meantime, He is with you now and loves you more than you can imagine, even if you feel like the opposite is true. As Christians we wait. We wait for the day when God exposes the enemy’s tactics for what they are, “lies from the pit of darkness”