Last week, I read a quotation by Tim Keller on Facebook that blew me away: “Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong.”
Think about the first part of that sentence for a moment. Do you really believe that, as a Christian, God is both sovereign over every event of your life, and that He is also good? There is no such thing as an event that happens to you that is outside the walls of Romans 8:28.
Of course, bad things will happen to you, and they will happen to me. Many bad things have happened to us throughout our lives; perhaps you have experienced the pain of loss or the cancer of uncertainty during a threatening illness. And the truth of God’s sovereignty and Romans 8:28 does not mean these things will not happen again; but it does mean they are measured by the loving hand of a faithful Father. Can you rest in the truth that God will get it right in your life tomorrow, and the day after that?
Look back at your past now. Relive the trials of last year; stare in the face of that back-stabbing friend; remember the dull ache of loneliness. Did God get it right then? If you don’t believe that, then bitterness is there under the surface of your soul. If it surfaces, it may destroy your relationships and your joy.
Listen to the words of God to Job: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. … Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (Job 38:4, 12-13). Repent of your harsh, false thoughts of God, and say with Job, “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. … I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:3, 5). Remember the great blessings God poured out upon Job afterward, and remember that “the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11). His “end” (James 5:11) – His purpose – is always blessing, always good, always loving.
We need to resign ourselves to the will of God in peaceful trust. We need to soak our souls in the warmth of His Word. We need to stand upon the firm rock of the Bible on the good days, so we are ready for the bad days. And we need to look up from earth, past the skies, into the Heaven that is waiting for us. Then we need to look back down to earth – but to a renewed earth when God makes all things new, when every day will be better than the day before, when we will walk with Jesus in unobstructed trust and bursting joy.