Whose Truth?

I was chatting with a friend the other day and she said, "God is supposed to be all loving and all kind.  If that is who He is, I don't understand why such and such happens."  As we talked, I had to stop her and point out that one of the main problems was contained exactly in what she said, "God is supposed  to be..., IF that is who He is..."

Her statement brought up the question, "whose truth are we going to believe and live by?"  Do we live by our reality and our assessment of what is taking place or will we choose to let the TRUTH of God be our main foundation?

As I've thought about our conversation further I've come up with 2 of the reasons why we allow our truth to supercede His truth:

One reason is because we have drawn wrong conclusions about what God's character means and thus when we face a trying circumstance we doubt God is who He says He is rather than doubting our conclusions. 

As I've walked through this season of suffering I have come to realize that in general the church in America has very little teaching to support people who are walking in a place of suffering.  Rather the overwhelming feeling people walk away with is, "the people suffering aren't living in the fullness of God and that is why they are going through a time of suffering."  The result of this conclusion, is that in the time when people need God the most they actually, with the help of the church, feel He is as far away as possible.  However, as I have read the Bible it is very clear that God is in exactly the opposite position that people conclude:
Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

He also is an ever-present help in time of trouble (not instead of trouble).

Psalm 46:1-3
He always helps in times of trouble. 
So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes,
or the mountains fall into the sea,
even if the oceans roar and foam,
or the mountains shake at the raging sea.

We all love the Psalms and when we think of David's life we often view him when he was at the pinnacle of his life, often forgetting the many years where he had to run away from his enemies.  However, if you study the Psalms and the life of David you will see that many were written in the very times when he was at his lowest and his circumstances didn't line up with his understanding of who God IS.  In those times, David chose to declare "This is WHO you are God" even though his circumstances weren't lining up perfectly for him.

A second reason we choose our truth over His truth is because we want God to move on OUR terms not His.

When we come into a conflicting situation instead of standing upon His truth and walking through it His way, we spend our time arguing with God, "Prove to me that you are who you say you are because I'm not seeing it.  I'm not going to do another thing until I see you move."  While God in His kindness allows us to ask these questions we often don't get the results we are looking for.  Instead, we end up being very frustrated with Him.  What we can and should do instead is say, "Lord this IS who you are, my present circumstances are causing me to be confused, misunderstand and doubt that aspect of your character.  Help me to walk in the reality of who You are in THIS situation."

Psalm 46:10-11
God says, "Be quiet and know that I am God.
I will be praised in all the nations;
I will be praised throughout the earth."
The Lord All-Powerful is with us;
the God of Jacob is our defender.

We all have situations and circumstances in our life which cause us to question who God is.  The purpose of this post is not to condemn the asking of the question, rather it is to help us to take the next step when we are faced with a time of conflict.

My question to you is, "What do you do in those times?  Do you let the "truth" of your circumstances define who God is for you? Or do you declare His TRUTH and let His truth change your understanding of your circumstances?"  I personally have seen that despite my circumstances, (whether good or bad) I experience a greater reality of His presence, peace and joy in my life when I allow HIS TRUTH to trump mine.

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