EDITOR'S NOTE: Answering life questions with biblical principles is what we do every day at 412teens. The Bible has answers to just about any question we can think of (2 Timothy 3:16). If there isn't a direct answer, then we have biblical principles to help us find what's best for each of us personally. Add to that the fact that Holy Spirit was sent to help us make good decisions, and we can count ourselves well-equipped to deal with life (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).
This blog series gives practical examples of how to use the Bible to solve life's daily problems. Hopefully by seeing these cases, you will begin to understand how the Bible indeed has answers (and we can help you find them). Take note of the Bible references and check them for yourself as you read through Jeff's answer to the following question.
—Cat, 412teens Editor
Sorry to hear that this has been such a tough time. What you describe isn’t something easy to handle, so I can understand why it’s been weighing on you.
This might sound strange, but what you’re feeling is actually exactly something the Bible expects us to feel. Not that it’s what we want to feel, but it’s how people process trials and tribulations. God knows that. A lot of people in the Bible express those same feelings. They tell God, pretty directly, “This makes no sense, and it’s not fair.” See Habakkuk chapter 1 or Psalm 22 for some examples.
Intellectually, we know God has a plan and He is in control. We have plenty of evidence to tell us He’s real and has everything going just as He intends. But we feel frustrated, in the dark, and out of the loop. We don’t feel as if there could be a good reason for these experiences.
Faith is what connects those two—it’s what makes us continue to trust, follow, and serve God when what we know doesn’t cover everything we’re feeling.
It’s a lot like the gap between what we know and what we feel when an airplane takes off. We may get nervous because of our feelings and physical sensations, but we don’t freak out because of what we know—that airplanes are safe. Or the gap between knowledge and feelings when we exercise—hating the discomfort but knowing there’s a positive end goal in mind.
You’re actually in a good place, spiritually, if you can come to God and just admit the same thing you said in your question: “It’s hard to see [Your] plan for my life right now.”
That’s one of the things God allows us to do—bring our weaknesses and frustrations to Him (Hebrews 4:15–16; Mark 9:24). It’s normal to feel like we’re being cheated in life because we don't see the full picture. And, sometimes, we ARE getting an unfair deal. But that’s part of what we were warned about by Jesus (John 16:33).
Not everything that happens to us, as believers, is going to be just, or reasonable, or even-handed. Sometimes we’re going to get put through challenges for reasons we don’t understand. And we might not understand why, or even appreciate God’s plan, until long after. It’s even possible we might not understand a particular trial until we get the explanation from God in person (1 John 3:1-3).
One thing that may help in this tough season is accepting the fact that, yes, this IS a hard season. It’s perfectly OK for you to be unhappy, to see this as a struggle, and to ask God to give you relief and answers. Nothing makes suffering worse than having people pat you on the head and tell you, “It’s going to be OK,” or to remind you that it could be worse. Yes, this sucks—and, more than anyone else, God knows that’s how you feel.
As you struggle with those feelings of frustration, keep this fact in mind: God knows how you feel and can see things you can’t see. Channel your frustration into resolve. Once you get through this—and, yes, you WILL get through it—it will be easier to process everything that's happened, and maybe it will be easier to understand.
Do you feel like everything in your life is going wrong? Do you feel like God let you down or God doesn’t know how much you’re hurting? Have you ever had trouble believing that the Bible is true when things in your life seem to say the opposite? Share you story in the comments below!
Jeff is a staff writer with Got Questions Ministries and used to be a mechanical engineer. When he's not accidentally setting things on fire in his workshop, or petting strange dogs, he loves helping people better understand God’s Word and how it applies to our lives. Jeff's calling is to untangle the "big picture" of Christian faith, making it easier to understand.