“For who resists his will? But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why…?’ Does not the potter have the right…?” Romans 9:19-21.
Let’s just face it… life is tough! Whichever way we turn, no one is really exempt from adversity and suffering. It may appear that way for some, but no one escapes pain. One person may experience the death of a child while the other the death of a parent. Another may suffer in a terminal illness, while someone else has to lose their spouse to a terminal illness. I am a parent of a recovered heroin addict, while other parents have disabled children who are totally dependent on them. The difference is how we respond to our circumstances. Some hang on to the pain more than others, not even realizing they are secretly harboring bitterness against God’s will. Some find freedom from pain by surrendering their own desires and accepting God’s will. I truly believe that God expects our questions and confusing emotions. He understands our disappointments and times of devastation, but there comes a time when questions must turn to acceptance, and emotions must be sorted out and settled, once and for all. This is the only way to rid ourselves of the emotional toxins that master over us.
Paul doesn’t pull any punches in our passage. My commentary states that ‘Paul is not silencing all human questioning of God, but he is speaking to those...who want to make God answerable to them for what he does and who, by their questions, defame the character of God’ (NIV Study Bible, 1753).
When we allow our emotions to rule over us, we are resisting His will. We run around throwing spiritual temper tantrums regarding something God willed, permitted, and brought to pass. We vent our resistance to God’s will towards others and convince ourselves it is justified. No one holds the market on suffering unless they buy the lie that Satan is selling. I read that 'God has an eternal filter in which nothing can touch us unless He permits it.' We may not understand God’s decisions, but we can decide on how long we want to keep our eyes on our circumstances instead of on God.
'And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’ (Eph. 4:30-32).
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