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People who are mad at God aren’t always truly mad at God – they’re angry at a person or system linked to God.

That system or person failed them in some way, and because it somehow represented God to them, they transfer ownership for the wrongdoing to God. Even though God didn’t deal the blow, He’s been made responsible for it.

Disillusioned, the wounded leave the faith and walk away from God, carrying deep pain and anger with them for years. What’s sad about this misrepresentation is they miss the true nature of God.

Religious systems and religious people are imperfect. They fail. They sin. The sin harms. The harm hurts. The hurt runs deep.

If you’re reading this and you’ve been hurt in this way, I want to say sorry on behalf of the people who caused you harm. But I also want to encourage you that they are not God. God is love and His love never fails (1 John 4:8; Psalm 136). Although you may feel you want no part of God if this is how He looks, don’t mistakenly bundle God’s infallible character with the flawed character or behaviour of human beings.

What they said or did, or failed to say or do, is no reflection of the true nature of God. I hazard a guess that God is deeply saddened when people leave Him on account of people. He understands this kind of pain and is likewise pained when His relationship with those who have been wounded is fragmented. He offers healing, counsel, direction, and the gifts of deep love, joy, and peace; being severed from Him doesn’t afford these pleasures.

Sometimes the anger toward God isn’t misplaced. Instead, the wounded one isn’t mistakenly blaming God but rather asking why God let it happen. As difficult as this is to absorb, we’re not often privy to these kinds of answers. Sometimes, we merely need to trust. That’s where faith comes in.

Can you believe in a God who doesn’t always tell you why? Who allows hurts this side of heaven? Who isn’t a divine Genie? Bad stuff happens to good and “bad” people alike. We aren’t living in heaven…yet. We just have to trust, even when it doesn’t make sense.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

“So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time…Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” James 4:8-10 (Message)

Let’s not make it about people, but about God. He’s trustworthy, perfect, and loves us unconditionally. Let Him heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

May you have the courage to trust God despite the wounding.

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  1. Make a list of those who have wounded you.
  2. Can you forgive them one-by-one? Can you forgive God for allowing it? Return to God and ask for forgiveness for your anger, knowing He is quick to forgive, then rest in Him believing it’s done.

 

 

 

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In the fall of 2014, I had an idea. I would make a list of important things I wanted my children to know. Being a serious list-maker in general, this idea posed a fun and interesting challenge. Before I knew it, the list grew to over thirty items. Then, each day I posted a thought for them until they were all used up.

This week I’m branching off slightly from my regular devotional to share my “Thirty-three Days of Thoughts” in hopes that it might inspire you and your loved ones as well. Enjoy! 

  1. Every day is a gift; enjoy the unwrapping.
  2. Dreams are the flight path to beautiful realities.
  3. Be merciful; you never know the mountains others have scaled.
  4. Whether insult or praise, linger briefly on what others say of you.
  5. A well-timed hug removes the need for words.
  6. Spend time with those you love, even when you have no time.
  7. Do what is right, even if no one else is.
  8. Finish what you start; it builds character.
  9. Be kind and expect nothing in return.
  10. Words are powerful; use them wisely.
  11. Nothing worth attaining is easy.
  12. Smile at passing strangers, especially children, teenagers, and the elderly – you make them feel less invisible.
  13. Respect yourself and others in word and deed.
  14. Be gracious to everyone whether they deserve it or not.
  15. Believe in miracles.
  16. Stop and smell the roses; literally and figuratively.
  17. Forgive AND bless your enemies.
  18. Try difficult things.
  19. There is no suitable substitute for hard work.
  20. Keep your word.
  21. Things need to be broken in order to be fixed.
  22. Joy can be found even amid the darkest days.
  23. Choose to be thankful; especially in trials.
  24. Be a faithful friend.
  25. Do good when no one is looking.
  26. Be honest, even if it hurts.
  27. Say I love you, often.
  28. Say I’m sorry when you are wrong.
  29. Listen more than you speak.
  30. Be slow to get angry and quick to forgive.
  31. Be polite.
  32. Be willing to go last.
  33. Put God first.

And one more thought written as a blessing over you:

May you measure your worth not so much by who you or others say you are but rather by Whose you are! 

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  1. Pick one of the Thirty-three thoughts you think presents the most challenge to you and be mindful of it this week.
  2. Try a Thirty-three Day Challenge and each day incorporate a “thought” into your actions and responses that day.

 

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