Often times we experience various emotions such as depression, sadness, worry, fear, anger, discouragement, impatience, and disappointment. When things are not happening like we desire, we naturally have negative emotions. Why are things the way they are? We blame other people for what they have done or we blame ourselves for our inability to have made the right choices or to fix the situation. Or maybe we blame God. But instead of having negative emotions or trying to fix the blame, what if we accept what comes from God? I’m not suggesting that we don’t try to fix a problem or that we don’t try to improve a situation. I am suggesting that when we have prayed to God for His assistance and we are otherwise powerless to change matters, that we accept what God has allowed to happen. We trust Him. We trust that God is in control and we submit to Him and accept what He has allowed to happen in our lives.
Does not God have the right to do as He chooses and thinks best? Romans 9:19-21 “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?’ But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” God is like the potter. When a potter sits down to form a pot or a bowl, he makes the decision as to what he makes and what features it will have and what it will look like. The potter has power over the clay and makes the decisions; the bowl doesn’t have the right to tell the potter what to make and how to make it. In the same way, God has the right to make you as He chooses. Whether it is your physical characteristics such as height, skin color or beauty, or who your parents are or what your intelligence is or what your abilities and capabilities are, or where you were born. You don’t have a choice. Do you accept what God has given you or are you dissatisfied and complain? You need to accept how God has made you. What you can change you change, but what you cannot change, you should accept.
Job accepted what God allowed. He lost his servants, oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, and all his sons and daughters in one day. This was a terrible loss. His response is recorded in Job 1:20-22 “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Although Job was distressed by what had happened to him, he accepted what God had allowed to happen. He admitted that the Lord can give and the Lord can take away. Then he praised the Lord.
The second tragedy that came upon Job was that he was struck with painful boils from his feet to his head. He was in great pain and misery. Job 2:9-10 “Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job wisely realized that we can sometimes accept good from God and we can also sometimes accept adversity. Although Job did not understand why all these calamities had happened to him and he maintained that he was innocent of sin, he did not sin by blaming and rejecting God.
Job did not know why the bad things happened to him. You and I may never know why things happen in our lives. God’s wisdom and knowledge and plans are far beyond us. Romans 11:33-36 “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?’ ‘Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?’ For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” He is God and we must accept what God allows to happen in our lives. When my grandfather was a young man, he had a business that had the potential of earning him a lot of money. But he became crippled and the rest of his life he had to walk with crutches. He confessed that he believed that this disability was for the best and caused him to emphasize spiritual matters in life over financial profit. We do not know why God allows things to happen in our lives. But He knows best. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Our faith should be that God will work all things together for our good if we love Him.
James teaches you to count it all joy when you have trials. James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” God may be testing you to see if your faith in Him is genuine. Do you trust Him for wisdom and direction and strength or do you trust in yourself? Trials in your life should cause you to patiently trust God for wisdom and direction. God is working in your life to change you to be like Christ.
The “Serenity Prayer” includes the following: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Change the things you can change, but accept the things in your life that God has allowed that you cannot change. I encourage you to trust in God that He knows best and will work all things for your good if you love Him.