Has it happened to you? You’re hurting or feeling pain. Something has just gone wrong in your life—some trial, problem, some loss, or tragedy. And someone comes up to you and says, I know how you feel.
A part of us wants to scream, No, you don’t! You don’t know how I feel. You don’t know what’s going on in my head. You don’t know what’s going on in my heart. You’re not me, so don’t tell me you know how I feel.
And to a large degree, you’re right. No other human being ever does know how we feel—not totally, not completely. Nobody can ever live our lives for us. No-one can look into your mind or heart and see how you feel. Unfortunately, we often say things like this to each other, not realising how unhelpful it is.
Life Is a Challenge
Life is not always easy; it’s quite a challenge. There are lots of bumps in the road as we grow up and conduct our lives. As little children we have to learn to feed ourselves, to dress ourselves. School and education are difficult, taking 12 or 16 or 20 years to prepare for our life’s work.
As human beings we have to learn to interact with other people, learn to communicate with others. The whole dating scene, dealing with members of the opposite sex is a challenge. Then there’s marriage and family life, with all of the pitfalls and difficulties associated with that. We have to go to work, day in and day out. We have to manage our finances and control our spending and use our money correctly. When we consider all the things that life throws at us, it’s quite a challenge.
But there is one who knows and understands. Our God knows how we feel. The Bible says in Psalm 103:13 (NLT), “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him”.
God Is Near Every Step of the Way
People often wonder if God is there. They look around and see all the pain, the hurt. They wonder if it is worth it all. They wonder how God can allow so much pain in life. With all that we see and hear from those around us, we can sometimes have doubts about God. But I want to say this morning that our God is fully aware of all that happens in each of our lives.
Life in God happens each day and as you grow in your relationship with God.
He is with us every step of the way. He gives us free will to choose the direction we take in each lesson that God gives us. When we study the Word of God, we find the answers to the questions. Talking to him in prayer each day, helps us keep our eyes focused on God. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed and just want to cry. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to feel sad. But when you have a good cry, pray to God as you do, and know that God is holding you.
He feels your sadness and gladness. He wants to be a part of your life. He will not force his way in, He wants you to come to him and accept him. Accepting Jesus as your Saviour is a daily thing. It keeps happening. Going to God and asking forgiveness for your sins, is a daily thing. Life in God happens each day and as you grow in your relationship with God, you will find inner peace through all that happens in life. You grow in confidence of God’s love and you trust that God will see you through each lesson in life.
God Is the Master Planner
While God is the Master Planner, we are the ones who put his plan into action. And there’s the catch. God plans everything in life. He puts in front of us, lessons that we are to learn. Some lessons are easy, while others are hard. We react differently in each circumstance. And the strength of our faith in God determines it all.
When we read the book of Job in the Old Testament, we see a man of great faith. Life is going good for Job and he has no worries about life. But Satan wants to cause trouble. He doesn’t like seeing Job so perfect in his faith and his life. So Satan proposes to God a plan to test Job. God has enough belief in Job’s faithfulness that he allows the test to go through. Job loses everything in his life and becomes ill but he does not blame God.
After much suffering, Job questions God. His friends helped to push him to question God. They decided that they knew God’s mind and that Job must be hiding some sort of sin because they believed that bad things do not happen to good people. But in the end here’s what Job said, “He sees everything I do and every step I take” (Job 31:4 -TLB); “I know that you can do all things. No plans of yours can be destroyed” (Job 42:2). Job didn’t curse God but praised him even though he could not understand what had happened. And in the end God blessed Job in the latter part of his life with more than before.
While God is the Master Planner, we are the ones who put his plan into action.
Through the ages, people have always judged other people according to their standards and not God’s. We have always had those who thought they know more than others, sometimes these are people who were born in ‘good’ families, those in positions of authority, and those who have degrees. They see the average person as uneducated and feel that they could not possibly have brains enough to think for themselves. But we are all equal in God’s eyes.
We are all his children and should treat each other with love and respect. We are to seek God to learn to live life according to what God’s will is. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.