Have you ever felt abandoned by God? Disappointed by him – the way he’s running the world and the way he’s running or seemingly “ruining” your life? Though we get upset with him, I don’t know anyone who has ever filed a restraining order against the Almighty. Well, several days ago, that changed.
A man, identified as David Shoshan, filed a restraining order against God in Haifa, Northern Israel. In the petition, he demanded that God stops interfering in his life. Shoshan said:
“For the past three years, He started to treat me harshly and not nicely. I complained to the police many times. The Israel police asked me to take out a restraining order.”
The complaint did not specify exactly how God was less than benevolent toward him but just said that God has been negative toward him. In essence, he felt God had abandoned him.
Maybe you have questioned God’s goodness lately and felt like he has abandoned you. You look at the pain and suffering in our world, and you look at the pain and suffering in your own world, you conclude like Shoshan, God has treated you “harshly and not nicely.”
God has seen your calamity and done nothing about it.
You hoped for peace and no peace came.
You hoped for a time of healing, and only found adversity and disease.
You suffer and it feels like God is hiding from you.
God’s help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook.
God, why do you stand so far away from me?
Why have you abandoned us?
Why have you rejected me?
When you feel like God has abandoned you, and you want to file a restraining order against Him, I want you to keep a few things in mind:
This is not the good world God created.
Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! Genesis 1:31
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Romans 1:20-21
God is always good.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
God works positively for good in unfavorable circumstances.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Corinthians 4:17
God has a good plan for our lives that we don’t fully understand.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20
Because this is not the good world God created, that God is good, that he works positively for good in unfavorable circumstances, and has a good plan for our lives, we can rely on his goodness. Though we don’t always see it, our heavenly Father will never stop doing good to and for us.
His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. Therefore, we can be confident that we will see his goodness in our lives while we are still alive. God began a good work in us, through Jesus, and he will continue that work until Jesus comes.
Remember, this is not heaven. God’s ultimate desire is not necessarily our happiness but our holiness. God will not protect us from the things the desires to perfect us through.
Sometimes, God will do his work in our lives through pain, disappointment, and adversity. Just because he allows us to go through these things, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love us. He loves us and will never abandon and forsake us. God has promised to be our vanguard and rearguard. Let’s keep trusting him.
Can you identify with Mr. Shoshan? In what way?
Have you ever wished you could bring a case against God for what he’s allowed to happen in your life?
In what way can you celebrate God’s goodness today, despite your circumstances?