We all find ourselves at times in vulnerable and unsupported positions (that’s what “lurch” describes). It may be a time of hardship and tragedy, or it may be a time of sin. But regardless of the circumstance, it should be a time of humility and dependence upon God. That is really where the trouble starts. The common tendency among people is to desire to point the finger somewhere else. There is an innate resistance in man to accepting blame or even natural disaster. And Who else is more available for our blame-casting than the very One with whom we all have to do? He never seems to make an effort to defend Himself against all the evil attributed to Him, and so we are safe in our accusations—or are we?
When There is Sin. Man has had a long time to develop his “pass-the-buck” strategy. The very first man on earth learned quickly how to assert the “He’s-Ultimately-Responsible” Principle: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Gen 3:12). You see, God was obviously responsible for the transgression committed by Adam (how shallow)! Or how about the “There’s Just-No-Pleasing-Him” Principle? When the one-talent man was confronted by his Lord, he excused himself like this: “Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou has not strawed: and I was afraid” (Mat 25:24-25). Makes sense, doesn’t it? The man was lazy and irresponsible, but it was God’s fault because God is too demanding on mankind! Or how about the “What-Does-He-expect-Since-He-Made-Me-Like-This” Principle? James wrote, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man; but every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed” (Jas 1:13-14). Who really says that God tempts him? Well, anybody who asserts the following faulty syllogism: “I am human. Humans sin because they are human. God made me human. Therefore, God made me to sin!” James said that no man should be able to say such a thing! Ancient Israel often tried to lessen their guilt by accusing God: “Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? Are not YOUR ways unequal” (Eze 18:29). Being able to own up to our sins is absolutely essential to having them cleansed.
When There Are Troubles. I don’t know why people are so much more inclined to blame God than the devil for all their troubles. So many cannot seem to look beyond the momentary difficulties of life to see the ultimate promise of good for the faithful. The Israelites time and time again would lash out at God: “Why did you bring us out here to die?” We know, and they should have known, that He had brought them out there to give them a land which flowed with milk and honey! What about Job’s wife? You and I know that it was Satan (not God) who brought the tragedies upon that family. And yet, when the problems came, Mrs. Job was quick to assign the blame: “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.” (Job2:9)
Let’s use our Bibles and our minds. The good things in life come from God (Jas 1:17). He has done everything to take sins away – not cause them! He wants us to cast our burdens upon Him, “for He careth for you” (1 Pet 5:7). Let’s not blame God. Let’s honour Him.
Don’t give up!
The principle of steadfast perseverance is repeated often and with emphasis throughout the New Testament. The early Jerusalem church was reported to have “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breading bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Paul later exhorted the saints in Corinth by writing, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). This same peerless apostle, himself a dogged doer of good works, again encouraged the Galatian brethren by writing, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal 6:9).
The Christian life is likened in Scripture to a race to be run. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Heb 12:1)
This race, the Christian race, is not a test of speed, but of endurance. The race begins at Gospel obedience and is meant to continue until death, or “unto death,” If need be (Rev. 2:10). Many begin the race with lofty ambitions and a blistering pace, only to tire quickly and retire at the first sign of adversity. Others run for some distance, but for one reason or another drop out before the race is run.
Blessed are those few who are steadfast, who run their Christian course to the end, who can say with Paul, “I have finished my course” (2 Tim 4:7).