Sometimes trauma, unexpected disappointments, or abuse cause us to question God’s love or His sovereignty. The world can feel like a very unsafe place if we think that God is unloving or that He has lost control. When we are struggling with these sorts of feelings, we are experiencing the death-effects of sin and living in a fallen world. But the Lord doesn’t want us to feel unsafe. He wants us to know that He loves us and that He is still in control, even when bad things happen. He wants us to experience the healing power of the cross.
We can begin to do this by acknowledging the sins committed against us, the adverse effects that those sins have had on our lives, and the disappointments we feel. It is okay to acknowledge these things; the Lord already knows all about them. And He wants us to talk to Him about the things that have hurt us. For, it is only after we acknowledge the reality of these things, that we can begin to accept them and understand the root of our fears and doubts about God’s love.
Both acknowledgment and acceptance of the realities of sin and death are necessary for experiencing the healing power of God.
The question, then, is how does one do that? How does one come to grips with or make peace terms with the sins of devastating betrayals, destructive abuses, or humiliating violations? In other words, how does a person “let go and let God”? How can we accept the actions and consequences of the past, when they have been so destructive?
There is only one way to do any of these things, and that way is by trusting God with them.
We can accept the past and its deadly consequences by entrusting the past to God. We can come to grips with the death-effects of the sin and disappointments of life by trusting that God sovereignly ordained those events and even their adverse effects for our greatest good and His greatest glory. We can “let go and let God” considering what it means that God is now and always has been in control of our lives.
Most of us know that the Bible teaches that God is both perfectly loving and sovereign (Ezekiel 12:28; Matthew 7:25-33, 10:29; Acts 4:24; Revelation 6:10). But do we know it – I mean, deep down inside know these truths? In other words, do we believe them? We will need to believe both of these truths if we are ever to experience the healing power of the cross. We can’t just have an abstract understanding of God’s sovereign power that is detached from the loving personal reality of who God is – if we want to experience His healing grace.
In practical terms, believing these truths means making a conscious, willful decision to entrust the pain and disappointments in our lives to God. Sometimes, this will mean that we will need to choose to believe the Bible over believing our feelings. We will have to decide that we are going to trust that God can and will use all the wrongdoing we have experienced to draw us to closer to Himself and make us more like the Lord than we would be, had we never suffered any of the effects of sin or death.
Trusting that God orchestrated or ordained all the events of our lives- even the bad ones- for our good is not as hard to do as one might think. God may have already used the sins committed against us and their ensuing death-effects for our good and His glory. For example, if the sins committed against us had any part in helping us recognize our need for Christ, they have already resulted in some good in our lives. Many other good things can result from bad experiences- but our salvation is the greatest good that any sin or disappointment can bring about.
As Christians, “…we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30). The world doesn’t have to feel unsafe because we know that our God is perfectly loving and in complete control, working all things together for our good.