I am a good person. I go to church. I say my prayers and read my scriptures. I work hard. I love my spouse and kid. I volunteer my time and money. So why did I lose my job? Why did I get in a car accident? Why am I sick with disease? Why can’t I find a spouse? Why does God let bad things happen to good people? God is unfair. He does not hear my prayers. He does not love me. God is a bully with a magnifying glass and we are the ants.
Have you ever had any of these thoughts? I certainly have. When we face trials, when we do not understand why things happen in life, we start judging God. We judge God by saying that we know better than he does. We judge God by saying that while he is perfect, in this particular circumstance, that we know better than he does. We question God’s judgment about what is fair. We judge all of God’s decisions, his actions, and his definition of right and wrong. We condemn God because we do not understand God’s reasoning or because we disagree with God’s law.
C.S. Lewis addresses this issue with a question, “Is something good because God wills it or does God will it because it is good?” At the heart of the question is why do we worship God. Why do we pray to him? Why do we follow his commandments? Why do we listen to his promptings? If something is good just because God wills it to be so, then we have no reason to follow God. If God arbitrarily decides what is good and what is bad, why can’t we arbitrarily decide what is good or bad? If, however, God wills something because it is good, then we have every reason to follow Him, to trust Him, and not judge Him because all that he does is for our good.
The answer to this question lies in understanding who God is. He is our Heavenly Father. The decisions He makes and the actions He takes are for our good because he loves us as his children. Parents do not arbitrarily define what is good or bad for their children (even if children sometimes think so). Parents make decisions and take actions for the benefit of their children. Parents only want what is best for their children and this objective dictates parents’ actions. Similarly, Heavenly Father only wants what is best for his children and this is the only objective that dictates his actions.
When we truly believe that God is our Heavenly Father, that Heavenly Father wills something because it is good, then how can we judge God? While we may not always understand why our Heavenly Father does something, when we truly understand that all that Heavenly Father does is for our good we will stop judging our Heavenly Father.
We are reminded of this in Proverbs 3:5-6, which states:
Because we live in a society where everyone does whatever is best for their own self-interest. Total trust in anyone is extremely difficult. However, we can completely trust in our perfect heavenly parent. He loves us. When we stop judging Heavenly Father and start trusting his judgment, we will be able to truly accomplish all that He has in store for us. While it may be easier to judge God, trusting the source of all of our blessings will ultimately enable us to return back to him.
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