Abandoned by God?
Q. I was laid off from my last three jobs and am currently unemployed, deeply in debt, and about to be evicted from my home. This morning my car broke down. I know this is an attack of the enemy, but where is God? I feel like He's forgotten me, abandoned me, or decided He's helped me enough in the past. But I need His help today!
—Susan, via e-mail
A. Susan, it sounds like you could use some good news, and I have some for you: Jesus said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). God also promises to use our pain for a greater purpose: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).
As for these things being "an attack of the enemy," that may or may not be true. Satan likely didn't cause these bad things to happen; people are laid off, go into debt, and have their cars break down all the time—through no doing of Satan's. But Satan certainly can use these difficult circumstances to try to discourage you and make you think God has abandoned you. Still, remember that Satan is a liar whose mission is to pull you away from God—even to make you think He's abandoned you. Don't believe a word of it. Claim the power of Christ and tell the Devil to take a hike. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, trusting in His promises to get you through. Don't give up or give in to discouragement and despair. God hasn't given up on you—He is with you and for you today (Rom. 8:28-39).
As for your tangible needs, God may be about to intervene, to deliver you or provide for you in a miraculous way. But he often provides through the people around us—through care and compassion, yes, but also by meeting our tangible needs. Share your needs with fellow believers; Lord knows (literally!) who might be able to help you with a loan, a job, food, temporary housing, or even fixing your car. That's part of what the body of Christ is all about—helping one another in time of need. It's been that way since the beginning (Acts 2:44-45).
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