And we’ve all experienced pain and disappointment.
When we’re hurting we don’t always think straight.
When we’re hurting, we look for a target for our anger.
But just because we feel like God owes us an apology doesn’t mean He does.
1) Forgiving God always begins with a story.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has experienced pain. Everyone hurts.
When I hear a painful human story, I want to sympathize with the speaker. I want to comfort them. Sometimes the way I comfort them is by agreeing with them.
Their pain is real, but their actions and conclusions may not be. Our stories of hurting are not evidence, proof, reasons, or arguments. They are feelings.
There are lots of stories about hurting people in the Bible. Their pain was real, and sometimes they grew bitter toward God. But God never said He was sorry to them and they are never recorded forgiving God.
2) We need forgiven; God doesn’t.
No matter the size of your pain, God does not need forgiven for it. On the contrary, He deserves to be worshipped through the pain.
Job learned this lesson. Job threatened to sue God for damages after suffering the loss of his family, property, and health. But near the end of the book of Job, God issued one of His longest monologues in the Bible in reply. He did not apologize. He reminded Job of one sobering truth we all tend to forget: He’s God and we’re not.
Job had it worse than you. I know that’s not very sympathetic of me. But his story is included in the Bible for this very reason. He suffered unimaginable pain and demanded an audience with God. But in the end he put his hand over his mouth and repented.
God is bigger than you and I can imagine. Withholding forgiveness from God is one way we try to place ourselves in a position over Him.
That will never happen.
We’ll never succeed at bringing Him down to our level. We’ll never win an argument with the Sovereign One. We’ll never convince the all-knowing One. We’ll never make the Righteous One feel guilty. We can’t manipulate the God of creation.
We’ll never get an apology out of the Perfect One. He has nothing to apologize for.
3) God has gone above and beyond for us.
God loves us using more than words. You did not volunteer for your suffering. If given the option, you wouldn’t have.
But God volunteered to suffer for us.
He entered into our hurt with us. He participates in our pain. Even thinking we have something to forgive God for is a sin that can be forgiven in Christ.
“God, thank You for suffering voluntarily to offer us forgiveness. Forgive us for thinking we have anything to forgive you for.”