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Blog - Is God Trying to Tell Me Something?
Do you ever wonder if God is trying to tell you something by situations or circumstances that happen in your life? Is there some lesson that He is trying to teach you when things don't go as planned? If you have wondered about these things, rest assured, you are not alone. The scripture tells us to "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." (2Co 13:5a) and to "let a man examine himself" (1Co 11:28). We are exhorted to "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD." (Lam 3:40), and once we have searched our hearts and found some dishonorable vessels of wood and earth among the honorable vessels of gold and silver, we must purge ourselves of the dishonorable ones so that we might "be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (2Ti 2:21). We therefore ought to pray for God to "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psa 139:23-24), and for Him to "Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart." (Psa 26:2), and ask Him to "make me to know my transgression and my sin" (Job 13:23), and to say unto God, "That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more." (Job 34:32). But what about when we have prayed these aforementioned prayers and asked God to "cleanse thou me from secret faults" (Psa 19:12) and something happens in our lives that causes us to question whether God is judging us or trying to teach us a lesson because of something we have done? How do we figure out what, if anything, God is trying to teach us? During Jesus' earthly ministry, he came across a man who had been born blind and His disciples, assuming that there must have been some sin in either his or his parents lives that caused it, asked Him, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" (Joh 9:2). Jesus' answer is telling and should shed some light on what we have been pondering: "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (Joh 9:3). Jesus showed us here that afflictions, tribulations and troubles are not always the result of something wrong which we have done, but sometimes God simply allows things to happen in our lives so that His works can be made known. Assuming that everything bad that happens to someone is a direct judgment from God for some evil they have done is heathenish thinking. One time Paul was shipwrecked on an island called Melita which was inhabited by a kind, but barbarous and superstitious people, which watched a venomous beast latch onto Paul's hand while he was putting sticks on a fire and they reasoned, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live." (Act 28:4). When Paul shook it off into the fire and was unharmed when he should have died suddenly, "they changed their minds, and said that he was a god." (Act 28:6). We see now the futility of assuming a direct correlation between a blessing or judgment, and circumstances. Remember what Jesus said of those that seek for a sign (Mat 12:39). Now, am I saying that there is something wrong with examining our hearts when something bad happens to us to see if it might be the judgment of God for sin in our lives? Of course not, we ought to be examining ourselves regularly as the verses in the beginning showed. But unfortunate events in our lives are not always the result of, and judgment for, sin. Sometimes stuff just happens to the righteous and the wicked alike: that's life. Consider the wisdom of Solomon on this: "Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity." (Ecc 2:15) "All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness." (Ecc 7:15) "There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity." (Ecc 8:14) "All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath." (Ecc 9:2) So I say to you: if something bad or unfortunate happens and you have searched your heart and prayed for God to bring to light secret sins yet unknown to you, and nothing is made known to you, then don't worry about it: it's just life.