Do You Struggle With Being Offended By God?

Matthew 11:6 says “Blessed is the person who is not offended by me.”

I was so offended by God when I was growing up so much so I started hating Him. I could not understand why He was allowing the awful things that were happening to me. And then I started hating myself and everyone around me. It took me through dark times. I no longer cared about anything. It wasn’t until I thought I fell in love with someone that I began caring. But it was all about attraction. I still had a 100 ft wall up around me, so no one could hurt me.

To be offended means to stumble or trip. Scripture tells us that Jesus is a rock to offense…or a rock of stumbling… to the disobedient (1 Peter 2:8). In His earthly days, Jesus was constantly offending the religious establishment.

But in the scripture above, Jesus has someone else in mind. He’s speaking to His followers: “Blessed are you, my followers, when you are not offended by me.”

John the Baptist was utterly loyal to Jesus. He walked a life of total self-denial. He gave everything up for his God. And he found himself in a cold prison.

There is no record of Jesus ever visiting him there. So John was questioning and doubting. He was probably thinking, “Was it really worth it? I lived my whole life to pave the way for the Messiah, and now I’m in prison. The Kingdom hasn’t yet come.”

John was wondering and wavering; he’s tempted to stumbiat his Lord. So he sends word to Jesus asking, “Are you really the one who was to come? Or should we expect another?”

Again Jesus didn’t visit John. He instead sends the answer to him via His disciples:

“Go back and report to John; the blnd see; the lepers are cleansed; the dead are raised; the good news is being preached to the poor…and happy is the person who is not offended in me. Peaceful is the man who doesn’t stumble over me. Blessed is the person who doesn’t fall away on account of what I do or not do.”

Over the years I’ve watched take offense with the Lotd. Some of them were passionate followers of Jesus in the younger days, but later ended up renouncing Him. Why? Because they chose to be offended by Him.

“Blessed is the person who is not offended by me.” This is the forgotten gratitude.

There are three reasons who followers of Jesus become offended:

1. He Demands Too Much. In John 16:1, Jesus tells His disciples that He’s sharing “all these things” so they won’t be offended by Him. Some of those “things” we’re stern warnings that they would be hated by the world and persecuted (John 15:18). Jesus made clear that following Him won’t lead to a bed of roses. Suffering and loss are involved.

Unfortunately, some present a gospel that leave parts out. The result is His followers get offended when the realize what they’ve gotten into. But Jesus lets us know up front what following Hin entails. Even in His own day, some of His followers stopped walking with Him because they regarded the cost of it too high (John 6:53-50).

1 He Doesn’t Meet Our Expectations. The Lird often works in ways that we don’t understand. Maybe you’ve heard some say, “My life would have been so much better today if I didn’t follow Jesus. Look where it’s gotten me.” It’s called the catch-30 crisis. There comes a point in all of our lives where we reassess the major commitments we’ve made a in early adulthood. And we either dig in deeper or we abandon ship.

Isaiah says that God’s ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). The Lord works on levels that we cannot fathom. Paul says that God works all thing for our good (Romans 8:28). Why hasn’t God answered this prayer? Why didn’t have to conform this promise? Why did He let this happen to me? Why is God silent when I need to hear Him the most?

These are questions that plague the mind of any serious believer. If you’ve not me the God who refuses to meet all your expectations, you will. And how you react in that time will reveal whether you are wishipping Jesus Christ or Santa Clause (John 6:26).

We have a to be willing to say, “I will still serve Him, even if it sends me to hell. Should we receive good from the Lord and not evil? Scripture tells of an account where three Hebrew children that we’re loyal to their God and the pagan king said to them, “Worship my golden image of you’re going to die in my fiery furnace. Their answer was “We’re not going to worship this image or serve your gods. The Lord is able to deliver us, and He will deliver us from your fiery furnace. But even if He doesn’t, we’re still not going to bow down to your false gods” (Daniel 3:8-25).

Those words contain thunder and lightning for every believer of Christ.

The thing is only God can see the whole book. And He’s only given us the ability to see 300 or 400 pages in the entire book. We can only speculate and assume what’s in the rest of it. We create all sorts of intricate theological systems to explain the mysteries we don’t understand.

Life always comes down to trusting in the Lord rather than trying to figure out His ways with our finite, limited understanding. But we can discover and understand what’s in the pages of 300 or 400, and thereby learn to live more effectively within them.

3. He Doesn’t Show Up On Time. He works too slowly. He reacts too late. His deliverance takes too long. God’s clock is a lot slower than ours. We can text or email our prayer to God, and He doesn’t text or email back when we expect. In fact, sometimes we never hear back from Him at all. The screen is blank.

Sometimes we’ll pray for an important matter in our own lives…or we’ll pray for someone else…for years. And the dial doesn’t move. Waiting on God we can become weary. And it can lead to offense. But God always keeps perfect time. It’s just that His timing I’d different thano ours.

Here’s how NOT to be offended by God:

Remember that He demands everything, and He has promised suffering and tribulation along with blessing and eternal life. So don’t seek out for a cheap easy life. Such is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told us what we were getting into and exhorted us to count the cost ahead of time (Luke 14:26).

Remember that His ways are higher than ours, and He doesn’t always show us what He’s doing or why. We may not always understand what He does or allows, but He can still be trusted. This is the nature of walking by faith rather than by sight. Even when His grace isn’t sufficient, it is always sufficient.

Remember that God is always on time, but His clock ticks differently from ours. He’s a Lord who sometimes shows up long after the hour of healing has passed and we are dead for four days. Just ask Lazarus.

Being offended by God is a choice. You can choose to take offense at the Lord and stumble over that which you don’t understand. Or you can “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5j.

“The depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out” (Romans 11:33).

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