Do you ever seem to struggle when you see non-Christians excelling in something and you wonder why it’s not going as well for you? I know that God isn’t a Genie…. I just question sometimes why it’s so hard for me and not for others who aren’t Christians.
This is the question that showed up in my inbox recently and quite frankly, I loved it. It’s the question deep within many of us as we try to make sense of our spiritual lives in a broken world.
I sat with a group of my favorite women today and we talked about this same question and conceded that we each within our context and struggles are wrestling with these same questions.
I don’t have all the answers but here was my response to this question:
The answer is “yes” I have struggled with that same question. Here’s some thoughts I have:
First of all, apart from Jesus’ work in our lives, we are all basically the same. Obviously not literally the same, but we’re all same in that we have strengths and weaknesses. Before I got saved, I was bad at math. After I got saved, I was bad at math. That seems a bit simplistic but the fundamental concept carries over to lots of areas. Every person has their own unique strengths and weaknesses apart from their spiritual status.
With that being said, sometimes it just seems like everything is going right for someone who is an unbeliever and not for us—so what gives? Why aren’t we experiencing “God’s favor” when we’re the ones that supposedly actually have it?
This is where we have to take a step back and consider our definition of “success” or “God’s favor”? You see there are times when things are harder for us because if they weren’t we might be tempted to think we were competent to handle our lives apart from God’s intervention. I’ve come to realize after numerous cycles of going through this with God that when I watch a non-Christian “succeed” at something I’m struggling in, it actually IS God’s favor and provision because God is at work in my heart–transforming me.
You see, my definition of success or God’s favor isn’t determined by comparing myself to another person but by whether I’m yielding to God’s work in my life.
[Tweet “God’s favor isn’t determined by comparing myself to another person but by whether I’m yielding to God’s work in my life.”]
Unfortunately, these particular circumstances happen to be the Enemy’s playground. He whispers lies and schemes to deceive us into believing God is less than good and question “what’s the point in following God if this is how it goes?” Satan is a master at deception and discouragement.
In these moments our best move is ask God to reveal to us truth. God is ALWAYS honest. Consider what you know is true about God. Begin seeking God and asking Him to disclose to you what He wants to show you through this circumstance and then lean in. Trust that He is doing His powerful work in you, even if you can’t see it.
God has big Kingdom purposes and they may even involve that unbeliever and His desire to use you to reach them.
The most important response is turning our focus to God. When we wonder away, we become blinded to truth, confident in our skewed perspective and opinions and we miss God-sized work that is good and right.
How has God revealed Himself to you when you found asking these questions? Did you go to Him for answers or did you look for them elsewhere? Have you wandered away because things weren’t going your way? I’d love to chat and hear your story! Send me a message or leave a comment!