December 2, 2022
The Danger of Making Assumptions
Lee en español
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5 (NIV)
God, do You even care about my husband’s health? Why the delay, God?
I didn’t voice the thoughts out loud, but I may as well have. My attitude about the situation my family faced was bleak at best.
For months, we’d prayed for a resolution to my husband’s health issue. Friends around the globe prayed, too, and each time my husband and I spoke with them, we updated them with any progress.
Although the solution was simple, the equipment needed to address the problem was in short supply. A long waitlist of other patients was ahead of my husband, and each day we hoped for a miracle.
Sometimes it’s easy for me to see God working through hardships in others’ lives, but when it comes to my own life or my family members’, I make assumptions about His intentions. If it appears as though He’s not answering on my timeline or not listening, I may question whether or not He wants to help.
Have you ever been there? You pray with persistence, and you believe God will deliver you or a loved one, but when the answer doesn’t come, you wonder whether or not God sees the hurt and the weariness. Or perhaps you think your troubles are somehow part of God’s judgment and you stop coming to Him altogether.
It can be difficult to open up about our heartache when we feel as though God has already made up His mind about the situation. But God warns us, in His Word, against this type of limited thinking.
Recently, I studied the book of Job, and God’s response to Job’s friends captured my attention: “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:7, NIV).
In this passage, Job had just lost everything, and his friends assumed his suffering was due to his own sin. But whereas Job spoke directly to God about his heartache and frustrations, his friends merely spoke about God. They thought that Job’s afflictions were a sign of punishment or that God was acting out of judgment.
In our key verse, Job speaks from a place that can only be found when we encounter God personally:
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5).
Even though Job suffered as much as anyone in Scripture, he never made assumptions about God based on his circumstances. He questioned God, but he did not say false things about God’s character. Instead, Job spoke to God in his anguish, with an honest heart, and God answered. Although God didn't give Job a reason for his suffering, Job’s one-on-one conversation with Him helped Job realize God was still there in the midst of it.
What if we decide to do the same thing? What if the next time we encounter a situation where it appears as though God is absent, we come to Him and have an honest conversation?
And what if God answers in ways we never expected?
This is what I finally did in my frustration over my husband’s health issue. And somehow, God helped me see His presence right there in the middle of the weariness and waiting.
When we continue to come to God with our hurts despite the lack of an answer, He shifts our perspective. Our circumstances may not change, but His peace reigns as He shows us who He truly is. Like Job, we can encounter God in a new way. And because of this fresh encounter, our assumptions can be replaced by awe and worship.
God, thank You for Your promise never to leave us nor forsake us. When we go through difficult seasons in life where our prayers seem to go unanswered, help us not to make assumptions about Your character. Help us to see You are still there, and shift our perspective toward Your Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Abby McDonald’s book Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God offers more insights about how a simple shift in perspective can allow the peace of God to reign in our lives. Pick up your copy here!
Want to fill your Facebook news feed with encouragement and Scripture? This is your invitation to join our devotions community group on Facebook and find a place where you can ask for prayer, pray for others and see uplifting faith-based posts … a place where you belong. Come join us today!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Isaiah 55:8, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” (NIV)
What’s something you need to have an honest, heart-to-heart conversation about with God today?
Has there ever been a time when you assumed something about God based on your circumstances, but over time and through prayer He changed your perspective? Tell us about it in the comments.
© 2022 by Abby McDonald. All rights reserved.