Do you ever get God and life mixed up? If you do, you may be suffering from faith distress. Our concept of God can take such a hammering in adversity that our faith faints and our prayer becomes impossible. Ever been there? Maybe you’re there now!? Faith distress is horrible! We don’t feel like trusting God anymore because God doesn’t appear to be the loving, kind, and merciful God we have always believed Him to believe. We blame God for all the evil we see or experience in life. In an illogical thought progression, we see cruelty in the world, we find ourselves thinking about the apparent cruelty of God, and then wrongly conclude that God is cruel. God is not cruel, however; life is cruel.
Have you ever done that? Jeremiah did. He described God as being like a bear who has mangled him and left him half dead by the side of the road: “He dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help” (Lam. 3:11). “Life is a bear,” he may have said in our modern vernacular. “God is attacking me.” Jeremiah had God and life mixed up.
Jeremiah needed to realize that it was not God who had used him for target practice but the priests of Anathoth. It was not God who thought Jeremiah was a big joke; it was Jeremiah’s own people. It was not God who manhandled him but the temple police.
Similarly, you must realize that it was not God who walked out on you, it was your spouse. It was not God who took advantage of you at the office, but your coworker. It was not God who was driving the car that killed your child, but a drunken driver. We must not get God and life mixed up. You may need to sit your soul down, give it a good talking to, and make it listen! Life may be cruel, but God never is.