We spend a lot of time telling you that God is your anchor and your safe haven in times of trouble. And he most definitely is! We continually say to put all your faith and trust in Jesus. We love it when we run to Him and find safety and we find rest and answers to our struggles. But what about those times that God seems distant or just does not seem to be listening? What’s up with that? Doesn’t God want me to be happy? Maybe you have even asked yourself, “Why doesn’t He help me?”
First off, let us say that God is not interested in increasing our contentment or happiness. Yes, God cares for His children, but He is not primarily focused on making us happy. He is interested in advancing His kingdom here on earth and He invites us to partner with Him in doing so. Secondly, we often forget that trials and hardships are a part of life, even for followers of Jesus. Jesus tells us this in John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And thirdly, because of sin God has to work out His perfect plan in the context of an imperfect and broken world.
Each and every day, regardless of whether we see it or not, God is building His kingdom and working out His perfect plan of breaking into our lives through the life and ministry of Jesus. He is pointing the world to Himself, offering all of us both eternal life with Him in heaven and a life on earth that is lived to its fullest. We again look to Jesus and see these words in John 10:10 – “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Some translations say “have life, and have it abundantly.”
So yes, while God is interested in giving us an abundant life, He does so in order for us to assist Him in building up His kingdom, not for us to build up our kingdoms by having a happy life. We do not always know what God wants to accomplish, so we simply are asked to trust that God is working out His plans in us and through us. So whether you and God are enjoying good conversation right now while having coffee and cookies, or you seem to keep leaving messages on God’s answering machine, remember this – God is building His kingdom and carrying out His perfect plan. So when God seems to not be responding as you would like, the question isn’t “God, why aren’t you helping me?” The question really is this, “God, what are You doing right now in me and through me that will help your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?”
It is really a matter of re-orienting our perspective. The focus is on the Kingdom of God not us living “happily ever after.”