When you read the Bible, have you ever noticed some of the verses irritate you?
When my son was going through cancer treatment, I despised this verse:
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
But the very fact that this verse of the Bible bothered me so much was my first clue to look closer.
When we have a strong reaction to anything of God (Bible verses, church, prayer, etc.) it’s a good heads up to ask Jesus to help us understand why.
There’s usually a good reason it’s rubbing us the wrong way, and Jesus might be drawing our attention to it because He wants to teach us something or heal us in some way and set us free.
With a lot of time and prayer, over the years, I’ve come to understand why this verse of the Bible irked me so much. When my son got sick, I was doing everything “right.” I was praying before bed, going to church, and trying to be a good person.
Yet my son still got cancer.
So this verse must be a lie. God wasn’t working everything out for good for those who love Him. I loved God and everything was going bad for me.
Either that or I didn’t actually love God, and I didn’t like that option either.
No wonder this verse of the Bible made me cringe.
Of course now years have passed and I can see that God truly was working things out for good for our family through my son’s cancer diagnosis.
It sounds weird to say, but we’re still seeing the fruits of that joy and the freedom it brought to our life even today.
While I wouldn’t wish childhood cancer on my worst enemy, let alone my precious little boy, now I see how God has used that horrible time to bless our family.
But the “good” He was working out just took longer than I was originally imaging, which is why that verse of the Bible irritated me so much. I just didn’t understand.
Now I can read that verse of the Bible without getting mad. In fact, it even gives me a little hope. But it took a lot of time, prayer and understanding to get there.
When a verse of the Bible irritates us, it’s a red flag to pay attention.
God can speak to our hearts in this way.
Have you ever read a verse of the Bible that irritated you?
What if you went back now and asked Jesus to help you understand why?