“…the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
Daniel 11:32b (NKJV)
Doing great exploits comes from being strong, confident and secure, and this is the fruit (or result) of knowing God’s true nature. Many people know about God, and they think that they know Him – but they don’t know Him for who He really is. You can know about someone without knowing their heart. Sadly, many Christians know about God and think that they know God’s heart, but they are misinformed about God’s true nature.
For example, many Christians get angry with God when things don’t turn out the way they hoped or expected them to. If we find that we’re angry with God, it reveals that we don’t know God’s true nature or how He does things. Jesus, who is our example, was never angry with God. We are never justified in being angry with God. Now, God won’t fall off of His throne if you’re angry with Him, and He will only ever deal with you in love and grace, but your anger towards God will negatively affect you and cause negative fruit in your life.
Often people get angry with God because they don’t understand why He didn’t do something they expected Him to do – if God is so good, why does He allow bad things to happen? This is why it is so important that we know who God really is and how He operates. If you believe that God is causing pain and suffering in our lives for some greater purpose, then you can’t be secure is God or expectant of anything specific because you’ll never know what God is going to do because you cannot put God in a box! The truth is that we can put God in a box – we can expect Him to be a certain way and do certain things. The Bible reveals that He is good (Psalm 100:5; 136:1) and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God will never do something out of character. When we know His true character, we can know what to expect.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”
-Jesus (John 10:10 AMP)
This is good, simple theology: if it’s good it’s God, if it’s bad it’s the devil. God isn’t the one causing destruction and suffering in your life. (And if you’re wondering about Job or Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”, I’ve got teachings on that – there are answers!)
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Acts 10:38 KJV
Sickness and oppression is never (ever) from God. It is a work of the devil. God anointed (empowered) Jesus to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Jesus never refused to heal anyone and He never put sickness on anyone, because that is not what God does. God heals people, He doesn’t make them sick. Jesus said that He only does what He sees His Father do (John 5:19).
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 KJV
We are to submit to God and we are to resist the devil. If sickness and suffering is sometimes from God and sometimes from the devil, or sometimes from God through the devil, then when do you submit and when do you resist? How do you know when to submit and when to resist? If Jesus is always the same, then you can expect Him never to give you sickness or suffering. The devil and his works are to be resisted (actively fought against). If we submit to the devil and his works, we empower them in our lives.
It’s not God’s fault when things go wrong. The devil is the one seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). God has given us authority over all the power of the devil (Luke 10:19) so that we can resist him and see him flee (run in terror). If we do not resist, he will not flee. If you believe that your pain and suffering is from God, then you are submitting to the problem (the devil) and allowing your problem to stay or get worse. God is not in control of the problem and whether it stays or goes – you have the authority to accept it or resist it.
When we know God and His will, we can be confident in what to expect. When we realize that God is good and is not the author of our suffering, it causes us to be bold in our fight against the devil, and we can be confident in expecting good things from God.