How Do Calvinists Find Comfort In Hard Times?
Lately, I've read several Calvinists who talk about how they find comfort during the hard times, the "Why" moments when it seems like everything is falling apart and when you want to know where God is and why He's "allowing" what He does and why He isn't stopping it.
And the answer is: "We can't always know why the bad things happen, but we can trust God's character, even when life hurts. We can trust Him because He is a good, loving Father."
You see, when things go wrong in my life, I can trust the God of the Bible because He is trustworthy. His intentions towards us all are good, and He says what He means and means what He says. When He says He really does love all people, He means all people. When He says He wants all people to be saved, He means He really does want all people to be saved, that He made it possible for all people to be saved. When He says He doesn't want us to sin, He doesn't mean He secretly wants us to and "ordains" us to sin; He means that He doesn't want us to sin, that we can choose to obey instead (He can and does work our self-chosen sins into His plans, but He doesn't cause us to do the things He tells us not to do). When He says Jesus died for all sins, He means that Jesus died for all sins, that all sins of all people were covered by Jesus's death on the cross, that forgiveness and grace and healing are available for all people and that all we have to do is accept it. When He says we need to seek Him to find Him, He means that it's possible for all of us to seek Him and find Him. When He tells us to believe in Him to find eternal life, He means that any of us can choose to believe in Him and find eternal life.
The God of the Bible is trustworthy, and that's why He can be trusted!
But Calvinism's god (Calvi-god, as I call him) is not the God of the Bible!
And Calvi-god cannot be trusted because everything he says has a secret layer that contradicts what he said (that is, if he really did write the Bible, which he didn't).
Calvi-god says he loves all people, but he really means that he loves only the elect enough to save them. But he shows "love" to the non-elect by giving them food and sunshine while they are alive on earth ... before sending them to hell for eternity, just like he predestined.
Calvi-god says he wants all people to be saved, yet he really only wants the elect to be saved, and he created everyone else specifically so that he could hate them and send them to hell because he wanted them in hell far more than he wanted them in heaven.
Calvi-god says he generously gives grace to people, but he means "only to the elect." Everyone else is beyond the reach of Calvi-god's grace. Hopelessly lost forever!
Calvi-god says that Jesus died for the sins of the world, but he really means only the sins of the elect. Because Calvi-Jesus wouldn't die for those predestined to reject him ... because that would be a waste of his blood.
Calvi-god says "Seek me, believe in me," but he said this knowing that he only made it possible for the elect to seek him and believe in him, that they can't seek him or believe in him until he causes them to, and that he himself causes the non-elect to reject him.
Calvi-god commands us to obey him and do good, but he controls whether we want to obey him or not. And if we disobey him, it's because he "ordained" it (preplanned and caused it), and we couldn't have made any other choice. But then he punishes us for the things he caused us to do.
Calvi-god sometimes causes people to think they are truly saved when they really aren't, just so he can have more reason to damn them to hell. But they won't know they really aren't saved until the end of their lives. (It's called "evanescent grace." Look it up online or see the "evanescent grace" section in this post.) In fact, no Calvinist can be assured that they are one of the elect, until and unless they persevere all the way to the end of their lives. Any backsliding or doubt can cause them to question if they are truly one of the elect or not - because their assurance doesn't rest in God's promise to save those who choose to put their faith in Jesus, but it rests in their hope that Calvi-god truly chose them and caused them to believe and that he isn't tricking them into thinking they are saved when they aren't. Because in Calvinism, people don't get to decide whether or not they believe in Jesus; Calvi-god decides for them. (Talk about insecurity!)
Calvi-god says he loves people and acts like he wants a relationship with us, but he really loves himself most and worships himself above all ... and that's why he can do whatever he wants with us, even causing our sins and unbelief. Because he's not really about loving us or having a relationship with us or caring about us anyway. We are just an after-thought. A footnote. A means to an end. Because what he's really about, and practically only about, is using us to get whatever glory he can get for himself, even if it's by causing sin and evil and putting people in hell. But that's okay ... because he is God (Calvi-god) and is just doing what a self-loving, self-worshipping god should do for himself and his "glory."
Calvi-god causes all evils because he gets glory from it, from sin and evil and child abuse and putting people in hell. And so in Calvi-god's world, evil is just as good as good. Our sins are just as glorifying to him as our obedience. Rejecting him is just as glorifying to him as accepting him. (As my Calvi-pastor said, "Everything that happened in your life, even childhood abuse, was 'ordained' by God. It was His 'Plan A' for your life - for your good, for His glory, and to keep you humble." How do you seek comfort in God for the injustices done to you, the horrible sins committed against you, the evils that befell you, when He caused them all in the first place? It's not much different than an abused spouse seeking comfort from the abuser for the abuse they're going through. See "Calvinist Quotes on God Determining All Evil" and more links in "Do Calvinists Really Believe God Causes Sin? Let Them Speak For Themselves!")
If Calvinists think they can trust a god like that, if they want to take comfort during the hard times in a god like that, then that's their problem. And they can continue to deceive themselves if they want to.
But I will put my trust in the God of the Bible!
Because He is truly trustworthy, truly loves us, truly wants the best for us, He says what He means and means what He says ... and so I can take Him at His Word.
He can be trusted to be a good, loving Father, even when life hurts!