I chatted with a lady today who had some similar experiences to mine in her early Christian walk. We were chatting about the church and how it responds to adversity. I shared how soon after we became Christians my family hit a financial speed bump and over a period of time lost nearly everything. Being new Christians we were told by many in the church we had somehow sinned and God we punishing us. This lady expressed being told the same thing when adversity hit her life.
Sad isn't it?
I came across a question a while back which burned itself into my mind. What happens when God is bigger than your religion?
It seems to often when bad things happen Christians immediately think someone sinned. Our "religion" tells us all bad things are due to sin. However it just ain't so. I remember the Scripture where Jesus was confronted with a sick man and was asked who sinned, the man or his family? (John 9:2)
I also remember Job...whom God pointed out as righteous and told Satan he was allowed to mess with.
I look constantly in the Scriptures for those apostles who had a cushy, easy life. Still looking. Seems hardship was a given. Does this mean God can't rescue, restore, bless? Absolutely not. God can and does these things. It does mean though that sometimes our religion tells us God only blesses and only prospers and only heals....what happens when He doesn't? Does He stop being God? I believe we try to box God into our comfortable way of thinking about Him. However God is bigger than our religion. He does things the Baptists, Pentecostals, Anglicans, etc... can't justify or handle. He's God. When confronted with something our "religion" can't explain, we need to turn to the Word and look for God to answer it.
If we don't find the answers we are looking for right away, we will find within God's word, plenty of evidence about His character, to remind us that He is always good and that His thoughts are not ours. We will also find there words to challenge us: "Be joyful always..." "Do not be anxious about anything..." "Perfect love casts out fear...," and so many others.
Dig into the Word and let God blow your mind. He is awesome. He is big! He is Holy!