Naked Before God: Trials and Tribulations

Praying in true humility can be difficult for us, particularly early in our Christian walk, yet for many of us, getting through the trials and tribulations of this life may be even more difficult. These are times of disappointments, problems, hardships, and sometimes these can lead to despair and desperation; we might even begin to wonder if God has forgotten all about us. Even worse, we might begin to think that God is exacting punishment upon us for something we have done or not done; oh yes, these are hard times indeed.

More than any other time in this life, times of hardship are times when we need to approach God’s presence holding nothing back, laying everything out in the open, times when we need to bare all before the God who sees all anyway. This is not only a time for praying in humility, it is also a time when we need to be honest about our doubts, frustrations, fears and disappointments, for when we are candid with God, He will usually be candid with us, if we are willing to listen to Him.

Have you ever read the Psalms?  How often David cried out to God; how often David asked Him pointed questions about his struggles and misery! Do we dare do the same?

Here’s something to think about: David was no more perfect than you or I, David experienced many hardships, some of which were caused by his own poor decisions, and some caused by human treachery and just plain evil; David questioned God and exhorted Him, yet through it all David kept his faith and in the end he was said to have been a man after God’s own heart.

Few of us experience more hardships than David did, and fewer still will make the same mistakes David made; why then are so few of us willing to be honest with God about our struggles and doubts?

God desires intimate relationship with us, very intimate. God knows our hearts and our thoughts; why not just be open and honest, rather than trying to act as though we had no doubts, no fears, no questions? You see, dear reader, this too is being naked before God. As for me, I have dealt with struggles both ways in my journey with Him; some I have held back, acting as though I was not affected, while other times I have taken my doubts, concerns and frustration to Him openly. In the former cases, I relied upon my own strength, which is considerable if I were to be honest with you. In the latter cases, I have received His strength in dealing with difficulty: Do you really need to ask which set of circumstances worked out the best?

Needless to say, through my own trials and tribulations I have learned that being completely open with God is the best policy, even (or especially) when it isn’t very comfortable.

I hope that you will share your thoughts with us on this issue!

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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23 Responses to Naked Before God: Trials and Tribulations

  1. DGHDelgado says:

    Ah…yes, David. I’m named after this guy… Talk about a king/man humble(d) before people. Sometimes I feel embarrassed meeting people because they instantly think of Goliath and then Bathsheba.

    But I am truly thankful for his honesty in the psalms. I find his words freeing, like they’re God’s gift to all of us–not just a model saying that we are allowed to be completely open, but a guide for those of us who have trouble finding the words because we actually don’t know what we’re feeling. And that’s me, lots of the time.

    Thanks for the reminder to read through the psalms.

  2. Jesus taught us to think of God as Father, not some invisible entity to fear, there are few relationships closer than a child and their father (with respect to mothers). In my relationship I have laughed, cried, petitioned, even yelled at God out of anger and despair. Sometimes I think we put him at an arms length instead of as a child’s hug. I blame all the Thou’s and Thee’s that we have in our Bibles and songs. Few realize that in the time of the King James that Thee and Thou were terms of endearment, not subjugation.

  3. paulfg says:

    Odd how the word naked is another for relationship. Never seen that so clearly as in this post, thank you! And two thoughts come to mind –

    The first is something Little Monk (who else) offered. That we need to “forgive God” all the bad stuff that happens. I find that profound. What else nurtures relationship more than that degree of intimacy – to forgive God? Because what follows that forgiveness … ? Honesty.

    The second was from Mel Wild today. That the simplicity of discipleship and ever deepening relationship is not in learning – but in “unlearning”. I find that profound as well. That by unlearning all the layers we have put on, we find nakedness and openness and humility when we disrobe – when we “unlearn” all the wisdom we chase our whole lives.

    It seems to be there is a “paring away” consistent with nakedness. And an intimacy going far beyond the “standard God – us” template. One that is relationship or nakedness or intimacy or humility or simplicity (or complexity if anyone wishes) – and ends up in a place unique to each of us: what works “works”.

  4. pipermac5 says:

    I think that how we approach God, particularly during-trying times, depends on how we perceive Him, and is often based on what we have be taught about Him and our own family-experiences. Is God the stern Law-giver and scowling Judge who keeps His “belt” handy to “take us to the woodshed” at the slightest-provocation, or is He our loving Heavenly-Father who hurts when we hurt, cries when we cry, and longs for us to sit on His lap so He can comfort us in our struggles?

    As I grew up, I knew that Jesus loves me, but I wasn’t so sure about God the Father, because I was raised in a very legalistic environment by an exacting-dad. I could go to mom, but not to dad. If God was anything like my dad…

    I used to have a pastor who was fond of saying, “If God has a refrigerator, He has your pictures plastered all over it”. That is the picture of a loving, Heavenly-Father, one who is approachable.

    I too have had MANY struggles, and it has taken me many years, and seemingly too many trips to the “woodshed” to get my attention, for me to start coming-around to seeing God as my loving Heavenly-Father. Yes, God DOES take us to the “woodshed” once in a while, but He always does out of love, NOT because He is “mad” at us. God’s loving-faithfulness is amazing, and THAT is what is bringing me around in how I see Him.

    Blessings!

    Steve

  5. Tom says:

    I must always keep in mind the level of His love for me. When I do that I can go before Him with anything, but when I don’t I end up staying away out of fear.

    God loves us and does not want to hurt us. God just wants what is best for us to make us just like Jesus who is just like He is.

  6. Kitsy says:

    When times were the hardest and my God sensors were malfunctioning (do to everything mentioned in previous comments), I would enter Grace Church, kneel, and bow my head for 10 minutes or more. Was it for appearances? I don’t think so, but in truth, what I prayed took about the first 4 seconds: “Okay, God. I’m here.”. The rest of the time was spent waiting, maybe hoping something would happen, but mostly hoping the Spirit was praying for me because I had no words.

  7. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    GREAT DISCUSSION!

  8. Some of us didn’t have fathers (or good fathers). Maybe that was David. Perhaps he had to cry out to God at a young age because he knew no one else was listening. Through childlike eyes, He is always precious.

    A breath away
    storms try to rip us from life
    He holds us close

  9. Citizen Tom says:

    Pray in humility. Excellent idea!

    The Lord’s Prayer calls upon us to a approach God as our Heavenly Father. Jesus pointedly told us that we needed to be as a child.

    I have been thinking about humility. It has slowly been sinking in that being humble is perhaps the hardest thing. Salvation is gift. We cannot save ourselves. Just the same we have to work at being humble, and yet we have to avoid becoming proud in that “work.” Where is the formula for humility, becoming a child again? I wish I knew.

    Why is it so important to be humble? Well, there is the obvious, I suppose. We have to love God more than anything, even our self. Yet I think it is more basic than that. Until we stop focusing on our self, we cannot love. Until we take our eyes off our self, we cannot truly perceive anyone else, especially the intangible Spirit of God.

    But it is so difficult not to think about “me.”

  10. Our Pastor was just telling us that excuse the expression lol but to be intimate requires us to be but naked before God. If we are truly friends with God then we should be able to bare all. Some of have friends that we share the most intimate details with, but we leave God out of the picture. Thank you for confirming. I will work on being more intimate with me God. Have a blessed day!

  11. Pete says:

    Trials and tribulations are a key ingredient to growing in our relationship with God. He does not cause them, but allows them to happen so that we will recognize His mercy and love for us.

    I have just started cancer treatments, which many would take to be a discouraging time. But I know I am in His hands, and He will work all things for His glory and for my good. There is no doubt in in or my spirit at all. That is His promise.

    Embrace the harder times, knowing they are for the greater good,

  12. Pingback: Where is the government strategy to prevent violence against women? | From guestwriters

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