Romans 4:2-5 -- "2. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3. For what does the Scripture say? "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED (CREDITED) TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." 4. Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. 5. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness, ..."
This passage says that Abraham was justified by faith (trust in God and what He says); not by works (simply obeying the Law.) God is always intentional and purposeful. He does not operate by happenstance and His work, intentions, or kind acts are not random.
It is crucial that all of God's children understand this foundational principle. If we believe we are justified by our works (our obedience to the Law), it always leads to some type of boasting. The boasting may or may not be expressed verbally and whether it is or isn't is insignificant.
Human beings operate by an on-going, stealth-like formula. We inherently believe when we do something right; achieve some imaginary standard of righteousness; obey the Law; or follow Him faithfully, we will be rewarded. We EXPECT God to give us the desires of our hearts. If we are single, we expect a spouse is forthcoming. If we are childless, we expect fruitfulness and parenthood. If we are sick, have complete faith He will heal us. We discount death as a form of perfect health. Just the opposite, we believe God has to heal us because we've asked in His name. We develop an insidious form of pride, self-aggrandizement, self-promotion, or boasting because of human effort. Although we are not conscious of our reasoning, we believe we are due the things we want, in the same way a person expects to be paid for a day's work. Why is this insidious? Because it is invisible and undetectable; we are unaware of how we are operating.
Isn't this why we get so angry and disappointed, and even enraged, with God? Isn't it because we expect to be "paid" in wages of: comfort, ease, success, fulfilled desires and dreams? We expect such things as payment for our choices.
When we serve God well or obey His law, a spirit of expectation and/or entitlement arises. We have well thought out ideas of how He SHOULD respond to us. When our expectations and entitlements are not fulfilled, we react with devastating disappointment with Him.
Two things can help us:
1. Anytime we are angry or enraged with God, we need to stop in our tracks and question our response. We need to examine why we feel the way we do. Is it because we expected to be "paid" for our obedience? Expecting and deserving go hand in hand and they lead to extreme reacting.
2. The supreme reason we obey God is because HE IS GOD (and we aren't.)
Beside you in Christ, Murphy