for me these three were unresolved dilemmas:
1) How can the Holy Spirit be speaking to me one set of truths and under that prompting, I share it with the elders of my former church - only to be promptly expelled by them - under the influence, according to them, of the Holy Spirit?!
Alternately, as I asked myself for years, using this school geography illustration in my mind, how can sincere Christians come up with completely opposing doctrines?
2) "I believe I was following God when I did _[fill in the blanks]_ in faith. However it led to loss, grief and even evil".
Alternately, when I look back at my past, in many areas I see that if I had taken a small action or been aware of a certain fact, my life would have been far different. Now, I can only try to partially offset the losses in these areas. But then I stop and ponder... God knew then, and God promised that He would guide me, and I was his follower at the time. Why didn't He do so? If He spoke and I didn't hear, then why didn't He speak more clearly or loudly? However, so many years were lost, irretrievably. Why didn't God prompt me in this direction earlier? It would have made me into a better, more successful person and more fruitful Christian.
An alternate question: "what purpose was served by God allowing _[this evil or tragedy]_ or not alleviating this problem earlier?"
3) When I read Leviticus, I am horrified at some of the practices. How can the same God of Mercy of the New Testament have ordered seemingly unfair executions and repressive treatment of women and slaves in the Old Testament?
Many theologians have pat answers for these questions above. Many Christians have ready explanations and even more pat answers. So do I. However they are unsatisfying. Perhaps because the answers may be wrong, but even if they are partially correct or even correct and have biblical support, they do not heal - if we are honest.
I believe it is because the mind cannot heal the heart. Many people turn against God for reasons like these because they are unresolved.
Pain leads to Anguish leads to Bitterness leads to Hatred leads to Estrangement and Rebellion against God. They become disillusioned, abandon the faith and even become followers of Satan. Perhaps this was Judas' path?
After almost 25 years of struggling with such painful questions, I believe I have the key:
Trust and Thankfulness!First disconnect your logical brain - stop wrestling with the dilemma. You will not fully understand nor explain it.
Trust that God is Love, is Good, is Merciful, is Just.
Question: Why should you trust God?
Answer: Jesus who is God, shed His blood for you and died for you.
Be Thankful even in a crisis. Important: Do not be thankful for the evil that happens - that came from the devil, not God - remember that Jesus was not thankful for the cross. Do not be thankful for misfortunes - they are either a result of the interactions of the laws of Nature that God created, or man's free will. However, be thankful that God moves all things to work for good to those that love Him. Be thankful for the things you can be thankful for - you will know them!
These two will heal you as it has started to heal me!
Trust and Thankfulness!
Bible passages to support these thoughts:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me,
and he prepares the way
so that I may show him the salvation of God Psalm 50:23
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. (God). Job 13:15
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then [when we are in heaven] we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Without faith, it is impossible to please God... Hebrews 11:6
Trust and Thankfulness!