Forgiving God with Rick Cua

Forgiving God

Meet Our Guest

As we are talking about forgiveness this month, we are joined by a very special guest, Rick Cua. Rick is a well-known Christian recording artist, songwriter, author, and ordained minister.  Rick has been part of pastoral care at Grace Chapel in Franklin, TN for 15 years, and his most recent book “What Are You Known For?” came out last year.

Rick will be sharing with us a devastating and recent tragedy he and his family went through and how they have been able to process the pain with God.  Robert notes, “It’s hard to walk through hard things, but it takes another level of courage to share.”

When Rick first started in pastoral care, he prayed for God to allow him to feel some level of what other people feel and feel what they were going through so that he could have empathy to engage and enter into their sorrow, but since then he has told God, “Okay, Lord, I’m good!  I’ve got it!  Can you dial it back a little?”  

Before diving in Robert reminds Single Parents – You.  Are.  Not.  Alone.  There is hope and you can overcome all that you’ve lost.  Kim adds that being a single parent can be very difficult, but this difficult time can be a transformational time.

Maria (opening voice) brings up a good point…

  • Why do we have to suffer if God can fix things? 
  • Why does God allow suffering?
  • If God is all powerful, why does He allow us and our children to experience hurt?  Why didn’t He step-in?

It’s a natural thing to feel anger towards God from time-to-time, but it’s important to know and understand that God is not dependent on us forgiving Him.  God wants an authentic relationship with us, and so He embraces our hurt and disappointment and the questions we have about Him.

Where do we go with anger towards God?

Do you ever find yourself asking:

  • Why do we have to suffer if God can fix things?
  • Why does God allow suffering?
  • If God is all powerful, why does He allow us and our children to experience hurt? Why didn’t He step-in?

From the outside, Rick Cua’s life looked like roses, but he would trade it all to not have tragedy come his way…

This past year on April 26, 2022 Rick’s oldest daughter (Nikki) unexpectedly went home to be with Jesus. Nikki was living with Rick and his wife (Diana), had a great job and was doing well. One morning as Rick had started his morning routine, he yelled, “Good Morning” upstairs to his daughter, only to be met with silence. This was unusual, so Rick went upstairs to find out what was going on and found his daughter dressed for work and lying on the floor dead.

Losing a child is one of the most difficult situations a parent could ever go through. It is a club you never want to join. It is heartbreaking! The Cua Family had to learn how to live without Nikki; they prayed a lot and they cried a lot, but they had to move on. The Cua Family learned to put one foot in front of the other.

Some people go in a hole after the loss of a child and their family suffers. Rick and his wife have chosen not to do that, but they have not ignored one tear or ignored their grief! They have cried lots of tears.

It’s a natural thing to feel anger towards God from time-to-time, but it’s important to know and understand that God is not dependent on us forgiving Him. God wants an authentic relationship with us, and so He embraces our hurt and disappointment and the questions we have about Him.

Reconciling with God after tragedy

We live in a broken world with an enemy that hates us, but with a God who is crazy about us. God is sovereign and His ways are not our ways. We trust God, but we do not always understand Him. Because of this we cry out to the Lord and ask for His comfort and His presence.

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
We all struggle with things on earth! Do not do life alone. There are people out there to do life with and love on and to be loved back. There is comfort in this!

Is it wrong to be angry with God? It’s not wrong at all! We all have our individual relationship with God. God knows us, He knows what it means to be flesh.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

This verse is hard to grab onto because He says “ALL” things. We live in a broken world and people make choices. We are all trying to find our way.

God can handle our doubt, our anger, and our unbelief! “If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24

God knows that we think with our natural minds. He knows there are times we doubt and wonder about things. God knew who we were going to be! God knows who He created! This is why He accommodated us with His Word.

There are stories throughout the Bible about anger. An example of someone in the Bible who was probably angry at God is the story of Joseph. Joseph dealt with a lot, but he kept going forward and blessing after blessing came his way. (Joseph’s story can be read in Genesis Chapter 37).

The story of Job is another example of a story where anger was probably real, but no matter what Job would not curse God.

God gives us stories throughout scripture as examples, to encourage us!

As humans we are incapable of understanding the mind of God. If you are angry with God, then you are angry with God, it’s how you feel. God gave us our emotions. God gets it! We must realize that we live in a broken world, the enemy hates us, and we can’t do anything about it. We must keep our eyes on God and remember that greater is He who lives in us than the one who is in the world.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

It’s also important to remember: “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

God will complete His work even when things go haywire.

Entitlement from God

Our human nature tells us that when we are trying our best, we shouldn’t have to go through bad situations. When the feeling of entitlement arises, we have to squash it quickly. We are human, no one is better than anyone else, no matter how “good” a Christian. When we go through hard situations, we are not being targeted by God. We must have humility!

With that, we don’t have to feel guilty for our blessings from God. “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” Proverbs 10:22

Our concerns need to be how we can minister and disciple others and lift them up. Whatever God puts in us, we should freely pour out. The heavy lifting is with the person with the problem, and we don’t have to have all the answers, but we should be a safe place.

If you make someone feel good about themselves when they are with you, they are going to listen to you, but if you don’t (for example a critical dad) then they won’t listen to you. It’s about others! Esteem them. Honor them. Give them credit where credit is due. Our motive shouldn’t be to do for others for something in return, but it’s the principle of sowing and reaping. When we bless others, something is coming back our way. That is how God’s economy works!

Keep Going

It isn’t easy to raise your children alone. When you meet people who have devoted their lives to taking care of their children, they never regret doing it. Regret comes from people who give up along the way.

Do what God has called you to do!

Some marriages aren’t going to work, that is a reality. If you have had a rough time in your marriage and the Lord gives you the green light to move forward in a different way, don’t let the enemy drag you back to an unhappy place. Go live your life for Jesus. Divorce is not an unforgivable sin.

God loves marriage, but do you know what God loves more than marriage? YOU!  When you put any institution above the way God feels about you, you are in dangerous territory.  When we put an institution before the way God feels about us, it’s one of the reasons we can get angry with God.

God wants you to talk to Him. You can’t resolve resentment without communication! 

“About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) Matthew 27:46.

What we see from Jesus on the cross is His openness, honesty, and total vulnerability with His Father in the darkest times of his life.

Takeaways:

  • It’s okay to be angry with God, He created us to have emotions
  • Have humility and gratitude along your journey
  • Don’t shame yourself for your questions
  • Know you are loved by God

Resources:
Rick Cua’s Book:  What are You Known For?  Building Your Legacy One Brick at a Time

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