Hello there! Did you enjoy my last post? It was pretty heavy, wasn’t it? Well, I have one more hard question to address today.
Why would God, if He loves us, allow us to go through such pain and suffering? Can you believe that He has a purpose in it? A plan? No, if I say that, it just makes it seem worse, doesn’t it? God planned this for you? For me? How could He do that to us, His children?
So many people think that once we are saved, life should be perfect! Life should be good! We should be blessed! And it is true, God does promise us blessings, if we obey His commands. But the truth is, we live in a fallen world.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NIV)
Jesus told this to His disciples just before He was crucified. You see, God didn’t promise us a joyride in our lives on earth. No, He assured us that in this world we would have trouble. David, the man after God’s own heart, spent years living in caves, hunted unjustly by king Saul. Job, the righteous man on whom God staked His reputation, lost everything. Moses, God’s chosen servant to free His people, spent forty years in hiding from Pharaoh, living as a shepherd in the desert, only to lead the people of Israel through another forty years in the desert, and not even getting to see the Promised Land! Many of God’s prophets spent their lives in very unpleasant ways, in the midst of war and sin. The Apostles, spreading God’s good news in obedience to Him, often faced torture, and eleven out of the twelve died by execution, after living lives on the move. Jesus, though God’s Son, though perfect, suffered the most gruesome death.
“Okay,” you say, “I get it. God did not promise us a life of ease. He promised us trouble. But WHY? If He loves us, WHY in the world would He allow us to go through this?!”
Well, believe it or not, I finally came this conclusion, and realization, sometime in the middle of months in bed, in pain, without answers: ‘This, too, is an expression of Your love, God’. This trial, whatever and everything you are facing, is an expression of God’s love for you and for me. I know. How can that be? It doesn’t make much logical sense. At least, at first glance. But God gives us these things as gifts. He gives us what He knows we are strong enough, in Him, to handle. He gives us only what will grow us, grow our faith, and prepare us for the plans He has for us in the future!
He truly has a plan in this.
Let me say it again: God has a plan.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)
In those forty years spent as a shepherd, Moses learned the skills he would need to lead an entire nation through the wilderness. While living in caves, David learned to lead a people full of zeal, and ideas, and disagreements. While a mere shepherd boy, he learned to be a warrior, to be a humble man after God’s heart.
He loves us.
This has been the hardest season of my life, by far. But It has been the one in which I have grown the most in my faith, my maturity, and in who I am.
Let me offer you some hope, though: this will end. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is an end. I know it seems impossible. I know it seems so far away. I know. But it is true. I promise, it is true. God promises, that when we are in Him, there is relief, whether it is here of in Heaven. We will live in complete health and freedom in Heaven. This will end. Hold on to that, as I have! Job, when in the midst of pain, grief, and sorrow, begged that God would turn His eye from Him, that Job could live the short time and die. But God eventually restored all that he had lost: his health, his wealth, and everything that had been torn so brutally from him. Ultimately, though, Job got to spend eternity in Heaven with the King.
God still loves you. He has a plan in this. He is with you. There is an end to the suffering.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 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. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:27-29 (NIV)