When you believe in God, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that He has allowed adversity to come into your life or your loved one’s.
In the book If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? author David Biebel says there are two truths suffering people have to reconcile:
Sometimes life is agony.
Our loving God is in control.
Think about it.
If God knows everything, this trial did not surprise Him.
If God sees everything, He saw the bad news coming.
If God has power over everything, He could have fixed it.
But He didn’t.
He didn’t prevent you or your loved one from getting cancer, dementia, ALS or a multitude of other afflictions. God didn’t thwart the divorce, the job loss, the infidelity, the pay cut, the addiction, the waywardness, or scores of other struggles. Our loving Heavenly Father didn’t stop them from happening to you or your loved one.
And so we ask, or maybe we even scream…Why did God let this happen?
My unsatisfying, but honest response is… I don’t know.
Yes, I know that “good” sometimes can come from “bad,” but the journey through the bad can be, oh, so difficult.
And yet the reality is that God’s Word never promises He will stop all bad things from happening to us.
On the contrary, it promises us that He is prepared for each battle and will equip us, too.
The Message Bible paraphrases 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 this way:
“We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles,
but we’re not demoralized;
we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do;
we’ve been spiritually terrorized. But God hasn’t left our side;
we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.”
When you’re being battered and thrown down, if you are like me, you just want God to take it away and give back your happy life!
Author Philip Yancey, who has written extensively on suffering, (including co-authoring Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants) revealed last year that a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is causing him to put his written words into practice. Yancey admits he “would be delighted to have Parkinson’s magically removed” from his life, but also believes in God’s power to enrich our lives despite our circumstances.
“With some exceptions,” he says, “those who live with pain and failure tend to be better stewards of their life circumstances than those who live with success and pleasure.
“Pain redeemed impresses me much more than pain removed,” Yancey adds.*
I pray you are encouraged by knowing that your or your loved one’s diagnosis/crisis/problem has not taken God by surprise. He is in control and knows how to equip you for it. And if He doesn’t remove the pain–physical, emotional, mental and spiritual–please believe He can redeem it.
You may feel as if you can’t even face the situation, but I guarantee you that our God can!
Open in your browser to hear “My God Can” with Katy Nichole (featuring Naomi Raine).