There are many situations and trials we go through in life, that are confusing, upsetting and just plain hard.
As people of faith, we can have comfort in knowing that God is ultimately in control, and that these trials are meant to strengthen and test our belief, but let’s face it, when we’re in the heat of the moment it doesn’t feel that simple.
A common question or debate topic is: why does God “allow” for bad things to happen, both in the world or in our personal lives. From experience we know that God is inherently good, no way around that, yet when we’re faced with seasons of hardship we quickly point our fingers in blame to the sky. It doesn’t make sense, yet it’s the actions of many, Christians or not.
Why is this happening?
Personally, last year I was faced with many mountains, that seemed to appear in all areas of my life. I still don’t fully understand why some things happened the way that they did, but I was quick to be frustrated with God in the moment. Why would He send me somewhere I wasn’t thriving? Why were joyous occasions met with opposition? So many questions felt unanswered, with little promise of change in sight.
Coming out on the other side of it all, there’s still a few scars healing, but overall I can see the Lord’s hand throughout every bump in the road, and how it led me to where I am now.
Sometimes we never get a clear idea of how God used the situations for his kingdom, but I assure you, he always does.
Is Christian life supposed to be easy?
As I said, God is good all the time, and He ultimately desires the best for us like any good Father would. That doesn’t mean He will shield us in bubble wrap or that our lives will be walking through fields of daisies.
Look at the lives of the apostles, they definitely had a rough go of things, were frequently imprisoned, and most of them experienced brutal deaths. Yet we have the idea in our heads that being a Christian means a breezy happy life here on Earth. Wrong.
While the theological questions of if God allows bad things in our lives, or if he causes them, or if they simply happen, are interesting; I’m not going to even attempt to answer or address those thoughts and questions, they are simply too great for this meagre article and frankly not up to me to decide. But here’s what I do know…
God is ultimately good
I know that as Christians we are in constant spiritual battle. The enemy will use his resources to cause us to stumble in hopes that we will abandon God’s kingdom. I know that when we’re not aware of this, and not actively participating in spiritual warfare, that we will be more prone to stumbling.
I know that God can take any situation and use it for good. Romans chapter 8, verse 28 (English Standard Version) proves this by stating, “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.” My favourite example of this is found in Genesis chapter 50, verse 20 (English Standard Version) when Joseph said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” On top of the scriptural examples, I also have evidence in my own life, where I’ve seen how he’s used horrible circumstances for his kingdom and glory.
Staying on guard
Although we may face more hardships because of the constant invisible battles, we can take comfort in the fact that we have a Good Father, and join in that fight daily.
So, to those who are suffering, I would like to encourage you if you’re questioning the goodness of God or the cause and reason of your trials to instead remember that no matter the situation, the Lord will always make it for good.
Miranda Menelaws is a Canadian freelance writer. During her spare time, she can be found travelling the globe in search of a new story to tell.
Miranda Menelaws’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/miranda-menelaws.html