Why does God allow good people to Suffer?
Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
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Trials & Tribulations - by Patricia Jones, M.A.
The Testing of Your Faith
Have you ever asked yourself why everything you try to do appears to not work? And do you know people for whom it seems everything works out just fine? When it happens only occasionally, then it just goes along with being human, but when it keeps happening to you over and over again and a pattern seems to be established, well then, you might as well admit that SOMETHING ELSE is at work.
Actually it is because you are a Christian that things do not go smoothly. And you are a very strong Christian for Christ. You are being "persecuted for righteousness sake" meaning, if people keep finding fault with you, when you have done nothing wrong, and they keep twisting your words and actions to mean something that they do not mean, then just know that in heaven there is a "great reward" for you.
It is through persecution and suffering that we grow and our hearts and characters are chiseled out, as if we are made out of stone or wood. However, we are made out of flesh and blood, and soul, mind, body and spirit. And just like a piece of fine china or a diamond being made into a ring, we have to go through the testing's of fire before we are purified. Fine china does not look like the finished product until it has been put in the fiery furnace at least three or more times.
God is getting us ready to live with Him for eternity and so He gives us tests down here to pass or fail to prepare us to live with Him. Each of us are given different tests of fire to become purified in. God is in the business of making us holy enough to live with Him.
Some of us are victims of domestic violence, others of crime, rape and murder, and still others go through life without any decent families or friends. Then there are those who are poor, no matter how hard they work, and others who have plenty of money and material possessions but no real love or substance in their lives. Money does not bring happiness.
Actually, all of our lives down here are composed of a series of tests to help us to become more Christlike. When a HUGE test comes your way, God is watching very closely to see how you will handle the adversity. Look at the test Christ endured when He was on earth. His test was to love us enough to die a horribly painful death on the Cross. And because he passed that test, and rose again, we will live for eternity.
One of the false teachings that are abundant in our culture is the "God is Love and would never allow anything bad to happen to you mantra", with the added bonus of "If you just give Him enough money he will give you back tons of money as well." There are many TV preachers that preach this, asking you for money. They are teaching a Prosperity Gospel which is not biblical at all.
Yes, God is an abundant God. There is really enough of everything on this earth for all peoples to be completely taken care of, fed, clothed, watered and sheltered. And if it were not for the greed and corruption of several tyrants, dictators and evil rulers, there would be enough for all of us. However, money is not what it is all about, and it never was. God, if you trust him and have faith in Him WILL meet your every need, but not your every want. Notice the distinction between needs and wants. A glass of water is an absolute NEED, but a new car is a WANT.
You may say, "Well how about the millions starving around the world?" Well, let's look at that. They are starving in India not because they don't have food, because they do, they have tons of cattle. But they worship the COW and consider it sacred. So instead of eating it, they worship it! Which is WHY they are starving. God supplied them cows, and they choose not to eat them. Whose fault is that? If they believed in a Christian God in India, they would have food.
The other countries with starving people in them cannot eat because of their cruel, abusive, greedy governments who prevent the food from getting to their own people. Famines happen because of greedy leaders, not because of God.
Whether we like it or not, and whether we ever want to fully face up to this reality in this life, every single one us, saved or unsaved, will have to face a certain amount of adversity, conflict, trials and tribulations as we journey through this life - with absolutely no exceptions to this cold, hard, brutal fact. The Bible also states that it is "Appointed once unto man, to die." So eventually, regardless of all the money in the world, we all will die.
As a result of living in a fallen, cursed and imperfect world as a result of what happened in the story of Adam and Eve, every single one of us will have to face a certain amount of trials and tribulations as we plow through this earthly life. You cannot break God's commandments and expect to live in Paradise anyway.
Jesus said, "In this world you will have tribulations, but have faith, I have over-come the world." And HE has, and HE did, on the Cross. That is what the cross was all about. Jesus overcoming tribulations, curses, consequences, punishments, judgements, for our sins. So, since he has already won heaven, and earth and paradise for us to live and rule with Him in, then you should know that anything that you are going through down here on earth is only temporary and is happening to help you to become more Christlike, so that you can become co-rulers with Him in Paradise.
Paradise, heaven is PERFECT, remember, and there is NO SIN, or DEATH, or SICKNESS, or CRYING, or anything negative in heaven. So in order for YOU to be a part of it, there must be no imperfection, sin, death, disease or decay, depression, etc. or anything that is negative in you also. Otherwise, you could not enter into heaven's gates.
Jesus Himself did not have an easy time of it down here on earth. He was hurt and tempted and suffered in every possible way that we are, and then even more than most of us could ever endure. Have you been whipped, had a crown of sharp thorns jammed into your head, and been nailed to a cross lately, literally?
Jesus saw his friends and his family desert Him at his time of greatest need. He saw his deciples declare that they had never even been with Him and did not even know Him. He was mocked, made fun of, called a lunatic, he went without food in the desert for forty days and nights, so that those who are experiencing famine now could not say that Jesus did not know what it was like to be hungry, because he DID.
Have you ever been accused of something you never said or did, and were completely innocent of, yet no one believed you? Have you been thrown in prison for a crime you did not commit and the key was thrown away? Have you been run out of town by malicious neighbors? Have you been cheated on, lied to, had your heart broken? Because Jesus' deciples broke His heart the night he asked them to stay awake with Him in the Garden of Gesemen. They could not even stay awake with Him the night before he was crucified.
Have you ever felt like you WERE BEING CRUCIFIED if not literally, then figuratively? By your boss, your spouse, your children, your family, your friends? You name it, Jesus went through it as well. He had to pass this HUGE, UGLY, PAINFUL TEST before he could return to heaven. And so do we.
If you are a "true Christian" do not be surprised if you are persecuted for righteousness sake" meaning you are innocent yet treated badly. If you are a follower of Christ then these things will happen to you. Your faith is being tested by God, to see which way you will go. But in the end, your reward is HEAVEN, PARADISE, for all of eternity.
If you can think of it in those terms then that is why good people suffer. Remember, we are living in a fallen world that is under the curse put on Adam and Eve. So because of this we will all have to face a certain amount of conflict and adversity in our lives. It is inevitable. Into everyone's life, sooner or later some calamity will fall and that is the time that God is testing you to see how you will handle it. Will it break you, or make you? Until Christ comes a second time, the curse placed on the entire world will remain.
I once was witnessing to someone about Christ and telling them that as a follower of Christ one will face trials and tribulations. Her answer to that was if that was true, then she "Did not want to follow Christ because she did not want a bunch of trouble to all of a sudden come into her life." And there are many people who feel that following Christ is too great a price to pay. What they don't realize is to not follow Christ is to follow the devil instead. It is either one or the other. And the price of following the devil is the greatest price anyone could pay because they will live for all eternity in Hell. That is quite a price to pay.
Some trials that some of us may go through include:
1.) Your spouse cheats on you and leaves you.
2.) Your own family ignores you and treats you with no love or respect.
3.) Your children disown you and you have done nothing wrong to deserve it.
4.) Someone you love dies in a horrible accident, or is raped or murdered.
5.) You are poor, and are losing your house.
6.) You cannot find work and pay your bills.
7.) You have a terminal illness and there is no money to pay the bills.
8.) You are the victim of malicious gossip and no one believes your side of the story.
9.) You have lost all of your life's savings because you were laid off by your company.
10) You have several family members in a plane or car crash, or from a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake.
11). You yourself have been the victim of some kind of random and senseless crime such as rape, robbery or assault.
12.) You just happened to be born into an evil and dysfunctional family where the mother and/or father will severely verbally, physically and/or sexually abuse you during part of your growing years in the family.
13.) You are the family scapegoat.
14.) You are going through a divorce.
15.) You had a miscarriage, or your baby died at birth.
The list goes on and on. So you see no one is safe from adversity. We all face it sooner or later. And it is only natural to wonder how a loving God, who is all powerful and all knowing, and who can do anything, can just sit there while his children suffer. Because of this, some of the most dedicated Christians have had their faith shook to it's very core. And some of them give up and lose their faith in God completely.
But we need to remember that every single one of the disciples suffered a horrible death except for John for following and preaching Christ. Peter was crucified and asked to be crucified upside down. Another disciple was drawn and quartered. The cost of following Christ is great, but the reward is greater.
I have noticed that life is full of peaks and valleys. There are the wonderful, happy, ecstatic times and then there are the horrible, depressing, not wanting to live times. These are the valleys. But, NO ONE stays in the valley forever, and no one stays on the mountain top forever. There is always a '"way of escape" if we recognize it. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 God promises us:
"No temptation has overtaken you that is unusual for human beings. But God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Instead, along with the temptation he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it."
Which means that whatever trial or testing that you are going through, is common to ALL men and others are going through the very same thing that you are. In other words there are others in the same boat that you are in right now. And then God promises that He will not allow you to go through something that you do not have the strength to endure. And when it becomes too horrible for you to endure it or you no longer have the strength to endure it, He will give you a way of "escape" out of the situation, so that you can survive.
Now, in the case of sickness sometimes the "way of escape" is death. There are many terminally ill people who are suffering greatly and death is better than being in excruciating pain forever. There are other times when the "way of escape" from some trial is very obvious but we are too scared to take it. For example, in domestic violence, women CAN LEAVE and go to a shelter, etc. but they choose to stay in an abusive situation anyway.
What I am saying is there is ALWAYS a way "out" of any bad situation if you have the courage to take it.
There are three reasons why God will allow you to suffer in this life.
1. The Curse of Adam and Eve
The first and most important reason why we will all have to face adversity in this life is because of the curse that Adam and Eve brought down upon this earth. Since they both disobeyed God's order not to eat any fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
I believe that Adam and Eve represented all of mankind that would come after them when they were tested in the Garden of Eden. We are all genetically descended from Adam and Eve and therefore we were there in the Garden of Eden. In fact, if you think you would have obeyed God and feel it is not fair to be blamed for their sin, then ask yourself if you have ever sinned once in your entire life. Because you know that you have, and it is because you are descended from them. So you would have done the same sin that they did. We are ALL born with a "sin nature."
I am also sure that ALL of us are sinning now. There is only one PERFECT PERSON in this world, and it is Jesus Christ. He is the only one that is without sin. The rest of us sin and fall short. So since you know that you have sinned in your own life then you should also know that you would have sinned in the Garden of Eden as well.
As a result of the earth now becoming cursed, we now have all kinds of bad things that can happen to anyone of us at anytime. Our physical bodies age and die because part of the curse is "It is appointed unto man once to die" before we can go to heaven. How we die differs. Some die pre-maturely in horrible, freak accidents, some succumb to illness, sickness and diseases, and others die in war, or as the result of some crime of rape, or murder. NONE of us escapes death.
Interestingly enough, the number of days that each of us will live has already been appointed by God when we were in the womb. Psalm 139:
13. For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16. your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Earthquakes, thunderstorms, lightning strikes, tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires and volcanic eruptions can strike anywhere at anytime killing thousands of people at a moment's notice. And on top of all of the different natural disasters that can occur, we also have to deal with just natural accidents that can occur such as house fires and auto accidents. We can be at the wrong place at the wrong time. We now live in the age of terrorists attacks on our country. We are hated as Americans.
As a result of every man and every woman being born into this world as flawed sinners in the eyes of God, which is the concept of "original sin" we are all vulnerable to the evil acts of others who have no regard for anyone but themselves. Psychopaths, serial killers, rapists, murderers, cruel dictators, terrorists, etc.
Even though 2000 years have passed, the world is still at war at any given time. The human heart is desperately wicked, and because of the curse, we will all have to put up with the evil people of this world. The "tares that grow among the wheat." There is always a bad apple in every crowd.
And as if that was not bad enough we have to deal with the supernatural world which includes satan and all of his demons who are still allowed to roam this cursed earth to try and influence as many people as they can to do their evil biddings. As long as we have fallen angels and fallen humans who will refuse to get saved and sanctified through the blood of Jesus Christ, we can never have any kind of divine order on this earth. This is why satan, all of his demons, and the rest of unsaved humanity will not be allowed to live with us at the Second Coming of Christ.
This Adamic curse that we are all stuck with on this earth fully explains why bad things will happen to everyone - including all of the good people in this life who have never harmed or hurt anyone, and all of the Christians who have been saved and born again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This is why you will see some of the most godly, saintly, righteous, and good people in this life go through some of the most horrible and traumatic ordeals imaginable.
Though we have all been created equal in the eyes of our Lord, not everyone will get equal dealings in this life. Some people end up making a lot of money in this life, others will live in poverty for most, if not all of their lives. Some people will go through this life with not much physical illness or disease striking their bodies, and other people will fight one sickness and illness after another. But into everyone's life adversity in one form or another will fall. No one is exempt.
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