God's word in today's world

God is not the author of suffering

Suffering in your life puts on the brakes really hard. Suddenly, nothing is as important as the suffering you are facing. Running to the next meeting is stopped with one call. The conversation that couldn’t wait is quickly postponed. Even the boss is simply informed that you have a crisis and that he would have to wait his turn.

That’s the result of a crisis in your life. Suddenly you realise what is really important and what is not. You realise that all the rushing around is not the most important thing and will actually lead to nothing. Your perspective changes and you start seeing the things that really matter in the blur of the world.

You start thinking about where you’re actually going. And then you start asking questions. Am I going in the right direction? Am I doing the things that really matter? Am I busy with the right things in life?

And then the questions go deeper into the meaning of life. Do things make sense? Why do these things happen? And then we often start shifting the burden of the cause of suffering to ourselves.

God must be punishing me, because I hardly ever pray. I no longer go to church, and then when I start thinking about when last I gave something to the church, the guilty feeling drive in the last nail: God is making me suffer because I’ve gone astray and are living too much in the world.

This is so normal. Many times, I hear people say that God has brought me to this or that thing just so that I can suffer and return to Him.

But this is completely untrue. God is not the author of our suffering. God does not create the pain that so many of us meet in life. God is not even involved in planning it.

James puts it simply and says it straight: 13Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way.

However, God does use the bad that happens to us for our good.

We often want to rather receive the pain our children are exposed to. Or we want to throw money at the problem to save them from the consequences. We think this is the best way, but we’re actually depriving our children of a learning opportunity and they will start thinking that they can simply phone their parents who will make the crisis disappear magically or will use money to make it disappear. The benefit they would’ve gained from learning about consequences is also gone.

God will never miss a learning opportunity. He will use the hard seasons in our lives to make us even stronger, and, yes, to bring us back to the right way, but He is not the one who caused it!

James 1:13

What do you do with your suffering?
How do you experience God when you are suffering?
Do you believe that God does not bring suffering and hardship?

Father, I hear that You do not create the suffering in my life. I believe it, but it does not make the suffering easier. Please hold my hand and help me through the challenges on my way. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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