religion column

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God won’t give us more than we can handle. It’s a common misconception that He prevents disasters and tough times from affecting our lives. Perhaps people are confusing problems with temptation: “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Prosperity preachers mislead others if they claim once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you’ll have the best life without challenging problems. Quite the contrary, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).

Unbelievers often accuse God of not being good because He allows starvation, persecution, cancer and all kinds of evil to disrupt our lives. However, He made this world perfect; it was man’s disobedience to God that initiated destruction and death. Some of our adversities are outcomes from a broken world, while others are consequences of bad decisions. And let’s not forget spiritual opposition from Satan. With foreknowledge of man’s choice, our good God provided a plan of salvation through Jesus. Providentially, this sin-filled life is temporary.

Meanwhile, we may feel defeated from a hardship and think God has abandoned us. We must never let our doubts overwhelm us. God will never leave or forsake His children (Deuteronomy 31:6), and just because we suffer doesn’t mean He isn’t good or doesn’t care. “He cares for those who trust in him. … Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (Nahum 1:7; 1 Peter 5:7). There’s purpose in our distress, and spiritual lessons are often learned.

When a person suffers deeply — physically, emotionally, mentally — God’s help is greatly desired, which in turn creates a closer relationship with Him. God wants us to need Him, to depend on Him and not ourselves. Paul explained that the hardships he suffered occurred so he and his companions would not rely on themselves, but on God who raises the dead, and is able to do anything (2 Corinthians 1:9).

If we never struggle, our faith would not grow. David cried out to God when he wrote, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). And after venting his emotions, he concluded, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5). The psalmist later proclaimed, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).

Everyone experiences unexpected troubles. And it’s difficult to accept God’s will for your life when it involves pain, heartache, persecution or injustice. How did Job persevere through his loss of children and possessions, endure painful sores on his body, and deal with a hopeless wife and accusing friends?

A few months of nerve pain was more than I could handle. When my heartfelt prayers weren’t answered, and doctors and medical procedures didn’t help the pain, despair emerged. That crisis made me especially grateful for my Christian friends who prayed for me and encouraged me. God graciously answered their prayers, and that outcome enriched my own intercessory prayers.

Do you wholeheartedly believe the Lord has heard your past cries? Can you thank and glorify Him for helping you persevere and endure the hardships of life? Remembering God’s past help and interventions in your life reminds and assures you that God loves you and hears your sincere prayers.

Therefore, we continue to trust Him because He has already validated that “in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). As we deal with unfavorable circumstances, let’s continue to be faithful and look forward to His turning our present troubles into something good, so our trials can become testimonies.

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Cindy Rooy is the author of the Bible study “Trusting God Through Troubles & Tears” and a contributing author in devotional books and magazines. To contact Cindy, email her at cr4Him@gmail.com.