July 16: The WHYs & WHATs Behind Suffering

Read: Romans 8:28; Job 1:6-8

The WHYs in life are tricky, and this is never truer than when it comes to WHY God allows a trial.

Maybe it’s to move someone geographically – “Their house burned down because God wants them to move to Texas near their son.”

Or is it to change someone’s heart? – “God is teaching that person not to be arrogant.”

Maybe it’s to change someone’s mind? – “He got fired so he’ll stop refusing God’s call to ministry.”

whyWhen it comes to the WHYs behind trials and crises, filling in the ocean-wide gaps between our knowledge and God’s is sketchy at best and dangerous at worst. Too often we get it all wrong, which can just make it harder for the person in crisis.

JUDGING
Of course, proof text Numero Uno of this is Job’s experience. Job’s comforters thought for sure they knew why he was suffering so: it was because of secret sin in his life. But the truth was just the opposite, wasn’t it? Indeed, when God looked over the earth for the most upright man of all, His eyes settled on Job! God was confident Job’s faith would withstand the worst Satan could throw at him.  Job’s comforters’ speculation led them to a conclusion exactly opposite from the truth.

COLLATERAL EFFECTS
Sometimes a trial touches us, but the real target is someone else. For example: An unsaved nurse needs to meet you, so you land in the hospital. Or your insurance man is struggling with suicidal thoughts and needs hope; of course the natural connection between you and your insurance man is a claim. Ouch!

If there’s any validity to the theory of “Six Degrees of Separation” – the belief that every person on the planet is six or less people away from all others – that leaves a great possibility of someone being impacted by a crisis primarily intended for someone else.

Though the WHYs of trouble are often too sketchy for conjecture, we can at least be confident about the most important thing: the WHAT of hardship – that God is wringing every possible ounce of good out of trails touching those who love Him.

THOUGHT TO PONDER: Can you trust your loving Heavenly Father to bring good out of hardship?

– barb

What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment!

Find out about Encompass’ new Crisis Response Network  (4 min video).

About barbwooler

I have worked as Encompass World Partners staff since 1985. I served among the Bayaka Pygmy people of the Central African Republic as well as with orphans and widows. I am presently serving as Director of Crisis Response where I get to see God at work through hardship. I love the outdoors and among my favorite hobbies are cycling and bird watching.
This entry was posted in Crucible of Crisis, Job, Romans and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to July 16: The WHYs & WHATs Behind Suffering

  1. Valerie says:

    Having lost nearly everything I hold dear, the only thing left is trust! Trust that God is working, even through all of the crisis going on around me, is what keeps me getting up every morning and keeps me moving forward. While the pain is still so real, there is beginning to dawn a thread of excitement to see what God has in store if I’m willing to just continue to trust Him and His plans for me.

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