When we see someone we care about suffering with life or an illness, or if we are feeling like everything is going wrong in our own life, it can make us question why!?
Why is everything going wrong? If you believe there is a God, you might find yourself asking, “Why has God let me down” or “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?”
For many centuries people have been trying to understand why a loving God allows suffering? Why doesn’t God stop all suffering and evil and hard times that people have to go through?
Many people struggle with these questions – men, women, young, old, married, unmarried, those who follow Jesus and those who don’t – there isn’t anything that guarantees we won’t suffer and struggle to keep going.
It would be great to chat with you about things that will help you to feel more full of hope and purpose, and to pray for you if that is something you would like.
You need to remember that you are more than just a physical body, you also have a spiritual side to you. You really need to think about how struggles and suffering effect the whole of you and not just your physical body.
The fact that evil and suffering exist in the world doesn’t mean that a loving God can’t be real too. If we used the same logic the other way around we would have to say… because there is goodness in the world then a loving God must also exist!
What we observe is that God normally allows natural consequences to happen – e.g. if someone nearby decided to be nasty and cruel to you, God doesn’t normally jump in to the situation and force their mouth to close and their hands behind their back!
When someone chooses to act in a nasty and sinful way people around them experience the consequences of that, and often there is also a ripple effect with others around them being effected too.
If God was to remove everyone from the world that did anything bad, he would have to remove all of us!
If God was to allow all actions to have no consequences then many people would just go around doing all manner of bad things to each other – and that would be far worse than anything that happens now!
Struggles and suffering often come to an end, some go on a very long time, some stay with us until we die – but for the majority of people there is a time when we reach the other side of the struggle and we get a chance to look back at the tough season as something that has now all finished.
Are you aware of your struggle and suffering more at certain times of day, or on particular days of the week? or is there a time of the year when you find you feel much worse?
Noticing when the toughest times are can be helpful because it shows us when we need to try and put things in place that are more likely to ease our discomfort or to encourage or distract us. It also will help us to know when to try and do new things and when we are most likely to be able to feel more pleasure and less suffering.
Do you believe there is a God? Have you ever spent time trying to learn about who Jesus is, what he did and why he did it?
When you believe that Jesus loves you and is deeply interested in you it gives you a different picture of the world around you and of what your life is all about. It gives you a new hope and a new focus outside of yourself.
The more you get to know the real Jesus of the Bible, the more you will want to live to make Him happy and this will also then become a great motivation to keep on going no matter how low and bad you feel. Jesus cares about you – he wants you to know his peace and his acceptance and forgiveness. He wants you to know Him and how much he loves you.
Church can be a great place to meet people and find caring friendship – particularly if the church meets midweek in small groups in people’s homes – it is there that you will become a person rather than one of a crowd, it is there where you will feel loved and listened to and appreciated.
Many times people misunderstand what God is like and what life is about. Firstly we need to understand that God is not a magic genie that has to give us whatever we ask for.
Also we need to remember that this life on earth is not the main thing – this is a preparation time for the real life that comes later – life on earth is like the trailer to the main film that comes after death.
Yes, we should continue to pray to God, but prayer really come out of a friendship between you and Jesus – not as a shopping list of demands and expectations.
If you get to know God, by choosing to follow Jesus, then you will begin to see and understand things from his perspective and you will start to trust him more, realising that he is actually helping you and maturing you through the struggle.
God does want you to present your requests to him, to pray to him and tell him what you would like, but he then wants you to trust him. Trust that he can see the bigger picture and always has a purpose in what he allows to continue and what he brings to an end – God is all wise and knows what is best.
Some people think that if there is a loving God nobody should have a hard time, but even in God’s own book (the Bible) there are many examples of people who followed him and worshipped him even when they were struggling through hard times!
People who follow Jesus don’t do so to have an easy life, they don’t believe in Him because he will get rid of their struggles – in fact many Christians have a harder time once they choose to follow Jesus, because many people around them don’t like their beliefs.