Life is difficult! For everyone there is loss, sorrow, disappointment, and disillusionment. Often when life isn’t good, people are tempted to think God is not good. But this is not true.
Sure life is tough, but God is always good. It is important that we see this fact or else we will never really know God in any realistic way. As a pastor, I regularly walk with people through traumatic loss, brutal betrayals, or seemingly unfixable frustrations. In those moments I see people begin to wonder, is God really there, is He in control?
Their main problem is an error in their view of God and this world. Typically a person constructs a theology that says God is here to make my world comfortable and safe. If it is safe, God is in control, if not than God must have checked out and “gone fishing.” I have seen this line of thinking alienate people from a relationship with God.
The story of the Bible does not teach us the above view of life, but another. The Word of God teaches us to see that God did create a world that is good. (Genesis 1) But that man rebelled, sinned, and brokenness and death resulted in the world. (Genesis 3) So now we live in a sin-sick, broken world, where many things don’t work, where people betray people, where the young can die, and where disappointments can last a lifetime.
But nothing about this broken world, or our suffering in it, makes God any less good. Our God is the same God who despite our sin has provided for us a salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul writes, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The Lord is redeeming a people from this broken world that they might have eternal life in His name.
For your faith to thrive you must embrace the dual reality that this life is harsh, but God is tender. The harshness of the world will not last. God will bring the sinfulness of this world to a final judgment and bring those who trust in Him into eternal bliss.
Real spiritual maturity comes when we accept that life has challenges and trust that God, through it all is with us and has purpose for us. The Psalmist said it best, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
Today I read from Oswald Chambers who said, “Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God’s character, we do not yet know Him.” How true this is.
The people I have seen truly experience the Lord are the people who have suffered much in the valley, but have chosen to not fear the valley when they know that our Shepherd God is walking with us and leading us through to the other side.
Question: How have you found God to be good in the midst of life’s sorrows? Share it here to encourage others. You can leave a comment by clicking here.