When we experience hardships, we usually wonder why God allows these painful situations to come our way. It just doesn't seem to fit with His role as our loving heavenly Father. We struggle to reconcile our suffering with His love for us and His power to prevent or stop it. In order to understand what's going on, we need to consider the possible sources of adversity.
A Fallen World: When sin entered the world, suffering came with it. God could have protected us from these harmful effects by making us like puppets who could not choose sin, but that would mean we'd also be unable to choose to love Him, because love must be voluntary.
Our Own Doing: Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble with our foolish or sinful choices. If the Lord stepped in and rescued us from every negative consequence, we'd never grow into mature believers.
Satanic Attack: The Devil is our enemy. To hinder anything the Lord wants to do in and through believers, Satan will never cease to harass us. His goal is to destroy our lives and our testimonies, thereby making us weak and useless for God's purposes.
God's Sovereignty: Ultimately, the Lord is in charge of all adversity that comes our way. To deny His involvement contradicts His power and sovereignty over creation.
For us to accept that God allows--or even sends--afflictions, we must see adversity from His perspective. Is your focus on the pain of your experience or on the Lord and His faithfulness? As believers, we're assured that no adversity comes our way unless He can use it to achieve His good purposes.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.