Tell me about the God you know. What’s He like? (I’ll wait while you describe Him.) I’m guessing you thought about His loving, holy, and forgiving nature. Am I close? He is all these things, thank God (literally). That’s our Heavenly Father, explained throughout the Bible. He is love, pure and simple.
So if He is love, then why does God often get the credit–or the blame–when terrible things happen? Have you noticed this trend? I see it all the time on Facebook. Here are some status updates from the past couple of weeks:
- “Just got fired! Bad attitude apparently, LOL. Well, everything happens for a reason.”
- “What is God thinking? First my parents divorce, and now I have to move!”
- “Heartbroken. Should have known better, but he must’ve been sent for a reason.”
Let’s get something straight, in case you’re wondering: Loving, holy, and forgiving God always wants the best for you. Always! If you are His devoted daughter, then there’s no way He deliberately makes your life miserable. No way at all. Remember Jesus’ words in John 10:10? “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” That doesn’t sound like a God who enjoys job firings, divorce fall-out, or relationship drama. God is love.
There are lots of reasons why people suffer, reasons that have nothing to do with God’s character. When we go our own way and not God’s, the scene is set for mess-ups, consequences, and regret. It’s called sin–not His plan at all–and when things eventually get ugly (and they will), we must realize why we’re in this predicament. Was God behind it? No, no, no. Will God forgive it? Yes, yes, yes!
When hurting people say that “everything happens for a reason,” maybe they believe it’s all part of God’s plan. That He did this terrible thing for some greater purpose. And I disagree. God is love; there is no darkness in Him (1 John 1:5). He created a perfect world that we polluted with sin. We made a mess of it, for sure, so sometimes things do happen for a reason, a “I haven’t been following God, so boy, did things go horribly” reason.
And sometimes, even when daughters are obedient, bad things happen anyway. Let’s say you’re devoted to your loving God. Are you safe from unloving things? Well, there’s good news and bad news: In John 16:33, Jesus warned us about tough times, along with plenty of hope: “In this world you will have troubles, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Followers of God, your trials will come because you stand for Christ, and this evil world does not know Him. But hang in there; you’re on the winning team.
Paul, better than anybody, knew that the Christian life was hard. But he also knew that even during trouble, God could take tragedy and turn it around for His glory: “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Look at the verse again: Did you see who ends up with the perfect plan? Who God helps? Those who love and honor His purpose will see everything turning to good. Everything. Good. For an eternal, glorious reason.