Did God Cause Your Pain?
[The following is an excerpt from a FREE PDF book on forgiveness that’s yours just for the asking!]
No. Struggle and suffering and death are all the result of sin, and God cannot sin. He can’t even be tempted to sin. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” – James 1:13 (ESV)
God created the world perfect in every way. That included the tree of the knowledge of good & evil, and the opportunity to partake of its deadly fruit.
God didn’t force the people in your life to hurt you anymore than he forced Eve to take that fatal bite. (And Satan didn’t force her to do it either.)
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14-15 (ESV)
God didn’t intend for you to endure the hurt and loss you’ve experienced any more than he intended for Adam to join his wife for that sinful snack, but He let Adam and Eve choose. And they did. And quite literally all hell broke loose, just like God said it would.
However, it is crystal clear throughout scripture that God already knows the choices we’ll make, and mysteriously weaves those choices into his divine providential purposes.
How does God see into the future?
It’s much more mind-blowing than that. Crystal balls and time machines are unnecessary for the One who created time. God doesn’t have to “see into the future.” He holds the future in His hands, beginning to end. And since God is present in, throughout and outside of time, He doesn’t have to wait for us to make our choices and then figure out what to do with them.
Before the dawn of time, God knew precisely how He would deal with all the choices of man. How else could Jesus die once and for all for all sin?
(See Hebrews 7:27 & 10:10)
And that’s where the goodness of God is proven. Remember, He bore your pain, in its entirety and specificity. You may never understand until you see Him face to face why God allowed your trials to take place, but you must accept his authority to allow it. He has the foreknowledge and power to protect us from all harm, but sometimes He chooses to bear that pain with us instead. That’s not merely what the cross represents. It’s literally what happened on the cross.
Let’s face it. Acceptance of God’s will isn’t easy. For starters, it’s nearly impossible to accept the obvious fact that we are not God. Beyond that there’s a whole world of pain out there that any honest person has a difficult time understanding. But to learn how to forgive we have to learn how to accept what God allows.
How do you get to that point of acceptance? Obviously not by holding onto resentment for all the unfair and cruel things you’ve endured. And, if you’ve tried it, you know outright rebellion against him doesn’t work very well either. So quit giving him the silent treatment and stop trying to hurt him by hurting yourself.
You’ve got to talk to Him! If you must, YELL AT HIM, but open up your heart to him – the real heart you live with by yourself when no one’s around – that heart. That’s the one he wants; the broken heart! Psalm 51:17 (ESV) says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Can you even allow yourself to be honest with God? Spend some time in the Word with Job or Moses. They weren’t always right, but they were as real with God as real can be, and they can help us be real with God too. Jacob literally wrestled with God. Jacob, whose given name meant “He Who Cheats,” got a permanent limp after that contest, but he also got a new name. And the very nation of Israel – God’s chosen people – bares that new name: “He who strives with God.”
Would you like a new name? It might be about time you had a “Come to Jesus” talk with – ah – Jesus. You just might find yourself coming to Jesus, but don’t be afraid of God, and don’t be afraid of expressing your anger towards him. He already knows whether you trust him, doubt him, love him, hate him, fear him, or resent him. You can speak your mind. You’re not going to catch him off guard, and he’s not going to crush you like a bug. Had he wanted to do that, he already would have.
In the end, if you can’t be real with a God that would die for you (and did), with whom can you be real?
Your future spouse? Not likely.
Recognizing that all things, both good and bad, are allowed – and even mysteriously orchestrated – by the divine providence of God really only gives me one person to “blame” when things go “wrong.” I have to blame the same all-powerful God who gave up his one and only Son for me, and then gave me the choice to choose Him or reject him.
And that same sovereign God has given everyone else on this planet the same choice, including those who have wronged me. So when I hold bitterness against someone for something they did, I must accept, I am angry with the God that allowed it.
[The post above is an excerpt from Forgiveness 101, a FREE PDF book that’s yours just for the asking! Simply email us here. and we’ll send you a digital copy pronto. Want to read the rest of the intro first? Click here! Want to hear the story of a life God changed through the Biblical truths shared in this book? Click here! Freedom might be just a click away! (Plus 70 pages, but that’s not a very long book now, is it?)]
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