Life can be difficult for all of us. We all go through valleys, dark times, depressive moods, heartache and so forth.
In fact, Jesus plainly taught that in this world we will have troubles:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Life can even become so frustrating that it feels as if God is punishing us. Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt as if God was punishing you? What does the Bible say we should do when we feel helpless?
God, Why Are You Punishing Me?
There may be many different reasons why God has allowed us to go through pain in this world. Here are a few reasons:
- God allows us all to feel some pain and suffering since we live in a fallen world.
- God may be chastising us for sin in our lives.
- God may be testing our faith and planning a blessing.
- God may allow suffering while acting out His will.
We All Live In a Fallen World
It’s important to remember why we even feel suffering at all: We live in a fallen world. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, sin entered the world. As a consequence, we now live in a wicked place. All of creation feels this effect, and even Jesus felt suffering while He was in the flesh. The Apostle Paul wrote of this:
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Many times, we want to blame God when we encounter sin. But God is not always the source of pain and heartache in our lives. Many times, it is the result of a sin someone else committed that has spilled over and affected our lives. Or perhaps we even sinned against our own body by doing something we shouldn’t have, and have finally reaped the fruit of that sin.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death
Either way, we all go through dark times and times of trouble simply because all people sin, and those sins have consequences that affect us.
Is God Chastising You?
God does indeed sometimes chastise people in order to correct sin. If you are a child of God, then you will be chastised when you are disobedient.
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Just think about it: If you see a child acting up in a grocery store, you probably wouldn’t do anything. If you saw your OWN child acting up, you’d probably chastise them for it. You chastise those whom you love, so you can correct their behavior.
If you feel that God is the source of your troubles, then the first question you want to ask yourself is this: “Am I being 100% obedient to God in all things in my life?” Are you following His word? Or are you living in sin?
God will often use difficult circumstances in our life to get our attention back on Him. He wants us to rely upon Him, because He is the giver of life. C.S. Lewis once wrote:
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
God May Be Testing Our Faith or Planning a Blessing
God will often use troubling times to test our faith. In the Book of Job, we see that Job was a righteous man before God. Satan, the accuser, suggested Job was only righteous because God had blessed him. So God allowed Satan to test job.
Why did God allow this? For many reasons (see: Why Did God Allow Satan to Test Job). But the important thing to keep in mind is that Job’s testing revealed Job’s character to be righteous.
God will often test us to reveal to us what our true character is like. If we are pure, then the testing will lead us closer to God and reveal that purity. If our character is poor, then the testing will quickly unravel our sinful ways.
Even though this testing was extremely difficult for Job, God ultimately used this testing as a way to bless Job with even double the blessings he had before.
The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning;
Are you suffering right now? God may be planting a seed that will sprout incredible blessings in the future. Be patient, and trust in Him. Let the day of testing reveal your character to be faithful and righteous.
God May Allow Suffering While Acting Out His Will
Lastly, we may feel suffering in this world as a natural consequence of God acting out His sovereign will. In the Old Testament, Joseph endured incredible hardships for many years as God acted out His will to bring Joseph into power. His brothers plotted to kill him, but eventually sold him into slavery. Joseph then worked as a slave, had false rape allegations made against him, and was thrown into prison.
During this time, God was preparing Joseph to be second in command of Egypt. While God didn’t will that Joseph’s brothers harm him, he used their actions to place Joseph in a position of power and authority, where the Israelite nation could prosper during a time of famine.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
If you are suffering, God may be acting out His will for your life. Sometimes we may have no clue what that will is. We must walk by faith many times in this life. But God is faithful, and God gives us this promise:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Are you suffering right now? Have you been obedient to the Lord? Have you turned from sin to Christ? If not, I urge you to place your faith in Christ today, and be cleansed from your sin and receive eternal life.
If you are being obedient, but you are still suffering pain, then trust in God. Die to self, and let Christ live through you. God will bless you, but you must be patient and wait on him.