This quote, by Philip Yancey in “Disappointment with God”, explains in five words why many Christians stumble and falter when difficulties come. I lose my job. My child gets sick. I get sick. A loved one dies. Random tragedy shatters my life and dreams. Why God? Why! Why! Why!
Logic says, “If God is all powerful, all good, all loving and I serve Him then His power, goodness and love will ensure I have an easy life with no problems.” That makes sense to me. How about to you? While it is certainly logical, it is not Biblical.
Hard times are part of life – especially the Christian life. Life can stink and Christians are not exempt. I’ll give you a dollar if you can find one Bible character used by God who did not have hard times. They don’t write stories or build statues to men who led easy lives.
Living in this world ensures we are going to have problems, pain, loss and grief. Following Jesus ensures you will have a friend who goes through them with you.
To be honest, I wish following Him ensured He would save us from all the evils that befall normal, mortal men. It sure would make it a lot easier to convince people to follow Jesus. “Come be a Christian and nothing bad will happen to you. You will have no problems and nothing but sunny days.” Who could resist that invitation?
Instead, from the start, Jesus said, take up a cross. Come, follow me and die. Not very good PR. Not the best way to get volunteers to sign up for your program.
But we cannot confuse Life with God. Bad stuff happens because we live in a fallen world. Bad stuff happens because we are not in heaven yet. It rains on good people and bad people. The only choice then is, do we want to face the crises alone or have a Friend who understands loss, grief, rejection, the deepest pain known to man – and will go through it with us.
1 Peter 4:16
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.