Monday, May 5, 2014

When trouble strikes!

I have many friends right now who are going through some pretty rough things: divorce, cancer, wayward children, child custody battles, etc.   These are good strong Christians, believers in and followers of Christ. Yet in one lady's case, bad things repeatedly come to her and her family. It's gotten so that she expects bad news now instead of good. And she has even expressed to me that she's losing her faith. Where is God? Why is He silent? Why does He allow such tragedy to befall His kids?  None of it makes sense.

I know Christians and even many agnostics throughout the centuries have asked the same questions. Even Atheist use the evidence of evil and tragedy in the world to explain away the existence of God, for if a good God exists, surely He wouldn't allow so much sorrow and pain. Right?

As I've been trying to comfort my friends, I've also been on my knees praying for their situations and asking God what is going on. I want to understand Him. We know He is a good God. We know He loves us more than we could ever understand. So why?   This is what He impressed upon me from both Scripture and from other believers I've been talking with and from sermons I've heard.

  • The problem is a consequence of your own actions or the actions of someone close to you
  • You are under attack from the enemy
  • God is testing you
  • God is using the problem to teach you something important or lead you in a certain direction that will ultimately be for your good.
The first one is something most people don't even consider. Here's the thing. God created the universe to exist with certain laws. There are natural laws like gravity and supernatural laws like sin and punishment.  Everything is set up so that every action creates a reaction.  For example, if someone eats junk food for 30 years and never exercises, and then gets cancer or heart disease, is that God's fault?  If a lady ignores all the warnings and marries a man God knows is the wrong guy and then that person ends up cheating on the woman and ruining her life and her children's, is that God's fault? If you continue to speed, you will likely get a ticket. Life is full of consequences. I'm not saying that every bad thing that's happening to you is a consequence, but it's something you need to think about.

Here's where it gets tough. Sometimes we get tangled up in other people's consequences. It could be a close friend or a spouse or a child who is doing something wrong, but it ultimately affects us because we love them. A parent could have raised a child in a Godly home but still that child goes out in the world and gets into drugs, etc.  A spouse might gamble away the family money or be unfaithful, even if their partner did nothing wrong.  God cannot untangle us from the consequences of those we love. The only solution is never to love anyone and that's not possible.

But what if you are simply under attack by the enemy? Once you determine that, it's easy to take authority over him in the name of Jesus and cast him away from you and your family.  Remember, Jesus already won the battle. Yes, we are still on enemy territory, but we only need to use His name and demons must flee.  Yet, how many Christians actually do this?

Or God could be testing your faith.  Does God tempt us? NO. Does He test us? Yes!  Jesus tested His disciples all the time. He was constantly asking them questions and checking on their faith. God tested Abraham when He asked him to sacrifice His son. He tested Noah when He asked him to build a boat. The Bible is full of examples of tests from God. He wants you to succeed. He wants you to pass. Why? Because He wants His children to grow up. To be more like Him. To mature.. like any parent would want for His children.

Lastly, God could be either teaching you something, perhaps answering your prayer for stronger faith, or He could be leading you in a certain direction. My new release The Ransom addresses this question. Bad thing after bad thing happens to the heroine and she can't figure out why. Yet in the end God used each event to save her life. Honestly, we all have such limited knowledge and vision. That's where trust comes in.

So, if you're going through rough times, I would encourage you to get with God and ask Him what's going on. Is this a consequence, a test, an attack, or training.  He will show you. And remember, it's s okay to yell at God sometimes. It's okay to feel like your faith is wavering, to doubt, to wonder, to question. God can handle it.  Remember John the Baptist?  Jesus said that he was the greatest man ever born to woman, yet, guess what? After John was thrown in prison, his faith wavered to such a point that he had his friends go ask Jesus if He was the Messiah!  In the face of his trouble, even John the Baptist doubted.  So, don't feel bad when the same thing happens to you.

Just don't let it consume you. Get alone with God and call upon His strength. Go to His Word and stand on His promises. He is good. He loves you. And He will never leave you.



  1. Monday, May 5th,
    "Morning MaryLu."
    Three words to all that you shared: "Amen, and, Amen" !!!
    Loved it ! Thanks for the great message.
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

  2. Thank you for this wonderful post, MaryLu!! You always touch and inspire me when you "talk God" and I know it is because He guides you!!

    I have been through many trials in my lifetime - each because of one or more of the reasons you mentioned: consequences, attack from the enemy, a test, or training. Being aware of this, prayer, and believing that God is in control is what has gotten me through each of the trials. I don't ask "why me"??, but that: He give me the strength to gracefully endure each trial, I have a continued awareness of His blessings to me, I be shown the areas in which He would have me make changes, my faith is made stronger, I pass any test He gives me, I be an example of His love and encouragement to others, and I find joy in Him even through the trials!!

  3. Thank you, Ladies! Sounds like you both have been through your own trials and come out stronger and with more faith on the other side. :-)

  4. Amen, MaryLu! It is easy to forget that sin affects everything and everyone. The earth groans under the weight of sin. As you said, the sins of friend and family affect us, so does the sin of total strangers. You can’t get away from it. Sin brings nothing but destruction. This is why we have to constantly focus upon Christ! This is where our hope lies. This is our joy. This is the proof that God has not forsaken us and that He loves His children! If you look at all the bad stuff that happens in the world and in your own personal life, it is easy to come to the conclusion that God hates you. But if you look to Christ, it is easy to see that this is false, and He loves you. Christ took the eternal punishment we deserve because of sin, but He did not take sin away from this world, so we still suffer under the groans of it. But this is only temporary and not eternal! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

  5. Great message! Hugs and God bless!