Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Explaining Trouble

One of the temptations Christians have when facing or observing trouble is to believe we have to explain it. We feel we have to figure out what God is trying to teach us or someone else through the trouble. This often comes down to trying to figure out what we or they did wrong. Now Scripture does say there are times when God uses trouble to accomplish some particular thing in people's lives (Hebrew 12:5-11; 1 Corinthians 11:29,30; 2 Corinthians 12:7). But there are other places in Scripture where it makes it clear there are those who suffer who did not do anything specific to deserve it (Job 1,2; John 9:1-3; Hebrews 11:35-38). The point is that God wants us to trust Him even when we do not understand what is going on (Proverbs 3:5,6; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 4:19-21). Now there is a place for asking if there is a reason for what we are going through. But if no clear reason is forthcoming, we need to beware of jumping to the conclusion we must have done something wrong to bring this on ourselves. And we should be even more reluctant to do so in the case of others, whose situation and heart we do not know with certainty.

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