Okay that is an awkward/controversial/cuts to the bone title. I know. I am very consciously aware that to some of my readers it’s just politically incorrect, to others it’s stupid because you have told me a million times God lives in my head and to others it is deeply personal because you’ve experienced a lot of pain in life and it affects your view of God. Some of you are very angry at him for that pain and others don’t even believe because of that pain.
So why am I saying this? Those of you who know me, know I love you guys. Everyone who does know me, knows that I want you to know and love and follow Christ. So why on earth would I put up a blog post with THIS title. Not a great selling point for Christianity is it?
There is this false dichotomy that kinda bugs me in fake cultural Christianity. It says that: “If I am good God will reward me.” If you are a Bible believing Christian who has any amount of the Reformation in you, you know that we cannot earn God’s favour or be good enough. So you know it is by God’s grace we are saved. But then another false idea floats around in some of THOSE Christian circles that is really just overspiritualised paganism as well. “If you just have faith enough God will bless you.” Both of those – the cultural idea of earning your way or the overspiritualised idea of just having enough faith are not biblical Christianity. They will leave you paralyzed at best. At worst they will take out your trust in a good God when bad things happen to you or those around you.
The following are reasons God does not owe us a pain free life:
#1 You are not God. You didn’t make yourself or the universe and he is not indebted to you.
#2 We are in a planet that is in sheer rebellion of God. We have replaced worship of him for everything else and God has given us over to it. The problem in essence is us. If you aren’t sure about this.. look around. It’s a bad bad place and it’s pretty obvious most of the problem is people even if you aren’t sure you believe in God.
#3 God is good and loves us and is in the act of restoring us to relationship with himself.. how was that done? By the bloody death of Jesus Christ, God the Son, the second person of the Trinity on the cross (more on the Trinity in 30-30 Lesson #30)
#4 Jesus himself bore our pain and understands our grief. God knows. While God doesn’t need to subject himself to pain. He does. That is the kind of God He is.. this is a comfort. Isaiah 53
#5 God is not above suffering as shown on the cross, but comes in and dwells with us in it.
#6 This will lead to glory. Which is a big word for restoration, and better things to come in and knowing God in eternity than you could ever have imagined in this world of pain and suffering. I’ll explain more about this later in future blogs about the Cross (#29 I think)
To illustrate that God doesn’t owe us a pain free life but is good and in fact his heros suffer: One of my favourite passages of the Bible is Hebrews 11. It is crazy stuff. Read it. The gist is a list of a whole bunch of dead people, heros of the faith, who lived and died and didn’t see the promise God had for them but they trusted him that Jesus was coming, that eternity was coming, that God’s restoration of a broken world was coming… and this heros list finishes with the suffering of the martyrs.. and lists all the ways they were (and still are) tortured.
So get this: that passage in essence says God is good, they suffered, God loves them, pain will happen but God is not finished.
Maybe you should read it yourself: Hebrews 11