Why did God do this to me?

Here’s a question from a reader – an engineer.  (We’ll call him Bill)

I’m at a job that I hate mainly because I feel like every day I’m set up to fail. There’s no job satisfaction. I go to work and try my best but the bosses and organization demand excellence in everything that we do. That is a good goal to have but there’s no way to accomplish all that needs to be and do it perfectly. ………So why would God place me in a situation like that for 8yrs??

Bill, be very careful about asking “Why did God put me in this place?” I certainly believe God is omnipotent – but I don’t think He micromanages the little details in our lives. I think our own decisions lead us to where we are. But that’s hopeful, because you can make new decisions that put you in a different place. Don’t wait for supernatural movement — just start by seeing what you can do to move yourself in a new direction in the next 30-60 days.

When I found myself at the negative end of a business deal a few years ago with $430,000 owed to creditors I’m sure I could have asked, Why did God do this to me?  But instead I looked back at the series of decisions I had made that put me in that position.  Yes, in reading Proverbs each day I was amazed to see the biblical principles I had violated in getting me to that unfortunate crisis.  God had not done that to me.  I simply made decisions that resulted in that end result.  And I very quickly made decisions to walk out of that horrible experience. 

Sometimes we assume that our current situation reflects random, individual, disconnected events.  But seldom is that true.  Rather, we are where we are because each decision we make is a step in a particular direction.  And over time that direction determines our position in our work, our finances, our health, our relationships and our spiritual well-being.  If you think God did this to you, then it justifies doing nothing until God again decides to change your situation.  And in doing nothing I see people open the door to blaming, resentment, anger, guilt and depression.  I think God deserves better from us.

You can look back and see how the path you have been following has gotten you to where you are.  If you don’t like the direction it is taking you, what are you willing to do to put yourself on a different path?

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41 Responses to “Why did God do this to me?”

  1. Brett Traudt Says:

    I completely agree with you Dan. I have been in a Job for over 7 years now and altough there are times that I am very unhappy, I am also very grateful to be working considering the American Economy today.

    My unhappiness comes from the state of mind I am in when I wake up. I have been reflecting on my state of mind these last few weeks and it seems like every time I had a bad day, it was because of the way I was feeling about going to work when I woke up. Then the days I had a good day, was how I was feeling when I woke up.

    My unhappiness isn’t because I hate what I do, which is a strong word to use, but because I know that I am not doing what I was put here to do. And, like in my company, the changes they are making may not be in alignment with what I believe we should be focusing on or that they are expecting too much from us.

    Yes you may not be in a job that you agree with, but once you figure out who you are, then you can be content in where you are going to and not where you are coming from.

    Last year I had an opportunity to give my personal testimony on a series my church was doing on work called “The Office”. The pastor wanted someone to share with the congregation on how God uses work to shape our character. When I started writing down how God had shaped my character, I was amazed. I was able to finally see why I was where I was and it gave me great insight as to what God was doing in my life in preparation for what He wants me to do.

  2. Jackie Paulson Says:

    This is so true, if the person is at a job they hate, especially for many years, they need to Act Now, Do Something, Pray and find a better path…they is more fulfilling.

  3. Mike Stephens Says:

    Dan – great advice.
    I believe “God is in the details” of our lives and businesses, etc, and although He does not micromanage us, I believe He gives us choices and it is up to us to respond to those choices in a correct manner. As a fallen sinful human, do we always respond appropriately? Of course not -which is where we end up getting off the true path God would want us to follow. Sometimes knowing the path our Lord Jesus would like for us to take is difficult to ascertain. And sometimes we do make the right decision, and yet that decision leads us down a very difficult path – in those times, God is, I believe, developing our character – conforming us to be more like Him. This is not always a fun experience – but one that is necessary for every Christian to go through.
    As some additional advice, seek God and his wisdom, seek it as if you were searching for lost treasure – you will it.

  4. George Skeeters Says:

    Dan, while I believe that you have used Godly perspective in the matter of employment……How does one choose a differant path when the destination is cancer, an accident, stroke etc?? Yes, often we lead ourselves into situations by choices that sometimes have and sometimes do not have the possibility for insight. But often the uncomfortable place we are in is right where our GOD wants us.
    It is great advice to seek options when we are uncomfortable but we should be sure that our comfort is not self seeking and that we move, before GOD has had HIS way……We may just miss the blessing of bieng used and watching HIS Glory at work through us…Just my perspective. Thanks

  5. Bruce W Morgan Says:

    Right on Dan. Each day each of us has to choose our direction for the day. I too digest a bit of Proverbs daily. When we wake up to the fact that our thoughts, then our actions comprise the atmosphere of the day we may choose them in a more posiitve fashion. Our words do convey power. We can say ‘good morning Lord”, or say ‘good lord, morning’, better chance of a successful day with first saying. When we feed ourselves good natural food we stay healthy. Feed ourselves negative thoughts and negative speech and the hurdles of life get higher. I choose to choose God. My saying ‘Jesus is my avenue, and God is my revenue’. Thanks Dan for your encouraging messages. May God Bless.

  6. Corrine Crudup Says:

    I agree and thank you. This is my letter from you and already the light is coming. I also agree that I am where I am because of the nasty and bad decisions that I have made. Coming from a life of drug addiction and very low self esteem, I have lost many good jobs. I remember the complaints and abuse of money God blessed with me. I recently lost a job at a department store making minimal wage, standing long hours, back hurting when I remember making $25 to $30 an hour. Well due to my complaining and bad attitude, I lost that minimum wage job, I am coming up on my 60th birthday, battling for my unemployment and fighting feelings of hopelessness . But I can’t blame anyone but me for my thoughts, actions and ungratefulness. God delivered me 2 and 1/2 years ago from the drugs and I thought it was going to be smooth sailing. I look forward to my new adventure of changed mindset. I pray that God would renew a right spirit within me each day and appreciate my family and what I do have and I wake up each morning with attitude of gratitude for the day in whatever situation I am in. I am not where I want to be but glad I am not where I use to be. One day at a time.

  7. Francis Says:

    I couldnt agree more. Looking at my life, i realise that the decisions i have taken in the past have had agregated effect on my life today.

    About a year ago, i moved from my small town to the city in hope of better job. i must confess that my rent went up by 50%, i am still at my former job it has cost me £4000 within the last year alone on transport(never used to pay any transport before) yet my wages stayed the same and i am still looking that big job.

    And today i am financial broke and wondering GOD, how did i get here!

  8. Steve Place Says:

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 4 hours after giving God my permission to do what ever it takes to get me where He wants me, (aka full surrender), I was layed off from a national print media sales position. Since that day He has blessed me with a new skill, LISTENING. I have a part time job carring for seniors with disabilities. Wow, they need ME! Feels good to be needed.
    Also, with unemployment compensation, my wife working, and GIVING BACK MORE TO HIM than we have ever done before, He has filled our baskets to overflowing, really overflowing! We do not give to receive, but out of obedience.
    A new career is in the wings. At 54, Born Again, and ready to follow the Holy Spirit, in His time, I, again, completely surrender my will to His Will.
    May God bless you, in your complete surrender, as He has done me.

  9. David Durham Says:

    This is such a huge subject which evokes some really strong feelings. Many of us Christians were trained to believe that whatever happened to us must be the will of God. I had the notion deeply ingrained in my thinking that if I was going to be part of any truly successful venture, God would basically cause it to fall directly in my lap — and that if I went out and tried to make it happen, I would be violating God’s will.

    We of course know that comes from a sincere desire to be led by His Spirit; but what we don’t consider often is that, as you say Dan, our own decisions have gotten us to the place we are today. Or perhaps even our own weaknesses or deficiencies — for example, maybe I got laid off from that job because I really wasn’t performing well! Is that God’s fault? The truth is that most of us need someone to blame for our adverse circumstances, and because we Christians believe in a living God, He often ends up bearing that blame.

    So what are we to do: take a cynical approach that says God is completely indifferent to the details of our lives? I confess I found myself headed down that road. When we don’t feel particularly “led,” it’s tempting. Or perhaps God has given us the tools and resources to innovate, to create, to step outside our self-imposed boundaries, and yes, asking HIM for the strength, stamina and inspiration to bring those ideas to fruition. This mental shift was ESSENTIAL for me when I found myself at a career crossroads; I still have more questions than answers, but I’m finally OK with that! Any way you slice it, life is an adventure of faith.

  10. WEC Says:

    Asking, “Why did God do this to me?” sounds like blaming.

    There is a space between what happens to us and our response to it. That space may feel longer or shorter, but it is really there. In that space, you choose. And of the several things you could do, blaming seems less than useful, though it may be, for a moment anyway, entirely understandable.

    A more useful question is not “Why?” but “How shall I respond?” or “What should I do?”

    Asking these questions opens me to all the circumstances that make my situation seem problematic. What, exactly, is my problem? Is it a problem at all? If it is a problem, surely, it is my problem and no one else’s. I own it. Sometimes the problem then simply dissolves. Sometimes the solution becomes obvious just as soon as I’ve defined it. Even if none of these “happens,” the awful feeling of powerlessness that underlies the original “Why?” is nowhere to be found.

  11. Ben Sadler Says:

    Good advice. James says it best, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”(James 4:15) Do this and that, plan this or that, apply for this and that, and with every decision say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will do this or that.”

    This keeps us from the two extremes: Total self-reliance or total paralysis (waiting for God to do something). Get a life…if it is God’s will.

  12. Tracie Evans Says:

    So then what is it that you suggest I do while I am doing nothing Dan? If I cant see ten I can not move, although I know that God would want better from me. It gets so hard. Although I believe in God deeply, and I believe that He assisted me in getting to where I am right now. It is uncomfortable, and yes, it does have to do with steps that I have taken But I am here, my creditors are looming, I cant make payroll, what do I do?

  13. LPBH Says:

    Wow…this is so what I needed to read this morning. I am so moved by all the thoughts and feelings of the people who wrote in. Any one of these thoughts from todays responses can do wonders for someone who is experiencing “Why did God do this to me?” God does not “cause” the situations he “allows” them.

    Maybe “we may just miss the blessing of being used and watching HIS Glory at work through us…”

    Our words do convey power.

    Wake up each morning with an attitude of gratitude.

    Life is an adventure of faith!

    God does not micromanage the little details of our lives.

    Our own decisions lead us to where we are. The hope is that we can make new decisions that can put us in a different place!

    Each decision we make is a step in a particular direction. Where are you headed?

    It seems like every time I had a bad day it was because of the way I was feeling when I woke up and when I had a good day it was because of the way I was feeling when I woke up!

    Is it “Good morning, Lord! Or Good Lord, morning! You choose.

    And…Maybe it is not about you…maybe it should be about who you have helped or inspired. Remember…it is better to give than to receive. We need each other.

    Thanks to all who wrote in. You have given me something more to think about and be grateful for.

  14. T Rich Says:

    This is not chargeable to our Heavenly Father, for James 1:13,14 says: “When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things [form of ka‧kos′] God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.”

    Deut.3:4 “The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice.
    A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; Righteous and upright is he.”

    Also, Ecc. 9:11 indicates “…because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all…so the sons of men themselves are being ensnared at a calamitous time, when it falls upon them suddenly”

    So why DO we suffer and meet with trials?
    Tho’ that is a huge subject on it’s own, in essence, humankind was tricked by Satan to believe that they could “be just like God” and self-rule. For 7,000 years man still has not accomplished this satisfactorily.

    Why? Jeremiah 10:23 “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” In fact, Ecc 8:9 says “man dominating man to his injury”

    THE SOLUTION!!!
    Matt 6:9 Let your kingdom come

    Dan 2:44 God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin…it itself will stand to time indefinite…even forever”
    Mark 12:22-31 MUST READ
    John 18:36 “My kingdom is no part of this world” (this world is run by Satan, where he wants man to believe he can self-rule and needs not his Heavenly Father as Sovereign and rightful ruler of mankind)

    What will this kingdom bring?
    Isaiah 65:20-25 No death, no hunger, no pain, no sorrow, no toil for nothing, each will build and occupy his own home, each will plant and eat of his own vineyard….etc…etc…etc.
    …it makes for a WONDERFUL RETIREMENT PLAN and delivers an AWE-Inspiring health care plan.

    NOTHING Satan has to offer (6 feet of dirt!) can compare.

    READ Mark 12:21-33

    Matt 6:33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these [other] things will be added to YOU. 34 So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness”

    God’s Kingdom is Near at Hand…we are on the threshold.
    Matt 24:14 “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come”

  15. Ron Lawson Says:

    Wow Dan!

    Great perspective. You are right on target.

    And for the one who wrote about when bad things happen such as cancer etc. There are few answers but one promise that I hold on to is Romans 8:28.

    Reguardless of what one is facing, we have a promise that all things work together for the Good to those who love God, to all those who are the called acording to His purpose.

    This is not a “pat” answer or something that is simplistic. On the contrary, the depth of the statement is so much so that we miss it’s significance. It is the inspired Word of God.

    No matter what one faces… the end of it will somehow work out for our good. I dont know how God does it, He just does.

    Continue to trust Him.

  16. ed schine Says:

    My experience is we are responsible for our actions. It’s no ones fault but our own. After taking responsiblity-take corrective action. As I recall a lesson from Earl Nightengale’s “Lead The Field”-our thoughts, actions and lack of action has us at the point we are at at any time in our lives. Another life lesson-when you have one finger pointing out blaming someone or something else-you have three fingers pointing back at you.

  17. Neil Says:

    Hi Dan,

    I think that your newsletter article is good, but nonetheless only a part of the truth. Your response does not cover situations which occur in which the person’s decisions had nothing to do with creating that situation. For example, a child who has been abused, or the victim of a crime, or victims of martyrdom. As the ultimate example of this, one could ask the question, “Were the suffering and injustices which Jesus Christ endured (both throughout His earthly life and during his death) the result of poor decisions He had made?” Likewise, were the sufferings, persecutions and afflictions which the apostles and other saints endured the result of poor decisions they had made? No, they weren’t. At the same time, “Was God ever the source of any moral violation?” No, He wasn’t. Finally, “Is God in control?” No, He isn’t, because He gave authority on planet earth to man. Is God in control on the highest level in Heaven? Yes, absolutely. Can God intervene supernaturally on the earth apart from man’s decisions? I tend to think that He can, but I don’t know for sure.

    Thank you for your newsletters. I am searching for truth in this area, and you are welcome anytime to share further thoughts on this topic with me.

    Neil

  18. susan Says:

    Regarding your statement “I certainly believe God is omnipotent – but I don’t think He micromanages the little details in our lives.” I agree with the omnipotent part, however, the last half of the statement is bordering on heresy. God does manage the intimate details of our lives. Just look at the first few chapters of Genesis. He made order out of chaos. If he doesn’t, as you say, micromanage the little details in our lives, then why does the Bible speak of Him knowing the number of hairs on our heads?

  19. Lauri Wettling Says:

    I have this posted above my computer to remind me of the advice you have just given:

    Our thoughts create our emotions, emotions influence our decisions, decisions direct our actions, actions become our habits, habits develope our character and character brings us to our destiny. If you don’t like where you are, don’t blame God. Change your character, if you don’t like your character, change your habits and so on. If you get back to your thoughts start the process again only this time make them Godly ones and watch what happens.

    Thank you,Dan, for the work you do.

  20. Victor Encinas Says:

    The awesome thing about the truth you are speaking here, Dan, is that God wants to be part of the journey with us as we make decisions and take action. He wants us to live by faith and trust that He truly loves us and will protect us as we live this life. As we continue to grow in knowledge of God’s will (reading and hearing his Word and burying it in our hearts and living in a community of believers) we will become more confident that our actions are holy and right. We must remember though that we are human and we are going to make mistakes and that God, through His mercy, will reveal them to us.

    There will be pain and suffering, but we know that the suffering is only momentary and that through Him all things are possible. So, I agree that people need to stop sitting in self induced and prolonged pain and giving themselves permission to be grumpy old farts and go do some work that they might actually enjoy.

    Just a quick thought…

  21. Theresa Says:

    Joanne and I were having this very same conversation not that long ago.

    I think part of what we’re dealing with is a culture that has been so dumbed-down as a fruit of the years of institutional schooling and religion. (Shut up, get in line, do as you’re told, don’t question authority.)

    The power of choice is so powerful.

  22. Theresa Says:

    BTW- I loved your comments on the no zero policy in Florida. The dumb leading the dumb.

  23. Dave Botma Says:

    Dan,

    I usually agree with everything you say, and I certainly understand where you’re coming from. Many people simply want to blame God for their circumstances. However, as someone who was unjustly terminated a few years ago, I believe that your answer is too one-sided.

    Yes, we receive the consequence of our own actions…and I failed in some ways to end up where I did. Yet, the Lord is indeed sovereign and does rule over the affairs of men (even my mistakes). I believe He is speaking and leading through our mistakes and protecting, where necessary to help us to get to where He wants us to be. We see this in countless Biblical personalities. After all, in all things HE leads us (not we, ourselves) to triumph.

    Ultimately, His true desire is that we learn Sonship and to walk in His Character.

  24. ToolBoxGirl Says:

    I’ve learned that if you find yourself in a big pile of goo and you don’t like the circumstance you find yourself in, you need to change the way you think. Whatever mess you are in, you are there because of the thoughts, decisions, choices you made yesterday, last week, last month, last year, the last decade.

    The Good News truly is that you can change the diretion of your life by thinking different thoughts, making better decisions, making better choices.

    Peggy

  25. John D. Suttles Says:

    Having studied Proverbs and People for many years, I have come to this realization. We are where we are for one reason: The decisions we have made.
    If you want to learn how to make your life better (by making the right decisions) there is a simple formula to follow:

    1 Know the Rules (or at least start learning them)
    2 Follow the Rules
    3 Read the Signs

    Knowing the rules is the hardest part of this formula, but as Solomon suggested of wisdom, you must “search for it as hidden treasure.”

    Following the rules requires you to enforce your character and have courage to go against the grain.

    Reading the signs is achieved by having your eyes open. It requires thinking and innovation and is enhanced by following God and developing a relationship with Him.

    Applying this simple formula has changed my life.

  26. Neil Says:

    Dave Botma,

    Thanks for your comment dated July 8 @2:23pm. I think you have some good truths in that comment.

  27. Ron Lawson Says:

    Very good word too, John D. Thanks to everyone for all the great posts. You are thoughtful, informative and insiteful. Great Coments!

  28. Drew Says:

    I can make excuses, I can blame, but only I can do what God has given me talent to do.
    I want to be a graphic designer and not a CAD operator. The two are very similar. I feel sometimes that to be a graphic designer, I have to have certain special software and a certain kind of computer.
    Well, I have a 7yr old Dell that only has Publisher. I have no email at home, and no internet, except for at the library.
    I decided that since I DO have something I can use, I had better use it, and volunteer in the meantime!
    I designed a devotional for church camp and got it to the director. They loved it! We are already working on next year’s devotional, and all the graphics to promote the camp – all using “outdated” software and a boat-anchor computer!
    No excuses. DO it!

  29. Dan Miller Says:

    I love the rich contributions each of you have made here. These are not easy questions. Thankfully God gave us the ability to think, to question, to discourse with others and to have the freedom to act with wisdom.

  30. Ola Says:

    Hello Dan,

    Thank you for the enlighenment on this global questions especially amongst we Christians – “why did God allowed this to happen” or Why did God did thid to me”

    Please permit me to add this – Challenges comes from 3 main sources: Self, Satan and God – Examples of those that God tested or put another way that God allowed to be tried, are Abraham, Job, – 1Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God if faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

    Self – The bible says in the book of Haggai 1:5 & 7 – We should consider our ways

    Satan – John 16:33, in this world you will had tribulation but be of good chear …..

    How do I know which is which – can I ask God?

  31. Tita Alvarez Says:

    I need more information. I’m waiting on the Lord! I am waiting for his direction. Are you saying don’t wait anymore? Should I just be moving forward on my own? What about stepping out with a vision. I am waiting for him to say, “this is the way walk ye in it”. I want to respond to the word of the Lord. What do you recommend? Please point me in the right direction. I am able to read as much as necessary to get the direction I need.

  32. Tita Alvarez Says:

    I’m waiting for your resonse.

  33. Ron Lawson Says:

    Just my opinion…
    They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength. Keep that in context.
    Waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean to sit and do nothing. The idea of wait is to minister to the Lord in Worship, Prayer, and Fasting etc. It means to serve. The closest thing we have today in the US English idea would be like a waiter waits on those whom he is serving.

    How does one determine the will of God for their life? The Bible tells us that man makes his plans but God directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9) and Without wise council plans go wrong but with many counselors plans are established.

    Get wise counsel, ask God for guidance, don’t violate His word, and move forward by faith. Make sure that you are weighing decisions that honor God. I had a young lady tell me one time that God told her to leave her husband and marry her best friends husband. That violates scriptural admonition.

    If you are a Christian, Jesus said “My people know my voice and will not follow a stranger”. You already know what is right and wrong if you follow the scriptures.

    What I do is Pray, ask for God’s guidance, get wise council and then trust God as I take the best route that I know to take. Not making a decision is itself a decision, and sometimes, the wrong one. While God has told people during specific times in their life to “watch and pray”, as I consider your statement, I am not sure that I can remember any time that God said not to make a decision. Lack of making a decision due to fear is neither spiritual or scriptural. God has not given us the spirit of fear.

    There it is… just my opinion
    God bless!

  34. Neil Says:

    Thanks Ron Lawson for your comment of 1:25 a.m. July 16, 2009

    I think those are excellent points you shared.

    I would also like to add a brief comment or two of my own to what you shared:

    In some situations, there are many different possible decisions we can make, rather than just exactly two. I think sometimes we tend to think in terms of “either or” rather than “both and”. Not all decisions, of course, are this way, but some are. I really do believe that quite often God has more options available for us than we can see. And that too is where prayerful consideration of the decision we are faced with can allow God to give us new options and Godly creative ideas which maybe we hadn’t considered or seen before.

    Also, in the verse that talks about “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength”, I’ve heard a preacher share that the word there translated into English as “wait” means something like “to entwine on” like a flimsy vine might wrap around a strong tree. I’m not a Hebrew language scholar, but that definition (assuming it’s accurate) gives a neat insight into that verse. It seems to emphasize a reliance on God and a trust in God. We can still make decisions in that process of trust and reliance. But those decisions then come being rooted in peace in our heart, rather than decisions rooted in and negatively motivated by distrust or Ungodly fear.

    The core issue though in making Godly decisions is to know that we are in Christ, that Christ is our Righteousness and State of Right-standing before God, and that we are accepted by God through Christ. If we are not established and grounded in our heart in that Gospel, good-news truth, then every decision we make whether small or large will probably be plagued with a restless nagging fear and questioning of “Will God judge, punish, condemn me if I made a poor or wrong decision?”

    God wants us to make good and Godly decisions. But without being on the foundation of faith-righteousness (“Jesus and only Jesus is my Righteousness, not my good works) in my opinion we really probably can’t make good decisions, at least not life-giving decisions in which God’s peace through Christ resides in our hearts. The foundation from which we base our decisions – the Gospel of Peace – is vitally important in any decision making process because even good decisions will not produce life in our heart if the foundation is not sound.

    As a quick example, someone decides to donate some money to a worthy cause in God’s Kingdom. That is a good decision; however, if that decision is made from the motives of “I am doing this in order to gain acceptance or right-standing from God” or similar “If I don’t do this then God will punish me” then those are faulty motives, based on a wrong foundation (works-righteousness or legalism, instead of the Gospel of Peace). In that case, even a good decision will not produce life in one’s heart, but rather fear, condemnation and / or self-righteousness. And if we are struggling with those issues, then it is difficult if not outright impossible to go through a healthy process for making sound and Godly decisions, even if we arrive only externally at a Godly decision. But thank God! The truth is, we are as Paul says “the Righteousness of God in Christ”. Jesus is our Righteousness, and as a result, we are empowered by God to make Godly, good decisions. And if and when we make poor or even at times immoral decisions, God is there to help us and recover us through Christ, without condoning the decision and with grace and mercy through Christ.

  35. Neil Says:

    I welcome any comments or insights anyone might have on the topic of this post / blog.

    I think this is the heart of the matter. If we believe that God is abusive or anything less than perfect love (“God is love” – 1 John 4:8 & 4:16), then subsequently we are going to have a terrible (if not impossible) time trying to trust Him. And during the times of our greatest need, when we acutely feel our need for Him during horrible difficulties on this fallen earth, if we do not believe that He is Love, then we will at best only partially turn to Him if we turn to Him at all.

    I really think that this is the core, central issue: can we in our heart accept the truth that God really is love? Can we in our heart accept the truth that God really is a loving, caring Father Who has our very best interest in mind continually?

    Does God permit hardships in our lives? Moreover, does God sometimes actually cause (meaning, not originate, but “bring upon” “coordinate” “orchestrate”) hardships, injustices and even atrocities in our lives?

    Whether or not we believe that God allows any cited / given atrocity or hardship might possibly not make any difference if we can believe and accept by faith (trust) the deep fundamental truth that God is Love.

    If we really believe that God is Love, then possibly it won’t matter what we believe regarding God’s sovereignty, our responsibility in decision-making, and so forth. Those are all secondary beliefs, more surface beliefs, which we will align to what we know is the deeper and fundamental truth: “God is Love”.

    If we believe that God is love and we also believe that God does allow (or even cause) hardships and even allows (but never solicits / tempts anyone to sin) atrocities to occur in the lives of His saints until Christ returns in Glory, then we will conclude that God only allows these things to occur for a season and for a reason. We will interpret these occurrences as sinner’s depravity and God’s means of training us to bring us into His Glory. This is based on verses like Hebrews chapter 12, Job 42:11, and others.

    If we believe that God is love and we also believe that God never (both would not and also because of jurisdiction, cannot) allows hardships and atrocities to occur in the lives of His saints, but they nonetheless occur solely because of the evil decisions people make, and because of the general fallen state of the earth as the subsequent result of Adam’s rebellion, and because God has given jurisdiction of planet earth to man, then we will conclude that God has nothing to do with the atrocities and hardships which occur on this earth, and it is our (mankind’s) sole responsibility to bring these things to an end.

    My point is this: in either case, regardless of which paradigm / perspective is actually aligned with the truth, if we can believe the truth that He really is love and a good God, then probably the other issues (God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility) ultimately will not matter to us, or at least not on a deep heart level.

    If we can accept only by faith, if not also by understanding, the simple truth that God is indeed love and nothing contrary to love, then probably that faith (trust) will eventually result in understanding of the auxiliary issues of God’s sovereignty, man’s responsibility, divine intervention, supernatural protection, and related issues. But if we seek to determine / judge whether or not God is love based on our currently apparently limited understanding of God’s sovereignty, man’s responsibility, etc., then probably we will not be able to reach a definite conclusion, a definite answer, in our heart regarding God’s true Nature / Character / State of Existence, which is Godly Love. It seems to me that understanding generally follows faith, and perhaps not vice versa.

    The original question on which this blog is based “Why is God doing this to me?” might possibly mask a much deeper question of “Why is God unjust?” I am not saying God is unjust; I’m just uncovering a question that resides in a heart which is not persuaded to believe that God is love. If we ask the question “Why is God allowing this injustice to occur?”, we might also be masking the same question “Why is God unjust?”

    Is love unjust? No. Is God love? Yes. Therefore, God is not unjust.

    It’s interesting, in the book of Job (Job 2:3), God declares that God moved against Job to swallow Job without cause, which I assume to mean, “without just cause” or “Job not meriting such calamity”. If that assumption is correct, then I also assume that it was not without any cause. It seems to me that in James 5:11, God’s purpose, or cause, in allowing these things into Job’s life, is referred to: the final outcome, where Job was blessed twice as much as he was before Job’s hardships occurred. I might be viewing this on assumptions, but it’s an interesting consideration.

    Does a just God permit injustice? If He does, then He only does for a season and for a reason. In the end, God will put to eternal cessation all injustice and sin. For those who are in Christ, this cessation of sin will be accomplished through redemption and transformation. For those who are outside Christ, this cessation of sin will be accomplished through the lake of fire. Does a holy God, the only God, tolerate wickedness and injustice? No, He doesn’t. Yet it seems to me that He possibly in a certain sense tolerates it for a season and a reason, but He will not tolerate any of it forever. Mercy triumphs over judgment. If it didn’t, who of us could be saved? Thank God for His mercy, which is an attribute of His love. God wants all people to be saved, and God does not take delight in the death of the wicked.

    God’s purpose, or cause, for all saints is eternal redemption and life, all in and through Jesus Christ. God is always a Lifegiver, and it is only those who reject / refuse Christ who forfeit this gift of eternal life. God is love. Whether or not we understand anything about God’s sovereignty and so forth, the bottom line is, the fundamental and unchanging truth is, God is love.

    I’m not pretending to understand everything; I just want to say that regardless of what the truth is regarding God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility, the truth is this: God is Love.

  36. Ron Lawson Says:

    Neil

    Thank you for both your posts of July 16. Good insight. I couldnt add a thing. Just thanks

    Ron

  37. Bill Harris Says:

    Being an out of work engineer (named Bill) this caught my eye.

    Being where you are because of the decisions you have made is one thing. Being out of work because Money hungry bankers made bad decisions, and power hungry politicians let them is another. I reliaze I could just jump out and start my own business and not have to rely on an employer to support my family but as bad as things are everywhere, that doesn’t make much sense to try it in Michigan right now.

    It hurts to be told that you are in your situation because of decisions you’ve made when, for the most part, you are in a place where no one seems to want you, your family is living on unemployment benefits which are getting closer and closer to running out, and in spite of your best efforts, there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.

  38. WEC Says:

    We are each affected by the actions of others. We can respond to what we cannot control in ways which are more (or less) constructive. Sometimes, even our “best” efforts aren’t “good” enough. But we are never in a tunnel except by choice.

    “[A] Detroit News analysis of U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service data reveals that every day, Michigan gets less populated, less educated, and poorer because of outmigration.” (Thursday, April 2, 2009)

    Meanwhile, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Overall job opportunities in engineering are expected to be good.”

    Maybe your “best” could include “move.”

  39. Kathleen Kaden Says:

    God allows us the opportunities to make mistakes. Without mistakes, we would have little opportunity to learn. The good news is He also offers us opportunitites to be delivered from our circumstances. We have to look out for them.

    Reminds me of the story of the man whose town was being flooded. He climbed higher and higher, until he was stuck on the roof of his home. But, he remained positive. “God will save me”. When the boat came by to pick him up, he said, “I’m OK, God will save me”. When the helicopter came by he said, “I’m OK, God will save me”. Unfortunately, he drowned.

    When he arrived in heaven, he was angry with God. “Why didn’t you save me?” he asked. God answered, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

    Keep your eyes open for the boat (and the helicopter), it’s the way out.

  40. linux virus Says:

    This is an great site, I will definitely be adding your blog to my morning routine!

  41. Aruna Says:

    I completely agree with you, I have been in a Job for over 9 years now and altough there are times that I am very unhappy, I think we should not spend long time in same company.

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