surviving suffering

Satan is most effective in drawing us away from God when we are either being extremely blessed or experiencing real suffering. Each condition is vulnerable to a particular lie. Satan is the “father of lies”. Lying is not just in His nature, it is how he goes about separating us from our Father. Today we will look at the lies we are tempted to believe when we suffer.

Suffering always brings difficult questions and a terrible temptation. The question it brings is; “where was God when this happened and why didn’t He do something to stop it?” The temptation it brings is to cease believing one of these two truths:

1] that God is all loving &

2] that God is all powerful.

Any time we experience suffering we are left thinking either God is all loving but not very powerful, or He is all powerful but not very loving. We reason; if He were both this terrible thing would not have happened.

In answer to our reasoning the Bible tells us that God is both all-powerful and all loving.

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard:  that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.”  Psalm 62:11-12

This passage is telling us that God is perfectly unified in His love and strength, but we usually experience Him as two separate things. At any given moment we are usually experiencing Him as either one or the other. The experience of suffering causes us to doubt one or the other and doubting either truth will drive a wedge between us and God.

Satan does not care which attribute you choose to doubt because doubting either will accomplish his purpose of distorting your image of God and thereby damaging your relationship with Him.

What is the answer to this dilemma? We see the answer most clearly in the story of Job. Satan comes to God and says, “the only reason people worship you is because you bless them.” What Satan is really saying is, “God you are not worth loving just for who you are. The only reason anyone would marry you is for your money.”

All of the angels hear this allegation and 1/3rd of them have already rebelled against God. Much is at stake, so God allows what is completely unjust – the suffering of an innocent and righteous man. Job suffers unimaginably, and he is tempted by his own wife and friends to either believe that God is not just or that he has sinned – and he knows neither of these is true. The problem is, he has no answer to the question, “why is this happening to me?”

This is the same question we usually ask when we are suffering.

What was Job’s answer?

What is our answer?

Read our next blog for the answer…

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