Here is a topic that I find particularly frustrating because I feel that without understanding this, people could be led astray. I have often written articles about this, but here I plan to take it head on. Let me start with some verses that people use to back up this theory, then I will explain why it doesn’t mean what people think it does. 2 Samuel 12:15. After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. Job 2:6-7. “All right, do with him as you please,” the Lord said to Satan. “But spare his life.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot. Romans 5:3. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
Here is the theory that I have an issue with, people say that God puts them through ‘issues and trials’ in order to help them grow. I don’t believe that this is true. The first verse that I stated seems to drive people to this conclusion, but that is not what it is about at all. Firstly, it doesn’t say that God killed the baby, but IF He did, He would have only been punishing David for sleeping with someone else’s wife (and having the guy killed so that he could have her), and this was old covenant. David was not cleansed by Jesus’ blood. He was not righteous in God’s eyes, and he was not covered by grace. We are. God does not send illnesses to us anymore. God has not changed, but thanks to Jesus, we have. Now I may not have kids (yet), but I would imaging that putting your child’s hand on a stove plate in order to teach them that it is hot, would be child abuse. God does not abuse us. I have seen some websites claiming that He does, because of theories like this one. If you think that you are a better parent than God, you really don’t know Him at all.
Then we have people that realise that God does not bring these things on us, so they go for a slightly less aggressive approach, which is also not correct. They say that God allows us to go through ‘issues and trials’ in order to help them grow. Now this could be true, depending on what they mean by it, but I fear most people mean the wrong thing. If they mean that God sees these things happening and can intervene, but doesn’t, then He is just as bad a parent as the first illustration. If you see your kid going to the stove, and watch as they touch the hot plate in order to teach them a lesson, then you are just as bad as the one who put their hand on the stove. This is just a ‘technical’ way of not actually doing something, but getting the job done. God is the best Dad, much better than this would suggest. People usually use Job to back this up. Once again forgetting that Job was old covenant, not yet having the salvation, authority and grace that we enjoy today thanks to our Saviour. So if neither of these is true, what is the truth?
God wants what is best for us, just like any good parent would. He wants to give us good things. Matthew 7:11 says, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”. Now if God doesn’t send issues and trials, where do they come from? This is for another post, but in short, they come from the devil and us. The devil because he leads us astray and lies to us, and us because we don’t realise the authority that we have. We also don’t live our lives according to what God has instructed, and this means that we get ourselves into trouble. If you tell your kid not to touch the stove and he does, who’s fault is that? Now it is not always that simple, but I’ll go into this into more detail at some point, this is about God as a parent, not about us as children. When we face these trials and issues, if we respond by seeking God’s guidance and doing what he asks, He will help us turn it around. Romans 8:28 spells it out for us. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. God will turn things around for our good if we listen to Him and do what He has called us to do. He doesn’t help us as a reward for being obedient, He tells us what to do because that is the way to receive what He has already given to us! God is so good at turning things around, that we often attribute the initial problem to Him too. This is wrong.
If you would like to know more about the authority spoken about here, may I recommend a book by Andrew Wommack called ‘The Believer’s Authority’. It really opened my eyes to the truth. There is too much to talk about in one post, so I may do a series on this, but for now just rest assured that trials and troubles don’t come from God and He doesn’t want them for you. You have the authority to overcome them, thanks to what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Together with God, all things are possible!