One of the biggest things that people struggle with is understanding how terrible things can happen with good people and why children of God go through tough times or are faced with difficult circumstances. We want to know where is God when it hurts? We want to understand why He is allowing these things to happen and why He is not stopping it.
I would like to address the questions above, but obviously I am not a Pastor and what I will write here is merely my own opinion and my way of understanding this very difficult topic.
I have gone through numerous traumatic things in the past 4 years and during this time I went through different emotional stages/phases.
Trauma has a way of bringing you down to your knees and with tears in your eyes the only thing you have strength to do is cry. Trauma teaches you real vulnerability. It breaks through all the walls that you have built up and leaves you naked, exposed for all to see.
In this moment of vulnerability, we all react differently…
Some of us run TO God, while others run FROM God.
During the past 4years, I have done both. At times I ran TO God and other times I ran FROM Him.
In my head I knew that He would understand and in my head, I knew that He loved me…
That is what I was taught at church right?
He is a Comforter – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
He is close to the broken hearted – Psalm 34:18
He is LOVE – 1 John 4:7-21
Why is it that I doubted this? Why did it feel like He will not understand? Why did I feel forsaken?
I realized that the reason why we choose to rather run FROM God than TO Him is because of the false teachings that we have heard and the definitions/perceptions of God that we have allowed into our lives and hearts.
The fact that we open our hearts to the “prosperity gospel” teachings is one of the main reasons why we struggle to deal with hardship, sickness and pain when it occurs in our lives. The prosperity gospel teaches that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth.
Thus, if financial blessing and physical well-being is the will of God, then what is sickness and poverty?
The prosperity gospel causes us to think that we are being punished by God when we are faced with sickness and when we are going through trials.
Another reason why I think people run FROM God is, because we do not really know the heart of the Father and we do not really understand His grace and unconditional love. We think He loves us like we love others.
One of the biggest struggles for me was to deal with chronic sickness, because so many people believe that it is ALWAYS God’s will to heal you.
Now hear me out… I do believe that God can heal any sickness, if it is His will do so. I also do believe that He can take us out of any circumstances, if it is His will to do so.
But I also believe that if you choose to believe that it will ALWAYS be His will to heal you or to take you out of the circumstance or to make things better or to rescue you…
You will probably end up resenting God and feeling A LOT more confused and angry.
So, let me just repeat this: I am not a Pastor and what I will write here is merely my own opinion and my way of understanding this very difficult topic.
Here is the scripture that helped me through traumatic experiences and also helped me to cope with chronic disease and pain:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deut. 31:6 (NIV)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Cor. 12:9 (NIV)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
God never promised that we will have a perfect life or that everything will go according to plan on earth. On the contrary He said in John 16:33 (NIV):
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
As soon as we stop thinking that we are being punished when things go wrong or that God is mad at us, we will already be heading in the right direction (running TO Him, instead of FROM Him).
I realized that on this earth, we will have trouble. Thus, we will be faced with sickness, pain, sadness, death and hardship. But God promises to not forsake us, He promises that His power is made perfect in our weakness and that we should not be dismayed, because He will strengthen us.
Facing pain, trauma, sickness and hardship becomes easier if you hold tight to His word and truly believe that His grace is sufficient for you to make it through this.
Stop listening to everyone else’s interpretation or opinions of what God says about pain, trauma, sickness and hardship. Rather start reading His word and only listen to what He says about it. That is how you make it through trauma and stay courageous.