What Did I Do To Deserve This?

"You must have done something awful for this to happen to you." Has anyone ever said that to you? Have you said it to yourself?

Job had been through a lot. He'd lost his children, his home, his possessions, and his health. All he had left was his wife, and that was not necessarily a good thing. She wasn't much help to him during his troubles.

Job needed some encouragement. He needed to know somebody cared and sympathized with him. He needed friends.

His friends came to see him, alright. But they didn't provide what he needed. Instead, they told Job that he must have committed some horrible sins and that God was punishing him by sending all these calamities.

Many people think this way. They believe anything bad that happens must be punishment from God. Let's see what God has to say about that.

In Job 1:8, God said there was nobody else on earth like Job. He was "blameless and upright. He feared God and shunned evil." So why did so much evil befall Job? Because the devil complained to God that the only reason Job was so good was because God had given him so much. Satan thought if everything was taken away from Job, then he would not be loyal to God.

God knew how Job would react, though, and He wanted to show other people and Satan the sort of example Job was going to set. Even when Job's wife suggested that he curse God and die, Job refused to denounce God or blame him.

God often uses people in difficult circumstances to teach others. (John 9:1-3) Jesus deliberately delayed going to see Lazarus when He'd been told his friend was sick. After Lazarus died, Jesus brought him back to life. Do you think that Jesus planned it that way, so that people could see His power? By allowing Lazarus to die, Jesus was able to teach others and to make it clear to them that He was the Son of God (John 11:15, 42).

There are many examples in the Bible of righteous people suffering through no fault of their own. Abel was killed by his evil brother who was jealous. Joseph was put into prison because of a wicked and deceitful woman, not because he'd done anything wrong. John the Baptist was beheaded, though he was a prophet of God. Jesus said there was no other man like John, but he died because of a woman who sought revenge.

Here's what Peter wrote to New Testament Christians about suffering: "You greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Suffering is greater than gold, which doesn't last, because suffering refines our faith and makes it genuine. This results in honor for Jesus.

And, speaking of Jesus. He was innocent, yet he suffered more than anyone. He willingly left heaven to suffer cruelties he didn't deserve and he didn't have to accept. It's hard enough to endure trials when we can't do anything to stop them. Think of how tempting it would be, if you had the power to call angels to help you or if you could strike dead anyone who tried to harm you? Jesus had the power to avoid suffering, yet he gave up His right to do that and instead faced the pain . . . for us.

We may suffer a lot of pain in our lives, BUT when this life is over, we do not need to suffer through eternity. Why? Because of the suffering Jesus took on himself for us. He suffered because He didn't want us to suffer. Does that sound like a God who is waiting for an opportunity to punish us when we do wrong? Jesus came to this world to seek and save. He was led, like a lamb to the slaughter, and it was because He wanted to spare us from eternal suffering.

So the next time trouble comes into your life, please don't blame God for it. He's not sitting on His throne looking for a reason to zap you. He made the supreme sacrifice in order to SPARE us from suffering the punishment we deserved for our sins.

Will you allow your pain to turn you away from the one who wants to rescue you from it? That's what Satan would like to see. May we, like Job and Peter, allow our suffering to refine our faith and result in God's praise, glory, and honor.

Author Marsha Jordan is founder of a nonprofit charity called Hugs and Hope for Sick Children (http://www.hugsandhope.org). More of her articles on depression are in her book, Hugs, Hope, and Peanut Butter, a compilation of encouraging essays illustrated with drawings by critically ill children. Proceeds from book sales will benefit kids battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Other essays in the book include, "More Than I Can Handle," "Ten Tips For Beating Depression," and "Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayer?" Order the book or learn more at http://www.hugsandhope.org/book.htm

In The News:

Religious Liberty Wins Another  The Wall Street Journal
Barr, DeVos speak at religious broadcasters forum  Crux: Covering all things Catholic
Religion briefs  Troy Daily News
Clergy Corner, Feb. 28, 2020 | Religion  Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Stick to religion  White Mountain Independent

What is God? Does Proof Exist?

Apology:I don't for a minute profess to know what God... Read More

How to Solve a Wonderful Mystery

The first issue we must recognize is the way God... Read More

Do Not Believe All You Read In The Holy Books

Observation shows that human creative activity has a physical, a... Read More

Your Focus Determines Your Reality

"Your focus determines your reality", this famous line was spoken... Read More

The Basics of the Christian Walk

Now that I am saved, what do I do next?... Read More

Bang, Bang,Your Dead

Zechariah 14:1-14:12Bang, Bang,Your Dead.Preaching the Gospel is an exciting adventure... Read More

The Green Cross

"We desperately need to recognize that we are the guests... Read More

Jesus as the Rose of Sharon

The words "rose of Sharon" comes out of the Old... Read More

7 Year Tribulation

As you will see in the Scripture verses listed below,... Read More

New Orleans is only the Beginning as Prophecy Unfolds

We are all very well aware of the tragedies occurring... Read More

Crucification

Most of know how Jesus was crucified. Do we ever... Read More

Prophetic Ministry: Affirmations From Scripture to Teach Us Who We Are In Christ

To learn who you are in Christ, you must know... Read More

Firstfruit from Death Guarantees the Coming Harvest

The farmer handed buckets to us, the blueberry pickers. "You're... Read More

Moslem America Part 2

2 Corinthians 2:6-2:14Moslem America part 2. Behold, the days come,... Read More

The Judgment Seat of Christ

The thought of a public examination before the Judgment bar... Read More

The Spreading of the Not-So-Good News

PART 1: Another Gospel?The influence of the occult upon our... Read More

Story of Solomon

Without question, the greatest story in the Bible of someone... Read More

Left Behind! Who Me?

The popularity in the past few years of the apocalyptic... Read More

What Is True Egalitarianism?

Why did the founding fathers of the United States consider... Read More

The Athiests Enigma

As an ancient African-American gospel song laments, life is filled... Read More

Organized Religion is Great for Humanity; Rants from Lance

Organized Religion has served mankind well, by uniting civilization and... Read More

A Partnership With God

Hey, God is trying to partner with you! He wants... Read More

God is not a Homicidal Maniac

One day on the listserve for my support group it... Read More

What Does The Religious Right Really Want?

What does the Religious Right really want? Well, besides power,... Read More

Satan is Let Loose One More Time

After the 1000 years are up in the Millennium Kingdom,... Read More