Ask Your Preacher
I have had a very tough life since childhood. I am thirty-three years old now and still find life difficult. Could you please tell me why God allows this to happen?
Dear Constantly Struggling,
Some people suffer greatly, and others face relatively few problems. All suffering is a consequence of sin in this world, but there are several reasons that someone might have a greater portion of trials.
- We reap what is sown (Gal 6:7-8). The choices we make have consequences in this life – and in the next. What people do affects them and those around them that they come in contact with. When we behave godly, certain things happen; when we behave sinfully, other things happen. That is a universal principle of life. If a woman drinks while she is pregnant or a child is neglected and malnourished because of ungodly parents – they will suffer the consequences of the choices their parents make. Some children face health issues that were totally avoidable if the parents had simply lived moral lives. Satan is sowing disaster wherever he can and we are all affected by our own choices and the choices of others around us.
- Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen. Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault. Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids. It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6). As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).
- Sometimes people suffer so that God can be glorified. Jesus’ disciples asked Him why a certain man had been born blind, and Jesus answered, “So that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (Jhn 9:1-3) This man’s ailment provided an opportunity for God to show His glory. There are times that we suffer, so God can teach us and teach others through our pain (Eccl 7:2-3).
This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven. Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise. This world is not our home; christians await a better world (Heb 11:16). When Adam and Eve sinned, they introduced sin and death into this life, but God designed this world perfectly and gives us hope for a better future in Jesus (1 Cor 15:22).
Does the Bible ever say we're made in God's physical form, or could He mean we're made in the likeness of Him via emotions, not physical… love, hate, anger, jealousy, revenge, etc.? Thanks.
Want To Be Like Him
Dear Want To Be Like Him,
We are made in God’s image – but it is our spirit that is crafted in His image, not our bodies. Jhn 4:24 says that God is spiritual, not physical. God existed long before the physical world ever did (Gen 1:1). Our spirits are fashioned after our Heavenly Father, and long after our bodies decay, our spirits will live on.
If you believe in God and commit suicide, would you go to hell?
Dear Damage Calculator,
Suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8). The only difference between suicide and murdering someone else is that you don’t get a chance to repent after suicide. Suicide is a final decision and leaves no room for correction or for asking forgiveness. It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance. The final judgment belongs to God (Heb 12:23), but we certainly wouldn’t want to face that judgment with our own blood on our hands.
What should I do to get over lost love?
It is always difficult when a romantic relationship ends, but God promises that if you serve Him, all things will work together for good in your life (Rom 8:28). God tells us to not rush love and romantic relationships (Songs 8:4). If you work on becoming the kind of person you ought to be, the Lord will bless you. Make a decision to become a person prepared to serve God in whatever capacity He sees fit (2 Tim 2:21). When you allow Christ to live in you, life turns out right (Gal 2:20).
Is it okay to take anti-depressants?
Dear Feeling Low,
God condones taking medication for our health problems. Paul told Timothy to take some wine for his stomach (1 Tim 5:23). The sick were told to have the elders pray over them and anoint them with oil – oil was used as a medicine (Jas 5:14).
We know that medicine is perfectly appropriate when you are sick. Though some feel uncomfortable using anti-depressants (and you should never do anything that goes against your conscience – 1 Tim 1:5), the argument can be made that anti-depressant medication is just like using aspirin or any other medical technique to improve human health and body function. Good brethren disagree on this issue, and it is important to consider the issue carefully for yourself and make a prayerful decision.