Why does God allow us to go through struggles?

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By BibleAsk Team


Why Struggles?

Struggles and trials are an inevitable part of the human experience, and they often prompt us to ponder why a loving and omnipotent God would allow His children to endure pain and suffering. To grasp the purpose and value of struggles from a Christian perspective, we must explore various biblical teachings and theological principles, reflecting on the nature of God, the reality of human free will, and the transformative power of adversity.

The Sovereignty and Wisdom of God

A foundational aspect of understanding why God allows us to go through struggles lies in recognizing the sovereignty and wisdom of God. Throughout the Bible, God is depicted as the sovereign ruler of the universe, whose ways are higher than ours and whose wisdom is beyond human comprehension.

In Isaiah 55:8-9, God declares, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” This passage emphasizes the transcendence of God’s wisdom and the limitations of human understanding.

Moreover, Romans 8:28 assures believers that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” While we may not always understand the reasons behind our struggles, we can trust in God’s providence and His ability to bring about good even in the midst of adversity.

The Reality of Human Free Will

Another factor to consider in understanding why God allows us to go through struggles is the reality of human free will. From the beginning of creation, God endowed humanity with the freedom to make choices, even knowing that these choices would sometimes lead to suffering and consequences.

In Genesis 2:16-17, God commands Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, warning them of the consequences of disobedience. However, Adam and Eve exercise their free will and choose to disobey God’s command, leading to the introduction of sin and suffering into the world.

While God could intervene to prevent every instance of pain and suffering, doing so would negate the gift of free will and undermine the moral agency of humanity. Instead, God respects our freedom to choose, allowing us to experience the consequences of our actions while offering guidance, grace, and redemption.

The Refinement of Character

Struggles and trials have the potential to refine and strengthen our character, fostering virtues such as perseverance, resilience, and empathy. James 1:2-4 encourages believers to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”Just as gold is refined in the fire, so too are believers refined through the trials they face.

1 Peter 1:6-7 compares the testing of our faith to the refining of gold, stating, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Struggles have the potential to deepen our dependence on God, cultivate humility, and foster spiritual maturity. As believers persevere through trials, they develop a deeper trust in God’s faithfulness and experience His sustaining grace in tangible ways.

The Opportunity for Spiritual Growth

Struggles also provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and transformation, prompting believers to draw closer to God, seek His guidance, and deepen their relationship with Him. Romans 5:3-5 speaks to the transformative power of struggles, stating, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

In times of difficulty, believers are invited to cast their cares upon the Lord and trust in His provision and care. Philippians 4:6-7 encourages believers to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Through prayer, meditation on Scripture, and fellowship with other believers, Christians can find strength and encouragement to persevere in the midst of struggles, knowing that God is with them and will never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).

The Purpose of Redemptive Suffering

Ultimately, the Christian understanding of struggles is shaped by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, who entered into human suffering and experienced it firsthand. Hebrews 2:18 describes Jesus as “One who has suffered, being tempted,” empathizing with our weaknesses and offering hope and salvation to those who trust in Him.

The suffering and death of Jesus on the cross demonstrate God’s solidarity with humanity in its suffering and His willingness to enter into our pain and brokenness. Through His sacrificial death and resurrection, Jesus offers redemption and the promise of eternal life to all who believe in Him.

As believers identify with the suffering of Christ, they are invited to participate in His redemptive work in the world. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 describes God as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Through our own experiences of suffering and struggle, we are equipped to minister to others who are going through similar difficulties, offering comfort, compassion, and hope rooted in the love of God.

Through all of life’s trials, we are promised full victory. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). In addition to God’s help and strength through hardships, we have the assurance that no problem will be beyond our ability to bear it and that “he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). For God promises, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee” (Psalm 50:15).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the question of why God allows us to go through struggles is complex and multifaceted, touching on themes of sovereignty, free will, character refinement, spiritual growth, and redemptive suffering. While struggles and trials are often painful and challenging, they also serve a purpose in the Christian life, drawing believers closer to God, shaping their character, and equipping them for ministry.

As believers navigate the ups and downs of life, they are invited to trust in God’s wisdom and providence, knowing that He is working all things together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). While we may not always understand the reasons behind our struggles, we can take comfort in the promise that God is with us in our pain, offering comfort, strength, and hope for the journey ahead.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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