Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us. — Meister Eckhart
There is a purpose for everything. Without darkness, there is no light. Without evil, there would be no free will. Without suffering, there would be no spiritual growth.
It’s difficult to explain to people—especially people critical of religion—but accepting a life of faith does not exempt people from struggles. Far from it. Christians struggle just like everyone else.
I read an article this week that said we shouldn’t tell people God is in control when they suffer a loss. God is sovereign in every situation, but he did not cause your pain and suffering. That’s not his game.
We’re not good at explaining why bad things happen to good people. Scripture tells us that God created evil. He created everything and evil exists, so it makes sense. If it exists, it has purpose.
That puts the adversary in a rather strange position, don’t you think?
God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. James 1:13
James tells us that we are tempted by our own desires. In counseling, I call it throwing rocks under your own feet. We spend a lot of time causing trouble for ourselves.
Origen taught of the preexistence of souls. In a sense, he taught that souls in Heaven get to choose their life on earth to learn a spiritual lesson. Life is a school for souls if you are looking for an easy explanation. So, your hardships in life are shaping you to be a better citizen in the next life.
Theology is man’s way of explaining God to himself. I don’t know if Origen’s theology is right and, frankly, it doesn’t matter. What does matter, when it comes to struggles is simple. We cannot expect to escape struggles and we cannot blame God for our problems.
It’s not an easy thing to grasp.
When you are faced with difficulty, pray wisely. God doesn’t want begging. He doesn’t need a list of possible acceptable solutions. He doesn’t mind questions. He only asks for faith. In the face of any struggle, turn your focus away from the difficulty and praise God for the answer.