Struggling with Struggle

Yesterday, I wrote about how I have been finding blessings amid struggles in my life.  I received a very thought-filled question about this from a reader who asked, “Why does God continue to test people and make them struggle in the first place.”

I admit that I am not a theologian, so I don’t have a “proper” answer to this, but I will try to speak from what I have observed in my own life and hope it helps.  I don’t think that God tests people.  It’s not his way, even though to us it might seem like a test, I think that the obstacles that we come across in life are ways that can help us either crumble, or grow, in our faith.  I don’t think those obstacles come from God, but just from life and the different circumstances we all encounter.  I do think that God does give us the tools to get us through those struggles, though.

Just thinking of my own life, I have had to deal with a very difficult struggle in the form of the loss of a loved one.  As I struggled with this, I turned to particular family and friends to find comfort.  Some people were not equipped to help me, but others provided the exact help I needed—love, support and, particularly, assistance in my own faith which at the time was not strong at all.  I was questioning God and wondering if he had abandoned me.  These people, however, made me see that God was present throughout my struggles, helping me.  And one of the ways God helped me was by putting those people in my life when I needed them.

Basically, I think life and people cause us to struggle, and God provides us with a way to survive through it, with the help of our faith.

Readers, what do you think?  Do you think that God provides a way to help people through trials and struggles?  How do you think God has helped you in your life?

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3 thoughts on “Struggling with Struggle”

  1. Re-read what you posted from Corinthians, the word “test” is in there three times. The Corinthians believed it is testing! Also, who is to blame when people don’t make it through their struggles? Does “god” pick and choose who he gives the strength and tools to make it through their struggles?

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    1. I admit I am not an expert on theology or Bible study. I took the word “test” in the previous passage from Corinthians to mean struggles and temptations that every human experiences. I don’t believe they come from God. It’s also my personal belief that I don’t think God picks and chooses who he gives strength to. I think it is us who chooses or not to ask God for help.

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  2. I dont think “test” means that God is directly “testing” us. God has given all of us the opportunities and the free will to make our own choices when faced with the tough decisions and suffering we all face. I certainly dont believe that God is sitting on a throne deciding that “today I am going to test the following people by making them suffer… God has given us life and with that life the free will to choose how we react and to make the choices we make.

    It’s a difficult thing to understand and realize, but the greatest gift we have been given is the gift of free will. It is not God that makes us do one thing or another. It is not God that allows suffering to happen. It is not God that makes people do bad, or good, things.

    Everyone has a choice. Bad people make the choice to do bad things, good people choose to do good. The sad part is there is suffering in the world because bad people do bad things, not because God allows suffering, but because God has given us the gift of free will to make our own choices including the choice to cause suffering on others and while we may not understand it, it is the greatest gift, because none of the good that people do would exist without it.

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