In part I of this series we discussed a few reasons why God allows struggles to occur in life: the wages of sins and the illusion that takes form when a problem exists. We are now going to outline some other possible reasons for this important question.

My wife has struggled with an issue in which doctors call obsessive compulsive disorder. She has struggled with this issue all of her life ever since she was in early elementary school. The manifestations of this disorder is usually mild, often embarrassing to her at times, but when things are bad it can be mentally disabling. My wife usually is a half glass empty type of person, on the outside, especially when she is nervous. On the inside she is a warm loving individual, and even though she often won’t openly admit it, she has a heart for God. I sometimes wonder if this “half glass empty” persona is simply a defense mechanism so people will never know that she suffers from this disorder, or if it is simply a result of nature or conditioning. It has been very interesting to watch her interact with other church friends over the years. You see, my wife has a tendency to be very open and very honest with people. People might ask her how things are going, and she will give them the truth. When church friends say things like “I’ll be praying for you”, that is often code for “I can’t handle listening to you right now”. That is often an easy way to end the conversation to avoid shouldering the load. Often times I feel as though the secular world often times does a better job than the church. It has been very popular in the secular world to teach that the building up of resentment and anger is an unhealthy way to live, but often times in the church our faces are painted with a smile. God tells us though: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them, He delivers them from all their troubles (Psalm 34:17). We will struggle in life and we need to talk about it and cry out to the Lord. That is one of the reasons the church is here, to share in each others struggles in life. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

So why does God allow such of a struggle to occur to even his own Christian child? The adversity principle is a concept from biology that is used to explain animal and plant life. Habitual wellness is not advantageous when it comes to the existence of a species. Just look at a tree growing in a tropical rain forest. The roots of the tree do no need to grow very far in order to receive a water supply, but during a windy storm the tree will be uprooted. In contrast many of the old oak trees around this area have root systems extending beyond 10 feet but during a windy storm the tree stands tall. Even though the tree had to struggle and grow throughout the years, it was for the greater good. Even though my wife has struggled with this issue all of her life, she is a stronger person because of it. She has a genuine concern and compassion for people in need of a listener, in which she will truly listen. That is one of the many reasons in which I fell in love with her.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).

My uncle Tom died in his early fifties, much too early for such a man of integrity and of God. He died of the cancer in his prostate, in which the end resulted in a horrible painful death. Leaving behind his loving wife to be alone in this world. Why would God do such a thing? This is a much tougher question to answer. I’m afraid we do not have all of the pieces of the puzzle to answer such a question in this lifetime, but it is important to remember that God does have all of the pieces and knows what the completed pictue looks like.

”Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:2-7)

It is also very important to remember that God is on a totally different value system. In human eyes, death is the end of the road, the ultimate defeat, the final tragedy. God views death much differently:

The righteous perish, and no-one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no-one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil (Isaiah 57:1). Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15).

To those of us who are hurt and suffering there is hope in Christ Jesus. We cannot even fathom what Heaven will be like on that day of celebration. I am positive that are current trials will be just a distant memory.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away…He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son”. (Revelation 21:3-4)

Reference inspired and used many times in this series: Holding On To Your Faith Even When God Doesn’t Make Sense by Dr. James Dobson.