Have you ever asked yourself “why does God put me through so much pain”? Many people have asked this question at some point in their life.
When everything in your life has gone wrong for so long, you may start to believe that your circumstances are the result of God’s disappointment or displeasure toward you. You may think you are just getting what you deserve from a God who is out to punish you for the wrong you have done. Could this be true?
Some people believe that because of the way they have lived, God is putting them through so much pain as a form of punishment. Some people believe that God is not directly causing their pain, but is distant and letting them get what they deserve. Other people believe that God is allowing pain in order to mature them, teach them, or prepare them for a higher calling. So which is it?
I want to tell you and convince you by the Word of God that the answer is none of the above. God is absolutely not causing the pain in your life. Not only is He not causing the pain, He has provided a way out of the hardships you may be experiencing. He wants to rescue you and lead you out.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Is God Mad at Me?
God is a good Father, who does not want you to experience the evil and pain that this world so freely hands out. God does not use evil things to teach His children. Nor does He punish you for the wrong you have done. All punishment has been put on the body of Jesus at the cross. You have been set free. Jesus has taken the punishment for you. God is not mad at you.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. James 1:13
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6
All of the wrath of God toward sin was poured out on Jesus at the cross until He cried “It is finished” (John 19:30). God is not mad at you. He’s madly in love with you. Jesus took your sin and gave you His perfect righteousness as a gift – if you choose to accept it.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
If you are a born again believer, when God looks at you He sees the perfect righteousness of Jesus. The work of the cross has made you completely holy, clean, and blameless before God. This is good news! The record of all your sin has been completely destroyed. You have been made right with God.
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight Colossians 1: 21-22
God is not off in the distance watching you ‘get what you deserve’. He is closer than you can imagine, constantly whispering to you in that still, small, voice. He’s waiting for you to turn to Him and allow Him to begin to lead you into all the good He has stored up for you.
Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! Psalm 31:19
God is love (1 John 4:8), and He is constantly pursuing you, calling out to you, offering you hope and breakthrough. He is constantly knocking at the door of your heart, just waiting for you to let Him in.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20
Is God in Control of Everything?
Many people believe that God is in control of everything. This would make sense because after all, He is God, right? We even hear Christians say all the time “God is in control”. But here’s the thing, it’s just not true.
God is not in control of everything that happens in your life. Think about it for a minute- does He control you? No, He doesn’t. You are free to make your own choices, good or bad. He’s not controlling where you go or what you watch on TV. Freedom is a big deal in the Kingdom. Without freedom, you can’t have true love.
If God controlled everything, I can guarantee you there would not be children being harmed or abused. I can guarantee you that sickness and disease would not be snuffing out the lives of so many.
When you take the religious glasses off and look around at the world, it is absolutely clear that God is not controlling everything. And He doesn’t control all the circumstances in your life either.
If God was in control of everything happening in this world, then it would be very hard to believe that He’s a good God. If you just take a look at what’s going on in this world, it’s not hard to wonder where God is. The answer lies in the fact that when God created mankind, He gave dominion of the earth to humanity.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
When God says something, it becomes absolute reality. When He said let man have dominion over what’s happening on the earth, that completely settled it. He gave over dominion of this planet to mankind.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, Psalm 8:6
God created humans and gave them authority over the earth. When He did this, He restricted His own authority and power on the earth. This is why He had to come as a human to rescue us. Mankind has authority on this earth, so God had to become a man to legally come and die for the sins of the human race. This is why Jesus referred to Himself many times as the Son of Man. He was reminding the devil that he was indeed there legally as a human.
But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Matthew 9:6
For more about this, read: Does God Control Every Little Thing?
Is God Trustworthy?
One thing we don’t really understand about God is that He is completely one with His Word. He doesn’t say something and go back on his word the way people do. When He says something, it becomes covenant. God is completely trustworthy. It is impossible for Him to lie. The entire universe is held together by the integrity of His Word.
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19
who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3
Ultimately, God’s purpose will prevail. His ultimate purpose for humanity and the earth, including certain events that will take place are outlined in the Bible and will ultimately come to pass. God does indeed have the last say. The result of the planet and humanity will ultimately come to pass just as He has said in His Word. But until then, He has given humans complete dominion on the earth.
This wrong belief that God is in control of everything causes Christians to be passive and not resist the devil. If someone believes that God is in control of everything, they won’t resist sickness or poverty or confusion. They won’t resist evil the way we are commanded to.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
How to Know What God is Like
Before Jesus came, the true nature of God was veiled. No one really knew what God was like. They were seeing parts of His nature, but Jesus came to show the world what God was really like. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus was the exact representation of God. Jesus said “if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father”.
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:1-3
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:7-9
Understanding that Jesus is the exact image of God and expresses His nature perfectly will set you free. Your theology will become much simpler if you just look at Jesus. Did Jesus cause people pain? No. Did Jesus put sickness on people? No. In fact, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and bring life to those who believe.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:38
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
If God is Good, Why Do Bad Things Happen?
The Bible tells us that the god of this age, or the devil, is working through the sons of disobedience, or those who have not been filled with the Spirit of God. Bad things happen because humanity turned it’s back on God and His goodness, thereby handing authority over to the devil.
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:4
The devil is ultimately behind all the evil in this world. He uses people to hurt others, bring poverty, and cause so much destruction. Humans are ultimately the ones who allow evil in this world, not God.
Psalm 115:16 But the earth He has given to the children of men.
Remember we read in Genesis 1:26-28 that God gave dominion over this earth to humans. When Adam and Eve believed the serpent and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they gave their authority over to the devil. From that moment on, evil began to roam on the planet and creation was corrupted by sin. But praise Jesus, through His finished work on the cross, our authority over the earth has been given back to us. Jesus took back the authority that was handed over to Satan and gave it back to us!
In Luke 10:19 Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
It is our responsibility to take dominion and subdue the evil in this world. God allows what we allow, because He has handed the dominion of this earth over to us. He has given us the responsibility. He can not violate His own Word to help us. In fact, he has exalted His word above His name.
Psalm 138:2 …For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
God abides by His own word! His integrity is completely pure.
When bad things happen or evil is influencing your situation, you do not have to just accept it and wonder why God is allowing it. God allows what you allow!
Use the authority that Jesus has given you and take dominion over the situation. Use your words and speak to the problem like Jesus taught us in Mark 11:23-24. Speak directly to the situation and subdue it. Then speak and declare what the Word of God says about you and your situation. You can rest in the finished work of Jesus. He’s already provided everything you could possibly need for this life.
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 2 Peter 1:3
For more about how to use the authority Jesus has given you, read my article Is God Ignoring Your Prayers?.
Most people on this earth have chosen to go their own way and ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit. They don’t adhere to the ways of the Kingdom, therefore they are completely available to be used by the devil to bring his horrendous schemes to pass.
God would never use someone to intentionally hurt you. He loves you and wants the best for you. One of the things that the devil always does after he brings destruction into your life is to blame God for it. Reject this! God is never behind the pain and loss in your life.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
Some of the pain and hardship we experience in our lives is caused by our own ignorance and wrongdoings. When we choose to live a way that is not the way of wisdom, destruction is the result. When we choose to ignore the Bible’s warnings and plow ahead in our own way, we end up getting really hurt.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12
Just like any good Father, God warns us about the consequences of making wrong choices. Just like any loving Father, He corrects us when we are living below our true value. But, He doesn’t make the bad things happen. He wants you to walk with Him, safe in His presence, listening to His voice. He’s always with you. He will lead you out of trouble- if you will listen.
God Can Work All Things Together for Good
Part of the reason that people believe God causes them pain, is because God is so good at taking what the devil meant for evil and turning it around for good. He does this so well, in fact, that people believe He caused the bad things in the first place!
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:20
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Sometimes God turns bad circumstances around so well that it’s hard to believe He didn’t cause the bad. But the truth is that He is just really, really good at turning things around and using them for your good.
God has never been the author of the bad things in your life. God is ONLY good, and He only does good things. He is not twisted in His ways. He is completely righteous, and all His works are righteous.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. Psalm 145:17
Understanding the true nature of God will help you know that He would never cause you pain. He would never hurt you or abandon you.
How Does God Teach Us?
God never, ever, uses evil to teach you something. This belief is so crooked, yet many Christians believe this. Would you cause your child to get hit by a car and put in the hospital for weeks in order to teach them something? Of course you wouldn’t! In fact, you’d probably be put in jail if you did so. But we blame God for doing stuff like this.
God is absolute, pure goodness. He’s better than any human ever thought about being. He does not use evil to teach you.
Can you learn things through bad circumstances? Yes, you definitely can. God will teach you things anytime you’re open to hear Him and receive instruction.
Many times when something bad happens, people turn to the Lord and are open to hear Him. But that doesn’t mean He’s the one that caused the bad. He was just there to meet you as soon as you turned to Him.
When God wants to teach you something, He primarily uses His Word.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
When God corrects you, it doesn’t always feel good to the flesh, just like when a loving Father corrects their child. When you read something in the Word of God and you sense that it is jumping out at you and correcting you, humble yourself and receive the correction. God loves you as His precious child.
This correction from the Lord is something I have come to cherish. It is a gentle nudging that says “you’re acting below your true nature- remember who you are”. It’s not always easy to submit to, but it reminds me that my Heavenly Father is actively caring about me and training me. He is present and active in my life. A good Father is always leading and correcting their children.
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? Hebrews 12:7
God has many ways to teach you and correct you, but never through evil, tragic ways.
Sometimes people think that when they went through an extreme hardship or tragic event, that God caused it in order to get their attention. In reality, they just finally turned their attention toward God when they needed someone higher than themselves.
Understanding that God doesn’t cause the pain in your life is really critical to having a good relationship with Him. If you want to learn more about who God really is, I highly recommend a book called The True Nature of God. It will really bless you!