Is God for me or against me?

The message of the Bible is that God is for you. He has plans for you, not to destroy you, but to give you a hope and a future. That is his desire and intention.

Then why am I suffering, you ask? Why don’t I have a job? Why did my wife leave me? Why am I sick, dying, maybe?

I wish I could give a satisfactory answer. I know that I don’t like to suffer, to be in pain, to have broken relationships, to lose a loved one. But do I really think that if I am going through these things, it means that God is against me? Or that God is unjust or unloving?

Many people in the Bible suffered tremendous hardship. Sometimes they suffered as a direct result of what they believed to be true about God. They suffered because they told others what they believed and tried to convince them of the truth they had seen. Was God against them?

I could quote scripture verses here, but I choose not to. Instead I am speaking about the general tone of the Bible and sharing insights and guidance, without chapter and verse references.

How do I, personally, know that God is for me? I know because I believe that I am his creation. He loves his creation. I know because he sent his son Jesus to live among us, to show us his love, to identify with us in our suffering. I know because in his love he has given us guidelines for living in a way to protect us from lifestyles that are harmful. I know because Jesus went to the ultimate length and allowed himself to be killed by people who were against him.

Bad things happen to good people, even the perfect son of God. If God allowed Jesus to suffer, we too can expect suffering. Just as God helped Jesus and raised him in victory, he will help us when we look to him. Jesus’ life and death show us that the fact that we suffer does not mean that God is not for us.

If we suffer, it does not mean that God does not love us. It simply means there is the presence of evil, deterioration, and death in the world and we continue to be affected by it. Accidents will happen. We will encounter people with bad intentions. Our bodies will break down or succumb to diseases. We may lose our jobs. We may be treated unjustly. But the truth about God remains the same. He is for us.

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