I hate God because He allowed me to suffer, even though I prayed to Him for help.

Dear Ralph,

I saw your answer to someone on your website who was angry over God allowing them to lose a loved pet, and your answer had a lot of wisdom to it so I thought I would email you with my own question. I hope it's ok to email you with questions.

I did the net search for 'angry at God' because I have been so seriously ill for so long, yet praying for healing only to get worse and worse that I too became angry, if not rageful, toward God. I felt lied to by His word (which says there is healing) and I felt he had withheld his promise and left me in agony despite my years of praying. The betrayal and anger at getting sicker and sicker before him in tears led to feelings of HATE toward him. If I had not suffered so severely and constantly physically, I never would have felt this anger toward him.

I am wrestling with feelings of, "How evil is God to leave people in agony begging year after year for him to honor his own word" and I read your article which says he basically owns us and can do what he wants to us so we might as well not fight him. Maybe some Christians can die in agony happily and trust God that paradise is moments away. I on the other hand feel he has taken EVERYTHING away -- (I lost my marriage and home as well as my family and my cats, then my ability to even function or eat or breathe normally or sit still and not be in constant agony) I feel like all I have LEFT to lose is my life itself and I have never known such anger or hate in my life as I felt toward God, Jesus and the bible.

I know it's human nature to feel bitter in the midst of prolonged suffering and I realize the humanness at wanting God to honor his word and feeling angry that he doesnt. But after reading your reply to the other angry person, I feel like you are saying... if he torments us, it's his right? IF he kills us for his good pleasure, he is not evil but good?

How can he really have our higher good in mind if he is leaving us in agony and killing us off, I really don't understand that? If he is love, why would he give us such bitterness and strife when he could fix it all if he wanted?

The idea of trusting him is very hard in this situation.

The last thing I will add is I know I have 'no where else to go' so I sense I had better reconcile with God lest he thows me into hell eternally but, it's a lot of suffering and I don't know how to forgive him for it? I thought he was our good Father, and that the bible said he is our present help and deliverer and that he loves us etc? How can it be love to leave us in agony crying year after year unable to function and suicidal from the suffering and yet he wants us to trust him?

Thanks for any response you might send. Your response to that other person did at least have some insight. I am trying to grasp the idea that God is not there to do our will etc. but, really I thought if what we were asking for was in line with the Bible, ie, healing, it was not a wrong request and my faith is really hurt by the fact if I can't get healing to work as promised I am left wondering just how loving or trust worthy is He?

My response is in Green:

I am glad my message to the other person helped some. I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, however. I was trying to make the point that 'if' God wanted to torment us, or play games with us, or even make us suffer, He is God and can do whatever He wants to do. I don't for a moment believe that He is going to do any of those things, but the point I was trying to make is that He is our Creator and owes us nothing, no matter how He acts towards us. Until we understand that, we will not be able to view things from the right perspective.

God tells us a lot about Himself in His word and He says that He loves us, He says that He is merciful, that He is faithful and long suffering. So what we think of God has to line up with that or there is something wrong with what we think we understand.

Let me start by addressing your statement that God has not honored His promise to heal you. Where did you find that promise in the Bible? I will tell you I have read my Bible a lot and I have yet to find anywhere where God promises to heal us from physical ailments. There are many promises in His word.

For example He promises us eternal life if we believe in Jesus Christ:

(1 John 5:13 NIV) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

He promises us rest for our souls:

(Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) [28] "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

He promises to never remember our sins:

(Hebrews 8:12 NIV) For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

There are many more promises but I have not seen one which says that He will heal us. That is not to say that He does not heal, He often does. But it is wrong to believe that there is a promise in God's word that says He "will" heal you. This is one of the false doctrines that are pervasive in the church today. I hate these false doctrines because they cause people like you to stumble and turn from God when you need Him most. I am sure people have even told you that the reason you have not been healed is because you don't have enough faith. That too is a lie.

Let me show you what I am talking about:

(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV) [7] To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. [8] Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. [9] But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. [10] That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Would these false teachers tell Paul that he was not healed because his faith was not strong enough? They might, but they would be wrong. Paul tells us why he was not healed. It was not God's will, God told him that His (God's) grace was sufficient. Did God hate Paul? Was it that God did not care about Paul's suffering? No, it was that God had different plans then Paul did.

We live in a fallen world where there is sickness, disease, pain and suffering. Some times we lose sight of the fact that good things happen to both the good people and the bad people and bad things happen to both the good people and the bad people. The following passage was spoken by Jesus. He said it for a different reason, but we can look at it and glean something for our conversation too:

(Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV) [43] "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' [44] But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, [45] that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

God makes the sun raise on the good and the evil and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. This is important because what Jesus is saying is that while we are on this earth God treats us the same. That does not mean that He does not help His children more than the wicked, because He does, but what I am trying to show is that we live with the consequences of the curse on all of creation.

Now let me address why God does not automatically heal every Christian who asks Him to. This is my opinion and I am not claiming to speak directly for God, I want to make that clear. I believe that God wants us to love Him for who He is and for what He has done for us, in sending His Son to die in our place. Now if He were to instantly heal every Christian of every ailment they have, can you imagine how long the line would be to get into a church and be saved? The problem is that these people would not love God, nor would they want to serve Him, they would just want to be healed and if it took being a Christian, okay. They would not be willing to admit that they are sinners in need of God's mercy, they would just want healed.

Another reason I believe that God does not heal every Christian is that we can be much better witnesses for Him in our suffering then we can be in prosperity. I hear from non-believers, all the time, who claim I have no idea what their life is like, because we Christians are all fat cats who never have had any problems. I guess I don't have to tell you that it is not hard to show them that is not true.

There are Christians being martyred all over the world today. I have heard some of the stories. One story had to do with a man who was pulled out into the town square and told to deny Christ or he would be killed. As you can imagine many people stood around to see what would happen. The man refused to deny Christ and a soldier took a knife and cut off his arms. He still refused to deny Christ so they cut off his legs. He was bleeding to death and they were laughing at him, but he refused to deny Christ. In fact He praised God and asked Him to be merciful on these people.

The man died a horrible death. What happened to the church in that little town? It could not hold all the people who wanted to know Christ. They saw something in that martyr they had never seen before, they saw a peace in suffering that they could not understand but which they wanted too.

There is coming a time when things will be different, but that time in not yet. When that time comes the suffering we endure in this life will be behind us and we will never have to do through it again.

(Revelation 21:4 NIV) 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.

The old order of things has not yet changed and we will suffer just like every other human being on this earth. God will help us, but that does not mean He will always take the pain and sickness away from us.

Let me show you another passage written by Paul:

(2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NIV) [8] We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. [9] Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. [10] He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, [11] as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Don't miss what Paul is saying. He tells us that he was feeling so depressed that he wanted to die. He lists some of the things he went through in other places, he was shipwrecked, beaten, starving, cold and naked, put in prison, sick and many more. As he says here, 'far beyond our ability to endure' yet he goes on to tell us that he now knows why. It was so that he would learn to lean on God not himself. If Paul had to learn this, why do we think we know it all?

You said you don't know how to forgive God. That is not the problem. You don't need to know how to forgive God, you need to learn that there is nothing, to forgive, because God has done nothing wrong. You hate Him because He has not healed you, but that is wrong. You have no right to hold that against God. If you will place your faith in Jesus Christ then God will forgive your sins and save you from an eternity of torment in hell. If not, then you will suffer and be lost. God sent His only Son to die in your place. Not because Jesus had done anything wrong, but because you and I are sinners. Yet you hate Him for not taking your sickness away. If you live to be 100 years old that will be less than a grain of sand is in a pile of all the sand on earth, compared to eternity. Do you really want to trade eternity with Christ for a little less suffering now? I sure don't.

I wish God had not cursed the earth, I wish there was no pain and suffering, but that is not what happened. Job's wife told him to curse God and die. Job refused, although he kept defending himself and demanding to be able to defend his life before God. God considered Job a righteous man, but He did not take that attitude from Job. He told Job to stand up like a man and He would ask questions and Job could answer them. Of course Job could not answer them and that was the point. God's thoughts and plans are so far above us that we can't know or understand them. We must live by faith. Faith that God is who He claims to be even when it does not seem like it.

Why are you suffering? I have no idea. It might be part of living in a fallen world, it might be part of a larger plan God has for your life, or it might be something else. What is important is for you to love God for what He has already done for you, in sending His Son to die in your place. To trust Him no matter what happens in this life.

Let me show you that you are not the first one to struggle with this:

(Psalm 73:2-5 NIV) [2]  But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
[3] For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
[4] They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
[5] They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.

But look a few verses later:

(Psalm 73:16-17 NIV) [16] When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
[17] till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

What he now understood is that this life is not what counts, it is our eternal destiny. Until you realize that you will have no hope. Until you realize that God has not done anything wrong, you won't have the help you need. God will help you but He won't allow you to hate Him and go unpunished.

(Psalm 81:15 NIV) Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever.

Yes that is a tough verse, but I put it in here because you said you hate God. It is time to repent of those thoughts and find out what God's plan for your life is. I want to address one more thing. Many people misinterpret something that Jesus said, and use it to claim God has promised to do anything we ask. The passage is this one:

(John 14:13-14 NIV) [13] And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. [14] You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

They read that passage and think that Jesus is saying that anything we ask for in His name He will give us. That is not what He is saying. First you have to take the passage in context. Philip has just asked Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus is telling them that they have seen the Father because He and the Father are one. Then He goes on to tell them that they will do even greater things than He has done. He is speaking about furthering the kingdom of God. They do go on to do much more then Jesus did in this reference. He preached just to the Jews, but they eventually reached the world. That is the context, when we are striving to serve God and we have His kingdom in our minds and we ask for anything, to bring glory to Him, He will do it for us. This has nothing to do with our healing or driving expensive cars, etc...

I have been pretty blunt with you, but I think that is what you wanted. God loves you, and He hates the suffering that you are going through, but it is not His will to take that away at this time. This seems like a paradox to us, but God sees things from a totally different perspective than we do. Don't think for a moment that God enjoyed the suffering His Son went through to pay our sin debt, yet He allowed it to happen because He loved us.

Let me show you another seeming paradox to our way of thinking:

(Psalm 116:15 NIV) Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

How can that be? I think that our death is sweet to God because finally He can show us what we are not capable of understanding here and now. Finally He is able to take the pain and suffering away and hug us and show us first hand His love for us. I believe that heaven will be the sweetest to people like you who have suffered much in this life. It will be a great place for anyone who makes it, but it will be more precious to some, because of what they went through in this life. I hope you don't let the suffering you have now, keep you from that eternal gift that God has offered those who love Him. They love Him for what He has already done for them, in forgiving their sins. He paid a huge price to forgive us.

I hope that helps give you some perspective. Satan will do anything to get you to turn your back on Christ including calling Him a liar. Don't fall for Satan's lies.

Ralph

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