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When difficult times come upon us, God is at work in the midst of the struggle and pain as any loving father would, not necessarily punishing his children but “disciplining” us so that we learn and grow. Yes, sometimes we need to be chastised. Other times we just need to be shaped and molded and directed. The presence of pain does not necessarily indicate the presence of sin. Certainly, the book of Job has removed that disgusting notion from the thinking of any responsible Christian.
Do you want so badly to engage in certain activities, rigorous regimens of spiritual disciplines, hoping they will finally spiritually grow you?
Do you hope staying busy with these activities this will be the answer to some of the unresolved guilt and shame you have in your own life, that you are not as spiritually mature as you should be?
Dr. John Coe, reminds us in this episode of "Curious Christian" that no amount of effort can ever relieve us of this burden of shame and guilt, except Christ.
Sometimes the pain in our lives is so intense that we can barely breathe. It doesn't feel like we deserve the pain (and perhaps we don't), and it is unjust for God to allow us to walk through the darkness. One of the worst things that someone can say at that time is to quote Romans 8:28, so before those times come we need to decide whether or not God is all good all the time, and whether or not he works in all things for good.
Is God righteous? Is God just? Does God reward righteousness and punish wickedness? Does God reward righteousness and punish wickedness? I think when we get involved in the pains of life and things do not go in life as we think they should this becomes one of the fundamental questions that the Christian has to answer.