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God and Our Trials and Tribulations

Discussion in 'Exposition & Bible Study' started by newton3005, May 22, 2022.

  1. newton3005

    newton3005 Active Member

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    Many of us have undergone stress and setbacks. The Bible tells us that these are good for us, because they strengthen out faith in God. James 1:2-4 tells us to presume that any and all of these are God’s way of testing us. In a sense, if God went so far as to test Jesus and Job, there’s no reason to believe He wouldn’t test us. And in Jesus case, you might say that to a certain extent it was a learning experience since what he learned with his confrontation with Satan he could use in convincing others of God’s love that is available to all.

    Some of us may wonder why at certain times, things have become exceptionally bad all of a sudden and all at once. Well, James 1:2-4 says God is testing us. And it also says we should be joyful that God wants us to be able to endure the curveballs life throws at us, since it strengthens us against the stresses and setbacks that the devil throws against us, including the temptations that would lead us astray.

    We know that being in certain situations that tries our resilience isn’t the best thing compared to what else we could be doing. Last night at almost midnight I was waiting in my car for AAA to show up, because my car door wouldn’t shut, due to a latch issue. Ordinarily I would be in bed hours earlier, reading myself to sleep and thinking about what I was going to do today. I mean, there are better things to do than to wait in your car for a mechanic to show up.

    But then I started thinking this was only temporary, and when the car is fixed, all the unpleasantness associated with this incident will pass. Talking about curveballs, which might lead one to think about baseball, when Johnny Bench was catching for the Cincinnati Reds, the Reds pitcher was stressed out because he gave up a couple of key hits in the ninth inning, loading the bases, it looked like the Reds would lose the game. I realize that depending on your perspective, something like losing a ballgame is not the worst that can happen, but we all have things we strive for that can result in the same degree of disappointment in terms of our objectives.

    Anyway, seeing that he needed to calm down his pitcher, Bench went to the mound. He told his pitcher, ‘Just think about the steak dinner I’m going to treat you to if you get these guys out in winning the game.’ Turns out, the pitcher got the players out and the Reds won, after overcoming a losing situation. My point? There’s a good chance that things that seem overwhelming one day will have come to pass when time goes by. For the pitcher, one minute he’s in a stressful situation in front of thousands of people who want their home team to win, and the next minute he’s relaxed in a restaurant enjoying dinner. Whatever happens will come to pass.

    The other day I read of a college-bound high school student who was being blackmailed by someone who threatened to display nude pictures of him on the internet, if he didn’t give them the money he was saving up for college. The student ended up committing suicide. As anyone whose faith in God knows, suicide is bad in more ways than one. Not only is it murder, but it is at least a strong possibility that under God, things may have turned out better for that student, as Romans 8:28-29 would tell us. And we know that as it says in Philippians 4:13, God strengthens us.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
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  2. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic Supporter

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    Maybe He strengthens us, but in that case I think it was God who lost.
    He knows the outcome,
    He knows how strong we are,
    And most important, He knows the future!
    So my question would be how come God tested that student beyond his endurance???
     
  3. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

    God didn’t test him! The blackmail was the result of his actions—taking nude photos—which landed in the wrong hands. If he’d honored his temple as we’re instructed to they wouldn’t exist and there would be nothing to hold over him. Sin was the culprit. Not testing.
     
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  4. newton3005

    newton3005 Active Member

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    1 Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

    Perhaps the student could have endured what he was going through if he gave himself a chance, and he knew that God had more confidence in him than he gave himself credit for.
     
  5. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello Newton3005, Romans 8:28 is a wonderful promise from God to “the called”, which I believe includes all of us who truly/presently “love Him”, as well (in a more limited sense, of course) all of those who He knows eventually will (saints and saints to be, IOW).

    Did the sad story that you told us in your OP give any indication elsewhere that the student who committed suicide knew/loved God (that he was a believer)?

    Thanks!

    —David

    Romans 8
    28 We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

    .
     
  6. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic Supporter

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    Not necessarily.
    First, we aren't told that there were pictures like that in existence.
    And secondly, it is quite possible to fake pics like that. Just put a head on a body, and take a pic.
    So even if it never happened, the threat was that people would think that it was real.
     
  7. Blade

    Blade Veteran Supporter

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    I think maybe we don't truly understand just what God does or can do in this fallen world and who can. Even with the word "test". I know the farther away I get from God the more these things happen :)
     
  8. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    To hold God responsible is errant. Whether he took the photos or not; there’s a problem which compelled him to take his life.

    Slander is old as time. People lie and misrepresent us. But you don’t kill yourself life because of it. That requires other balls in play that bring you to the point of resignation and apathy. And its usually a lengthy process. A whittling away of the resolve until little remains.

    I’ve known many who were suicidal. They didn’t get there overnight. The problem is rarely the catalyst for the act. It’s the final straw but wasn’t the root. A spirit of death doesn’t come the first time you call. You’ve gotta keep at it.
     
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