Affliction forces us to rethink our opinion of God’s goodness. The disparity between our distress and desires presents us with three options:
- We can deem God weak, mean, aloof, or unreliable because he lets us suffer.
- We can conclude that he must not exist because if he were real, he would bless us with more goodness.
- We can believe, despite our distress, that God exists, that he is good, and that he is trustworthy.
The last alternative is the foundation of faith in God, which is the key to accessing the full array of his aid.
Faith Is A Choice
The Bible defines faith as the belief in what we cannot see or clearly understand and the conviction that the good we hope for will come to pass.
This means faith is a function of our will, not our feelings.
We exhibit faith amid affliction when we choose to believe in God and all his fullness, whom we cannot see, even though we have misgivings about him.
We exhibit faith when we choose to trust in the wisdom and logic of his grand plan, which we cannot clearly understand, even though we dislike its details.
We exhibit faith when we choose to rest in the knowledge that all the goodness we truly desire awaits us in heaven, even if it never materializes on earth.
Promise Justifies Faith
Distress distorts our perception of God, much like the peephole in a door warps our view of the person standing on the other side. Faith corrects our vision.
Faith bridges the gap between what God has revealed about himself, through nature and in the Bible, and what we could infer about him from our afflictions.
God’s promise of aid, not our adverse circumstances, evidences his true character. We reconcile our suffering with his goodness by choosing to believe its six implicit truths.
God Will Surely Come To Your Aid
- God exists. The cosmos, nature, and life itself affirm his existence.
- God is present with us. He delivers personalized aid in real time.
- God sees our plight. Awareness always precedes benevolence.
- God cares for us. Otherwise, he would promise nothing.
- God has the resources to help us. He has already provided for our physical and spiritual sustenance.
- God has obligated himself to help us. Note the extra emphasis in his pledge.
The promise does not merely state, “God will come to your aid.” Instead, the promise declares, “God will surely come to your aid.”
Read More About God’s Goodness
Examine the reasons we distrust God and the explanations for why we should trust him.
Our distrust often emanates from a caricature of God. Learn what he is really like.
Read about what we can rightfully expect from God.