Processing Tragedies

  • July 25, 2017
  • #9192

Instead of blaming God for illness, difficulties, and disappointment, bless Him for his ability to bring good out of suffering.

Processing Tragedies

I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with advice if you’re tempted to blame God.

Miriam just wrote me this question on Facebook. She has wrestled through one terrible medical problem after the next, including back pain, cancer, migraine headaches. She posted: “Joni, how can I process tragedies in my life without blaming God?” Great question and it really touched me, because I too, was once tempted to blame God for my accident and resulting paralysis. And I just bet you’ve felt the same. After all, if God is sovereign (and He is), and if He could stop problems from piling on, but chooses not to, well… isn’t He to blame?

But as I told Miriam, to blame God is to assume that He’s done something wrong. We’ve got to remember that humans brought sin and suffering on ourselves. We were the ones who broke the contract back in the Garden of Eden, not God. And back pain and cancer, and headaches and hardships, and quadriplegia flow from that original rebellion of our parents. Disease and disability are just part of what it means to be human. It just naturally comes with the package. So God cannot be blamed, for He has done nothing wrong or unjust or evil; it’s just not in His character. But what is in His character is laid out in Jeremiah Chapter 32, verse 41. God says, “I will rejoice in doing them (that is His people) doing them good with all my heart and soul.” I love that. Another translation says that it is His great delight to do good toward us.

What good could possibly come from back pain or cancer or migraine headaches? Well, that is an issue of trust for Miriam. If she can but trust God, she will find Him trustworthy, something that truly glorifies the Lord. She will find His courage in her heart and discover that she is capable of even more trust which, in turn, will lead to patience and contentment and endurance and self-control. Her trust in God will then grow more, and she will marvel at her ability to smile, despite the problems which, in turn, will give Miriam a happy heart of heaven, a heart for Jesus. That is the good that God is talking about in Jeremiah Chapter 32.

And this is what I am celebrating this week. Because this coming Saturday is going to mark 50 years since I took that dive on a hot July afternoon back in 1967. And with each year that goes by, my trust in the God of the Bible who does only good, that trust continues to grow. And I pray that Miriam’s trust in Him will also grow. He is not a God to be blamed; He is a God to be blessed. And oh, by the way, I’d love for you to celebrate this special milestone with me. Just visit joniandfriends.org/radio and ask for your free copies of my Joni’s Story Gospel tracts. It’s got my testimony, the salvation message, and a prayer that people can use to embrace Christ as Lord and Savior. Use these tracts to tell people about your friend, your good friend, Joni. That’s right, I’m your friend who is marking 50 years in this wheelchair. It’s an easy and wonderful way to share the Gospel with your unsaved friends.

Finally, I pray that your trust in God will grow. Like Miriam, take courageous steps in trusting the Lord, even though you might not understand His plans because God knows all about suffering. He wrote the book on it and He called it Jesus. Believe me, when they hang you on a cross like meat on a hook, you have got the last word on suffering. And what is the really beautiful thing? John 3:16 tells us that Christ is the one who took the blame for us. So rather than blame the Lord, let’s bless the Lord.

© Joni and Friends

 

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