Can we truly blame God for our hurts and pains?
This is a logical appeal to the problem of pain.
During my first year in Singapore, I travelled around with a portion of The Bible to read during my train rides. That’s the problem with the pre-smartphone era; that people get to see what you’re consuming. I remember after alighting at Dhoby Gaut station, I notice this guy running up to me trying to catch up with my pace. While crossing the street, he was nearly shouting pointing his fingers at me saying: “your God caused all the pains in this world. It’s your God’s fault!” I didn’t really respond to him but he did get my mind working. Was he declaring that ‘my God’ is the Almighty who hold all power and authority? Cause if not, then how can he hold my God responsible for anything? What got me worried is that this incident opened doors in my mind to what others may be thinking about God: why do they blame God?
I notice this recurrent theme in my blogs that stretched over the years; that we sense that there is something truly wrong going on in this world. Stress, suffering, and pain that needlessly enter our lives; and all of us are struggling to make sense of it. In Christian Counselling, this carries a big implication as it once again points to the problem of pain.
I have been writing about the cruelty of this world which most of our counselling client and even non-clients are complaining about. However, for a lot of people, the suffering and pain the world shows clash with the truth that God is Love and He is The Almighty. One won’t stop hearing such questions: “If God is love then why is there pain and suffering?” My concern here as a Christian Counsellor is that this seed of thought creates an unhealthy narrative that God is neither or none of those which The Bible claims.
I have to emphasize that I do agree that the world is full of pain and suffering. However, I do not see that as evidence that there is no God or that God is not who He says He is. In fact, having to see the world fall apart as we speak shows that The Bible is true. For The Lord Jesus Christ Himself prophesied and warned us of this.
Every time I encounter the problem of pain during my sessions, I always end up going back to the 2 main stories in The Bible. First of which is the story of man’s fall through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. We all know what happened in the Garden and its ramifications to our world (if not, I’ve provided our very own article links below). Secondly, I share my favourite parable, The Prodigal son, where The Lord Jesus Christ clearly explained how The Kingdom of God is like.
In both stories, it can clearly be seen that before pain and suffering came, man rejected God and His ways first. Nobody in God’s camp told Adam and Eve to eat that deadly fruit; in fact, it’s called The Forbidden Fruit! In the same token, no one told the prodigal son to leave the Father’s house. It was fully their decision to do so. So, I once again ask: whose decision were these to partake or the forbidden fruit and to leave The Father’s house? How can we then place the blame on others who had been calling for the opposite decision to be made? You can see, to blame God at this point for the suffering of Adam and Eve and of the fate of the prodigal son is like blaming your dietician for why you are overweight!
So, we are here to correct that deadly narrative designed to separate you from God. This is partly why The Lord Jesus Christ came down and told us to “Repent!” Stop doing all your nonsense and come back to ME! We have tons of correcting to do with our worldly thoughts and worldly logic.
We see the same patterns happening in today’s world. How can we blame God for the very thing we did which He has forbidden? How can we blame God for the very things we did to ours selves?
Can we blame God for the diseases creeping around this world; especially now that we know that most of them are man made? Like, can we blame God for COVID-19? Did The Lord instruct us to engineer bio-weapons so we can kill one another?
Can we blame God for the famine and the financial collapse, now that we know that these too are man made? Did God instruct us to destroy farm lands and dispose of livestock?
Can we blame God for the wars throughout history because man did the opposite of what He has been teaching us not to do?
No wonder we crucified Jesus Christ! The world has no place for Him! And the consequences of this world rejecting The Son of God is God’s fault?
It will always be God’s fault unless we start repenting by taking responsiblity for our actions. Christian Counselling always begin with people blaming everyone but themselves for their misery.
Today, we see that like The Prodigal son, our problems were made by us, propagated by us, and rightly experienced by us. Once we see that our sufferings are not God’s fault, then it is already a good start to your positive change. With your new narrative, your insight will lead you back home to The Lord Jesus Christ, just like the prodigal son was led to run back home to The Father.
The acknowledgement of a problem is the beginning of counselling.
The acknowledgement of your responsibility is the beginning of therapy.
I have problem and it is not God’s fault.
God is for me and never against me. It is not possible that He meant this evil for me.
I can therefore run to Him for protection, for comfort, and for support.
Run to Him as I should have from the very beginning.
This seed of repentance will sprout your new attitude and new habits in life. And so, my response to that guy throwing those nonsense at me: “Sir, it is exactly your attitude towards God that leads to the world’s sufferings and pains.” I pray for him and for everyone to see the truth of who God truly is; so that we, like the prodigal son, end up running towards Him instead of against.