I originally wrote this on September 22, 2013. Almost two years later, I feel these words resonate so deeply with me still. May it bless you on your journey.
Someone once told me to rejoice in spiritual oppression because feeling opposition from evil means you’re doing something that Satan doesn’t like.
That sounds like a nice rhetoric, yet whilst in the middle of a spiritual battle , any feeling of joy is highly unlikely.
These emotions have replaced my usual, optimistic outlook on life and I can’t figure out if it’s rooted in spiritual pressure or God’s gift of discipline.
Maybe it’s both?
The Bible talks a lot about God disciplining us, molding us like jars of clay, or teaching us to trust in Him. It’s not unusual to suffer in Christ, take up a cross, or, like Paul, struggle with a thorn in our literal or hypothetical side, but when it all comes down to it, how do we know the difference?
This is the ultimate theological “which came first: the chicken or the egg” types of questions:
Where is God in evil?
Maybe God is trying to teach me some altruistic life lesson? This is the Christianese, churchy, “trust in God” kind of answer that I’ve heard a couple times in the past few months from well meaning and loving friends. While it could be true, it doesn’t really help me at all. Instead, it’s just a spiritual band-aid on a bleeding wound.
If God is trying to teach me something, why do I hear lies running through my head all day? I’ve separated myself from my church family because I don’t fit in anymore. I’m consumed with negative self talk and thoughts that scare me while I’m laying in bed at night.
Does this really sound like God?
Now, I’m stuck. I’m left in this weird place of spiritual confusion and discouragement.
For someone who used to know all the answers, I’m at a loss for what’s happening in my life. Deep down, I know God is in my life somewhere, but when I can’t hear Him, see Him, or experience Him, I am left wondering where He’s hiding. I feel spiritually abandoned, like I don’t belong to anyone.
So, where is God in evil? Does He allow evil to happen for purpose or is it simply part of our broken world?