When It Doesn’t Feel Like God Is for Me

“Why did this happen?” My nine-year-old son’s question echoed my thoughts as he snuggled next to me in our oversized arm chair.

His teacher had crushed his world that day. I later learned many students struggled under the new teacher. But my son was the first casualty—at least that I knew about.

I held Brant and silently asked God for help. His gentle whisper resonated. “I’m for Brant.”

Aloud I said, “I don’t know why this happened. But I do know God is for you.”

Decades later, I still don’t know why my sensitive son had to deal with some awful teachers. I count three who could have walked out of Oliver Twist’s workhouse. What I do know: today Brant enjoys a close relationship with Christ.

God didn’t spare my son from pain, but His gentle assurance, “I’m for Brant,” softened our pain with peace.

God Is for Me

Maybe you’ve heard people ask, “If God is good, then why do bad things happen to good people?” Perhaps you’ve wondered, “If God loves me, why did He allow this to happen?”

Paul asked another question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31 NIV).

Paul knew that bad things happened to many good people in the Scriptures. He knew this world is not our home. And He trusted a big God to write a good story.

The Lord used the struggles of His people to showcase His glory to a dying world. Even today we know that God uses trials to make His people whole or “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4 NASB).

Old Testament Examples

  • Job: Job lost his wealth, children, servants, home, and health — including his ability to work. Chapter one says why Job suffered—because he was blameless and upright (Job 1:8). But Job didn’t know why. Neither did his friends.
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    His friends believed God wouldn’t allow bad things to happen to good people. They urged him to confess his secret sins. When bad things happen, like Job’s friends, we often wonder what’s wrong with us. Sometimes we wonder what’s wrong with God.
When bad things happen, like Job’s friends, we often wonder what’s wrong with us. Sometimes we wonder what’s wrong with God. #hope, #faith Share on X
  • Joseph: Some of Joseph’s brothers wanted to kill him. Another one wanted to rescue him. But the Lord had other plans. A caravan that bought slaves just happened to pass by while the brothers argued. You see, God had handpicked Joseph to play a major role in His story (Ps. 105:16-24). Suffering honed his character and leadership skills for God’s big assignment (Rom. 5:3-4).
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  • Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: God allowed a wicked pagan king to capture these faithful youths. Their losses showcased God’s glory to several pagan kings (Dan. 2:46-49; 3:28-30).

Loss and suffering are real. But the glory that comes from our pain rings through eternity. How many souls arriving in heaven line up to thank the brave men and women whose faithfulness encouraged them to persevere through their own dark days?

Trusting Our Father in Suffering

Are you suffering unfair treatment or loss? Remember, God is for you. He sent His Son to rescue you. Focus on His faithfulness instead of on the unfairness of your suffering (Rom. 8:35-39). Perhaps, like Paul, Job, and Joseph, your suffering shows you’re doing something right.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever (2 Cor. 4:17-18 NLT).

Comment here.

Blessings,

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. J.D. Wininger

    It’s been a long journey to reach the point where I can ask God, “What is it You want me to learn through this, Lord?” Growing up with the image of a vengeful God who was ready to play Whack-A-Mole with you the instant you messed up, I had to overcome that stigma by learning His grace and mercy. Learning that my trials weren’t meant as punishment took even longer. That’s the amazing thing about our transformation through sanctification; it’s an ongoing process. Thank you for this post Ms. Debbie. I pray it helps many.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      J.D., I think our spiritual enemy seizes the opportunity to whisper those awful lies in our ears when we’ve been knocked down. So thankful for the many examples in Scripture of God’s faithfulness during times we’ve faced unfairness.

  2. Maryleigh

    I have been there, Debbie – how can some of the sweetest kiddos I had have had some of those Oliver Twist teachers! Later, when they went through tough times, I would often say, “What does God want you to learn before you can come out of this?” (LOL – they weren’t fond of that question, either). Teaching my kiddos how to handle challenges has probably been the most surprise parenting lesson I had to learn to teach – but it sure is one that probably has equipped them the best. I am so glad God is for Brant – and for each one of us!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I know, Maryleigh. All I can think is they brought their issues to school or needed a new profession! But I’m glad we can trust God is for us even in those times.

  3. Ann J Musico

    Knowing the truth and having the right perspective makes all the difference.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      It certainly does! Thank you, Ann.

  4. Jeanne Takenaka

    Debbie, you’ve shared so much truth and a beautiful perspective. I’ve had seasons where I’ve felt like I was invisible to God. The Biblical examples you share are such an encouragement for us to meditate on when we’re struggling with not understanding the why’s of something God has allowed.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Jeanne, those biblical stories have encouraged me many times. I’m sure they had times they felt invisible to God too.

  5. Joanne Viola

    “Loss and suffering are real. But the glory that comes from our pain rings through eternity.”
    This is the perspective we need to hold onto when difficulty comes. May we set our focus on eternity even on the most challenging of days. Thank you for this reminder as it was needed!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh to live with an eternal mindset. It makes all the difference! Thanks, Joanne.

  6. Lois Flowers

    Debbie, Paul’s question (“If God is for us, who can be against us?”) reminds me of what David said in Psalm 124:1 … “If the Lord had not been on our side …” I’m so thankful that we can trust our “big God to write a good story.”

    • Debbie Wilson

      Love that verse. Thanks, Lois.

  7. Katherine Pasour

    You’ve shared a beautiful message of how we can always depend on God’s love, even when others let us down. As a career teacher, I observed and worked with many excellent and loving teachers. I also saw some bad ones. I guess it’s true in every occupation. However, it’s tragic and painful when students experience a year with a terrible teacher. It’s hard for the child to recover. But I’m grateful for our many wonderful teachers who serve God by caring for His precious children. I’m so thankful you and God were there for your son.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Katherine, I’m glad you brought up the good teachers. Because my son had some of those too. Night and day. I don’t know if teachers realize the impact for good or harm they have. Thank you!

  8. Annie Yorty

    When we remember our purpose for our lives, we can accept and even rejoice in our struggles. You’ve hit upon another important topic, Debbie. Thanks!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      So true. Thanks, Annie.

  9. Candyce Carden

    The five words Paul asked in Romans 8:31 must surely be one of the more powerful questions asked in the Bible. Simple yet so full of truth, hope, and encouragement. The old testament examples of bad things happening to good people should bring comfort to us all.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Candace, I agree. Makes me what to should “Hallelujah!

  10. Sandy Quandt

    Debbie, thank you for this reminder God is for us.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Sandy.

  11. Suzette Katopodes

    The older we get, the more opportunity we have to be mistreated by others. But we also get to learn more about how God shows up for us. He is always there. God is for us, and that knowledge helps us get past the mistreatment and look forward to glory, even forgiving those who hurt us.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      You’re so right. Knowing God is for me helps us forgive and look for the glory. Thanks, Suzette!

  12. Yvonne Morgan

    Amen! God is for me. What an amazing revelation for us. Thanks Debbie for sharing this message.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Yes, it is amazing. Thanks, Yvonne!

  13. Patti Gardner

    I found your blog through the Grace & Truth link-up. When we don’t think God is for us, we must believe by faith that he is. In my Christian walk, I’ve learned that it is easy to trust God and believe in His goodness when all is going well. It’s when things are confusing and/or hurtful that we must cling to what we know to be true. Not easy at all. But that’s where the rubber meets the road.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Patti, thanks so much for visiting. I hope you’ll come back. Yes, it requires faith when what we feel and see seems to contradict God’s Word.

  14. Lisa notes

    I appreciate your reminder that we all will have sufferings in life, but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t for us. Thanks for the encouraging message, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Lisa!

  15. Paula Short

    Debbie, this is so encouraging. I have several chronic illnesses and I have recently now been able to praise through my pain. And I’m also able to ask God “is there a lesson here?”
    I appreciate you sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends May link up dear friend.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Paula, I’m so sorry for your illness and pain. I just returned from a writers conference. It seems many of us deal with different levels of chronic illness. Somehow, knowing we aren’t the only ones helps. Because sometimes it’s easier to see how God is with someone else when we wonder if He is still for us.

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