Why Can’t Life Be Easy?

Why does life seem to be so hard? It is one of the age-old questions that can challenge our faith in God as the all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful deity that we profess him to be. Why do humans experience hardship, suffering, sickness, and persecution? How can God allow these terrible circumstances to befall anyone, let alone his faithful children?
In the Church, we are quick to place blame squarely on sin, and rightly so. For we live in a broken world where sin and evil cause chaos, confusion, and so much pain. But why does the God who loves us and holds the power to end our hardship and misery allow it to persist?
I certainly do not have all the answers, nor do I claim any expertise on this matter. Like many other Christians, I earnestly believe that God loves us, knows everything, and is completely powerful to do anything that he so wills. So I also revisit this subject from time to time. Today I found comfort in Paul’s words in Romans 5:3-5 that reminded me that God is at work in the midst of our suffering: “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
So even though God does not cause our suffering, Paul points out that God is at work through it to produce perseverance, character, and hope in us. Therefore instead of bemoaning the suffering and hardship we experience in this life, Paul exhorts Christians to rejoice in it as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. And in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul reminds us that God will never leave us nor forsake us: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
If you ever feel all alone in your suffering, remember this Good News: God is at work in you and will never abandon or forsake you! He will give you strength. As people of the cross, we know that we will experience hardship and suffering in this life. Jesus promised this much in John 16:33! Yet we walk in faith trusting that Jesus has overcome the world. In his goodness and mercy, God will never abandon or forsake us but instead will give us gifts of strength, character, and hope.
And this is Good News not only to sustain us through the hard times, but it is also to be shared as a witness to the world. As we walk beside those experiencing life’s difficulties, may we have compassion as we gently share the Good News of Jesus. They are not alone, not abandoned, and not forsaken. Even though we may not be able to see it in the moment, we believe that God is at work in the midst of the brokenness and pain to develop perseverance, character, and hope. Life will not be easy, but with God at work in us and through us, it is still good!

Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for LCMC Texas District and Program Director of Harvest Workers, an online ministry training program (learn more at www.harvestworkers.net). Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 ext. 2 or bryce@lcmctexas.org.

© 2021 Bryce J. Formwalt, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.