“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”Lamentations 3:31-33
The seeming contradiction between God’s unfailing love and the painful things He sovereignly ordains is one of the mysteries of life. A loving parent whose child continues to make destructive choices understands. God does not rush, nor does He delight in increasing the heat in His children’s lives. But His love is so great that He will necessarily bring about that which is best to form godliness in them. If caring parents won’t withhold consequences from a wayward child, why would we expect less from an all-wise, all- loving heavenly Father?
Christian counselor and author Ed Welch writes, “The belief that is hard to shake is that God wants to make our life easier and that He is eager to shield us from the hard things of life. This is NOT the case. When we get God’s story right, our suffering confirms that we belong to Him; it doesn’t mean that He is distant and unresponsive. Suffering/trials is a time when He is obviously at work, and our spiritual task is to turn to Him rather than try to manage our world our own way.”
“God has given, he has taken,/ but his children ne’er forsaken;/ his the loving purpose solely/ to preserve them pure and holy.” (Carolina Sandell, 1855)