Internationally renowned speaker and author Joyce Meyer has addressed one of the trickiest subjects in Christian apologetics: why do we face suffering?
In a blog entitled 'Why the Storms?' posted today, Meyer writes: "As I think about the storms we all face in life, I can understand why people sometimes ask, 'Why the storms? Why do we have so many problems and struggles in life? Why do God's people have to deal with so much suffering?'
"As I considered these questions, I began to see that Satan plants these questions in our minds. It is his attempt to keep us focused on our problems instead of focusing on the goodness of God. If we persist in asking these questions, we're implying that God may be to blame."
Meyer continues by noting that it isn't necessarily "wrong" to question God, or ask him why we are going through trials during our lifetime.
Indeed, she points out that the Psalmists certainly weren't afraid to petition the Lord during times of suffering, and notes the story of Lazarus in John 11, when Martha says to Jesus "Master, if you had been here, my brother would not have died".
"Aren't many of us like Martha?" Meyer asks.
"We want our lives to run smoothly, and when they don't, we ask why? But we really mean, 'God, if You truly loved and cared for me, this wouldn't have happened'."
Meyer suggests that when we call on God for an explanation of why we go through terrible circumstances, we don't really want a pithy response, but instead the comforting embrace of an all-loving, all-powerful and all-compassionate God.
"Is it possible that we're asking, "God, do You love me? Will You take care of me in my sorrow and pain? You won't leave me alone in my pain, will You?'" she writes.
"Is it possible that, because we're afraid that God doesn't truly care about us, we ask for explanations?"
Meyer concludes with a prayer, sharing the importance of resting in the certainty that we are loved and known by our Creator in an uncertain world.
"Heavenly Father, instead of asking for answers to the why questions, help me to focus on Your great love for me. When Satan tries to fill my mind with troublesome questions, help me to feel the protection of Your loving, caring arms around me. Help me always to show my gratitude and devotion for all that You do for me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen."