A sad but not uncommon issue that occurs with the women we work with who choose life over abortion is increased struggle. That may take the form of spiritual attacks and doubts, physical ailments, and sometimes even miscarriage or issues with the baby. Oftentimes, the women begin to question and blame God. They wonder why God seems to be punishing them after they have made a monumental step towards righteousness and faith in saving their babies.

At its core, this is an age-old question and one that kept me from the Lord for years. Why does a good God allow or even cause suffering? This question becomes even more troubling when someone has committed her life to the Lord, repented of the sins in her life, and then found her struggles increasing!

It is the source of continual outcries across the pages of the Bible. A major theme of the heroes of faith is asking why the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous face unjust struggle and persecution. Much greater theologians than I have tackled this question; however, I do think we should have some comfort and truth ready to share when the issue inevitably arises in our sidewalk outreach.

The principles outlined below have helped me in broaching an answer. As in all situations of struggle and hardship, we should always begin with expressions of compassion and sympathy for what they are enduring. But we should also be prepared with Biblical truth to help them reframe their perceptions and conclusions in a God-honoring and empowering way.

A False Belief That God is Not With Us in Our Troubles 

‬”Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” cries the psalmist. God often does seem distant and far away in difficult times. Over and over again, the great saints of the Bible call out that they feel all alone in their struggles. They do not feel God is there. They feel abandoned. Elijah expresses this wrenching cry in 1 Kings 19:

“He said, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away (1 Kings‬ 19‬:10).'” ‬‬‬‬‬

God quickly responds to Elijah’s mournful cry. He shows immediately that He is right there with Elijah. He provides Elijah with food and rest. He assures Elijah he is not alone but that there are a whole group of fellow believers who love and follow God and have not bowed to Baal. And then he sends Elijah a special friend, Elisha.

The key point is to help people in the midst of feeling abandoned by God KNOW that God is with them. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is right there. Feelings are terrible barometers of God’s presence.

A Prideful Sense That Nothing Can Shake or Harm Us 

“Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. His ways are always prospering; Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; As for all his enemies, he sneers at them. He has said in his heart, ‘I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.’ His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent; His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, That the helpless may fall by his strength. He has said in his heart, ‘God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see (Psalms‬ 10‬:1‬-11‬)‘”. ‬‬‬‬‬‬

At first, the psalmist feels God is far away in the times of trouble. The enemy is prospering and sneering at God while the righteous are suffering. But by the end of the psalm, he realizes the truth. The key is examining the first portion of Psalm 10. Those who are not committed to God  are not only full of pride thinking they can do whatever they want, but they believe I shall never be in adversity. 

Notice this: ENEMIES of God believe they shall never be in adversity.

At its core, our complaining about our struggles suggests the same false belief. God never promises us we will not face adversity. Adversity does not mean God has abandoned or forgotten us. It does not mean we are being punished. We do not need to conclude as the ENEMIES of God conclude that adversity means God left us.

We must come to the same conclusion the psalmist does eventually. We must TRUST in God’s goodness and purpose EVEN in adversity. His justice WILL prevail and it will be at just the right time.

“But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more (Psalms‬ 10‬:14‬, 17‬-18‬).”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Shallow Roots of Faith

“But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 

But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles (Matthew‬ 13‬:6‬, 20‬-21‬).”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Jesus talks about the seed that falls on shallow ground. It springs up quickly but withers because it has no root. Later on, he will explain that the person who has no roots lasts only a short time because they fall away when trouble or persecution come.

This is a clear admonition to remain faithful through adversity. It is a shallow faith that causes us to lose hope in God when trials ensue.

A Recognition That God is ALWAYS There 

“Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone (Genesis‬ 35‬:3).” ‬‬‬‬‬

Jacob had endured many struggles and even at one point wrestles with God refusing to relinquish his hold on God until God blesses him. In that amazing encounter, God complies! I believe the point here is when we are struggling, DO NOT LET GO OF GOD. Understand, as Jacob so beautifully expresses in the above scripture, God is with us, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN through our distress.

Guard Your Heart and Know His Word

I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).

This verse reminds us of the antidote to sin and wallowing in self pity. TREASURE God’s word in our heart. It is the only way to guard our heart from questioning God in the midst of pain and struggle. If we know His truth, His promises, His character as so continually displayed in the pages of the Bible, we will be able to trust His goodness in the face of terrible struggle. 

Trust the Holy Spirit to Guide and Help

Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us (2 Timothy 1:14).

We are not left helpless and unarmed in the battles of life. If we have truly and fully committed our lives to Jesus as Lord, the Holy Spirit enters and empowers us. He WILL guide us. He WILL comfort us. He WILL sustain us.

We can quench the Spirit when we sin. Thus, we must be very honest and careful in assessing our behavior and thoughts. Are we truly following the Lord in every area of our lives? So often, the women we work with face terrible struggle, and then blame God. They claim they are living for Him at the same time that they are continuing in sexual immorality. All sin reduces the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must truly confront sin. Then TRUST and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us in our trials.

There Can Be a Glorious Purpose in Suffering 

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans‬ 5‬:1‬-5).‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬”

Ultimately, there IS a purpose in trials and suffering. If there were not, God would not allow it. He tells us that tribulation ultimately leads to hope and demonstrates and cements our understanding of the love of God. 

This is most poignantly and clearly expressed in the Crucifixion. A greater picture of suffering can hardly be presented … and that suffering was imposed upon Jesus Christ Himself. Yet it would lead to the absolute greatest victory and result of all time. Through Christ’s suffering, humankind would be fully restored to a right relationship with God, sin would be vanquished, the enemy would be defeated, and all suffering would end forever.

Vicky Kaseorg

Vicky Kaseorg

Vicky Kaseorg is a missionary with Love Life. An author of over 25 books, she is ardently pro-life and deeply desires to share the hope and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ through her work, writing, and life. Read her personal blog at vickykaseorg.blogspot.com.


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