Is God Punishing You when you fall on Hard Times?

©Written by Y. Luke

Many who have fallen on hard times feel that God is punishing them for something they did in the past. Many feel that if things are going well God is with them and if things are going wrong, God is against them. However does the Bible indicate that our personal hardships mean God is punishing us?

The Bible has records of many God-fearing individuals who fell on hard times. In fact, one of them even thought God had forsaken him. His name is Job.

Job was a wealthy man who had many children and several lifestock. One day he suddenly found himself alone, broke and sick with a loathsome disease. Thinking God had something to do with it, he exclaimed “My friends, I beg you for pity! God has made me his target.” Job 19:21 (CEV)

The following Bible verses give 3 possible reasons why we all fall on hard times.

  1. As imperfect creatures we sometimes find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or as the Bible puts it, “…time and unpredictable events overtake all of [us].” Ecclesiastes 9:11 (GW Translation)
  2. Another byproduct of our imperfection is indecision and bad choices. If someone drinks a little too much alcohol, gets behind the wheel and is seriously hurt in an accident, his hardship is directly related to his poor decision. A Bible proverb explains it this way, “A man’s own folly wrecks his life.” – Proverbs 19:3 (NEB) The apostle Paul also warms, “Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant.” – Galatians 6:7 (GNT)
  3. The fundamental reason why mankind experiences a life of hardships and pain is the presence and influence of the evil spirit call Satan the Devil. The Bible reveals that Satan the Devil was the cause of Job’s tragedies. (Job 2:3-8) Additionally it identifies Satan as the main source of our problems today when it states: “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” – Revelation 12:12 (NWT) As “the ruler of this world,” Satan has influenced many to engage in evil acts that have resulted in untold misery and heartache. – John 12:31; Psalm 37:12, 14 (NWT).

During times of hardship the following two scriptures can be comforting:

God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.
– Psalm 145:14 (The Message)

Come to me, all YOU who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh YOU. Take my yoke upon YOU and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and YOU will find refreshment for YOUR souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

©Luke 2011

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