An Old testament belief and one that persists in some Christians today is the belief that bad things or trials are punishment from God. It is true that in the Old Testament there was punishment. The flood is perhaps the greatest example of this.
In the New Testament God is revealed in a different way. In Jesus we see a new way. Jesus teaches that a person’s blindness, for example, is not the result of the parent’s sins or even the sins of the person being afflicted. God does not choose to smite us.
Jesus also reveals that at times, hard choices are required. He also makes it clear that it is we who have to make the choices. One example would be the rich young ruler – he would not give up his great wealth to follow Jesus. It was a hard choice for him, but still his choice to make.
When adversity comes our way or when we face a hard choice, how our faith figures into the situation is paramount. Often in the trial we become closer to God because in our weakness He is made strong. When we depend on Him, we find He hears us and draws near and walks with us.
When we face a tough decision, in many of the cases we know what we should do, what God wants us to do. In some of these cases we still may make a poor choice… Sometimes though we are unsure. It is then we need Him most. And His response is the same – He hears us and draws near and walks with us. Thanks be to God for His faithfulness.
Scripture reference: Psalm 22: 23-25