When troubles come, especially the ones which we cause to ourselves, we can change our ways or blame someone else for the mess we made of it.

If you smoke and then get cancer, don’t blame God. If you eat the wrong foods a lot don’t blame God for your heart problems. If you grouch at people, gossip and criticise don’t blame God (or people) for your loneliness. And so on…

Now, on the other hand, the Bible does teach that God does bring problems on people sometimes.

On faithful Followers of the Way God will bring opportunities to refine our hearts, witness to God’s love even in the middle of hardship or drive us to places we would not go otherwise (such as hospitals or foodbanks).

Some people hate God so much that even troubles won’t clear their eyes, soften their heart or open their minds. “The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun. The sun was allowed to burn people with fire. They were severely burned. They cursed the name of God, who has the authority over these plagues. They would not change the way they think and act and give him glory. The fifth angel poured his bowl on the throne of the beast. Its kingdom turned dark. People gnawed on their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pains and their sores. However, they would not stop what they were doing” (Revelation 16:8-11 God’s Word).

Grumble about the flood or "whatever happens, give thanks" (1 Thess. 5:18)?

Grumble about the flood or “whatever happens, give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18)?

A stirring example of this choice comes from the story of Job. After he had lost everything except his wife and life his “wife asked him, ‘Are you still holding on to your principles? Curse God and die!’
He said to her, ‘You’re talking like a godless fool. We accept the good that God gives us. Shouldn’t we also accept the bad?’ Through all this Job’s lips did not utter one sinful word” (Job 2:9-10 God’s Word).

Traditional views have demonized Job’s wife. I believe this to miss completely. Our friends and family who watch our persecution or troubles endure great pain also, sometimes more than the sufferer who finds some ways to cope with what happens, even if only partially. She did not advise anything more than an escape from the pain. Her words come not from contempt, but scream out from her own pain caused by the pain of the one she loved. She did not advise anything other than for Job to fall upon the mercy of God to be released.

Job chose to see the whole matter through. He reminds her that to escape troubles would be like a godless person who had no hope. His hope remained intact, though he craved an explanation for what went on, just as most (all?) people do today.

Job’s wife disappears from the story at this point that turns to the sad tale of the false friends who give sick sympathy. They increase Job’s pain and she is not forced to witness it. In true irony she escapes the pain yet to come and only returns when life turns around and God rewards them with a new family and business success.

So, will you curse God and die, or confess faith in God and live? Will you spend your time getting better through anything or getting bitter because of everything?