Since the Super Bowl was this past Sunday, my mind has been going towards memorable commercials. Now, I don’t know if the “Easy Button” commercial was a Super Bowl classic, but it’s one of my all-time faves. That’s because I often wish there was an “Easy Button” for life.

Two weeks ago, I posed the question, “Is God’s Will Always a Success Story?” I posed that question because I think there’s something inherent in each one of us that not only wants things to go well, but also to go easily. And I think many Christians are under the mistaken notion that if you are in the middle of God’s will, all will not only go well, but also be easy. Are you familiar with the “Doctrine of Christian-ease?”  If not, here it is: if it’s God’s will, he will open the door, or even better, “if he doesn’t open a door, he opens a window,” blah, blah, blah.

But what if you’ve endured years of hardship and unending pain? What if you’ve hit the floor every morning to pray for God to act in some way to improve your situation, and yet you remain in what feels like “the wilderness”? Does that mean you are not in God’s will?

When we look at the lives of those in the Bible who were submitted to and living out God’s will, we discover that God’s will didn’t guarantee it would be easy. Of course, sometimes the biblical characters caused the delay or difficulties by their own sinful choices. But very often, God had a purpose in the pain each person endured.

For example:

  • God made Abraham wait until he was 100 years old before he gave Abraham his promised son. It wasn’t Abraham’s fault for the delay—simply God’s plan to display His power.
  • In Joseph’s case, God used years of slavery, false accusations, and imprisonment as a tool to prepare Joseph for the second biggest job in the land of Egypt. It appears that Joseph was nothing but faithful to God during those dark years. So, where was Joseph’s door or window during that dark time?
  • God used the persecution, trials, and death of Christ to demonstrate the devotion Christ had to the Father and to each one of us. Pain was the very mode God used to accomplish his will.
  • The same could be said for every one of the apostles who lived an imprisoned, persecuted and beaten life, all so that the gospel could be spread. In fact, very often God used the persecutions to move the apostles into new and different territory—thereby spreading the gospel far and wide.

Sometimes I get discouraged and question if I am in God’s will because things continue to be so difficult. But when I look at all that can only be accomplished by the pain I experience in lifeand not the easeI realize that I need to kick the “Easy Button” to the curb and trust God to bring it on!

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Comments on: "Does God Have an Easy Button?" (8)

  1. Thanks Beth! I needed that. I haven’t been feeling well for months and my life has been affected by it in many ways. I pray everyday and thank God that I am not deathly ill, but ask him to make me feel healthy. Unfortunately, I continue to have something go wrong. Very frustrating!! I will focus on how God may be using me in this very very frustrating time. Feel free to remind that anytime, cause I am sure I will forget by tonight. LOL

  2. What do you think and feel about the book of Job?

  3. Thanks Andrea for your encouraging words to me and your transparency to others. It can be very discouraging for anyone who’s endured prolonged pain. I’m so glad that God is good and doesn’t allow pain without a superior and positive purpose.

    And to you, Morgan, I feel like Job is an example of where God allowed Satan to bring pain into Job’s life. I don’t think it was God’s desire, but he permitted it. And of course, God brought good out of it for Job in the end.

    I think a great book that addresses the implications of the book of Job is one I did a book review on quite a while back–Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey. It’s a very good read.

  4. Currently I am finding God to be a befuddling force that is really not in my control at all. Control freaks just get freaked out by God. He/she guides but is full of surprises. God insists it seems that life contains some drama. As I delve more into that spiritual world I see that the being known as God is plenty smarter than me and I am pretty smart. And I am always to some extent afraid of being taken advantage of or abused. I am forced to wonder if God is gentle or not? Only to find out that he cares about me with a love that is greater than my comprehension. In the presense of such great love and intelegence and a weird sense of humor I am being struck by the lightening now a then. It is not wrath, but his/her powerful nature that knocks me off my feet and keeps me on my toes. And I ask God, could you not have made things clear to me? Does a man’s path have to have so many sharp rocks that bloody one’s feet?

  5. great post Beth–i need to be reminded that God always has a purpose for any experience that He either directly wills or allows to happen to me. it is comforting to know that nothing happens to me that hasn’t already passed through His hands. thanks!

  6. Morgan, sounds like you’ve had a painful life. That always makes understanding God and his ways especially challenging. I have no clear cut answers for you. I am limited in my understanding of the ways of God much less knowing how to explain what I do know. I do think it sounds as if you are seeking God and the Bible says that He will be found by those who seek Him with all their heart. I think if you pray about your doubts and questions to God, He will give you the answers you seek in time.

    I’ll pray for you on this.

    And Nikki, thanks for your kind words. It always helps to know that what I’ve written is encouraging others.

  7. Now here’s a trippy thing. I have a thin candle burning and I put four fortune cookie fortunes into the fire and they fall to the side on the medal holder and continue to be red hot for what does not seem for a normal amount of time. I have a shrine with special crystal touching water with sea salt that flows into a fountain. I take some of the water and drip it onto the fire and the fire suddenly shoots up to almost three feet from one inch. I’m thinking wow burning bush. I asked for a wish and blew the flame out that might have burned my house down. Physics can’t explain this I think.

  8. Janna Stewart said:

    Love the direct examples from the Bible! I’m gonna use those when people ask me about all the pain & suffering and how can God allow that. Good one!
    Thanks Beth!

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