Do You Believe That God Loves You Unconditionally?

Written by Karen Schenk

soulcravingsunconditionalWhat would it mean for me if I were convinced that God loves me unconditionally? When I hear that someone loves me unconditionally, it makes me ask some hard questions about what that really means.  “Unconditional” really does mean totally and completely without any conditions.  As humans this is nearly impossible for us to love that way.  God’s love for me completely transcends who I am and what I do.

I am incredibly safe in truly unconditional love.   God knows me better than I know myself, I don’t have to hide anything from him.  He knows me and he loves me.  It empowers me and gives me strength.  This kind of love alters how I love others.  Being around something real and authentic makes me want to be more like that.

If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you.  Use this form to  be matched with one of our mentors. Mentors are trained volunteers with real life experience.  They can answer questions, point you to other resources or just listen when you have something to say.

Your mentor will email you using our secure system, The Mentor Center (TMC).  TMC ensures your privacy by protecting your information.  If you want to keep talking, just hit reply.  The conversation is free, confidential and non-judgmental.   You can keep talking to your mentor as long as you like and there is never a fee.   If you’re curious, start a conversation.  We’re ready when you are.

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71 Responses to “Do You Believe That God Loves You Unconditionally?”

  • Jeff says:

    Jamie, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I appreciate the fact you allow me to have my say. Part of why I continue the conversation is that I don’t have anyone else to share this frustration with and God clearly isn’t listening.

    I understand God didn’t promise us life would be free from pain and suffering, but He also did NOT give us the choice of whether to accept those conditions. HE made the choice for us. As such, He has more responsibility to us than to just send us to Earth and say “so sorry, life will be hard and you will suffer”. I would have REJECTED the offer, but I wasn’t given the choice. And, I’m sorry, but the sacrifice of Jesus does not move me because it didn’t bring me anything different. He sacrificed so I can…….suffer too? That isn’t very transformative and certainly doesn’t change anything for me in my REAL life. So I suffer not because of free will, but because God REQUIRES it. If life was anywhere near balanced between good and bad, I wouldn’t complain so vehemently. But it isn’t, it’s like 95 bad 5 good. And that isn’t just, fair, or loving. And “He saved us from pain and suffering that we are oblivious to” is meaningless when all you’ve had is suffering. I implore Him to remove humanity because it SUCKS. And I haven’t found anything good and loving about Him, at least not directed toward me.

    I don’t trust God because He PROVED Himself untrustworthy to me. And I’m more than willing to hear from Him, but not through somebody else or some book, but from HIM. He just doesn’t want to talk to me because I don’t just cower and pretend that what He does and allows in our lives is acceptable. But I hold out “hope” that somebody like you might actually have God’s ear and that maybe, just maybe, in a one in a trillion chance, He will hear you and answer your prayer, because He ain’t answering mine.

    Another thing I want is for God to be MOVED by my suffering. So moved that He is driven to change the circumstances of my life IMMEDIATELY. To be so moved, that His heart would explode if He didn’t fix things this moment. I want Him to be so moved that He can’t fathom allowing the suffering to continue and thus be moved to dramatic action. So moved that it makes Him unhappy and ashamed that He allowed me to suffer so deeply that I would rather leave Him that stay with Him. It makes no difference whether I suffer with Him or without Him, so what difference does it make it if I leave a God that proved himself unloving and untrustworthy?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Well Jeff, if you are so determined that I cannot convince you of God’s love, why do you continue the conversation? I believe that God has already shown His love for you by sacrificing Himself to pay the penalty for our rebellion against Him. I believe that everyday He is showing love to you through all kinds of different ways. But you have conditions on receiving His love, and will only acknowledge His love when it comes in the way you prescribe. God never promised that our lives will be free from pain and suffering. In fact, Jesus said exactly the opposite, “IN this world you will have trouble; but take heart for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He doesn’t remove all trouble from us, but He does carry us through the trouble and shows us the best way to respond to it. There are forces at work that we know nothing about, and there are ways that God has saved us from pain and suffering that we are oblivious to. In order for God to remove all suffering from the world He would have to remove all evil. In order to remove all evil He would have to remove all humanity, because there is evil in every one of us. It is His grace that allows us this life to discover His goodness and love and respond to it so that we can be rescued from the evil we have within our hearts.

    I don’t trust God because He always tells me everything that is going on, I trust Him because He is perfectly good and He is the only one who is perfectly trust worthy.

    Lord Jesus I pray that You would give Jeff an understanding of how You have rescued him from evil and how You have provided a way to deal with the evil in his heart. Prepare his heart to receive your truth and love. I do pray for relief from the suffering that he lives with everyday. Help him to find true joy in knowing You. Amen.

  • Jeff says:

    Oh, Jamie, you are not going to convince me God loves me. Only God can do that and it will have to be through actions, not words.

    He created us imperfect and then blames us for the results. I can tell my children 100 times a day how much I love them, but if I sit on the porch and watch somebody beat the heck out of them every day, they aren’t going to believe me either. That’s what God does. He hasn’t protected me from anything and sits and watches me get beat up and then wants my praise and worship. Sorry, that isn’t how it works.

    Have you noticed he has yet to answer your prayers for me? Too soon. Maybe. But others have prayed the exact same thing for decades and guess what. Not one response. Tell God it’s time for him to interact with me dramatically and personally.

    Oh, and I don’t think very much of the quality of His creation. It stinks. And yes, I’d rather be a robot mindlessly loving Him than have this “freedom” that requires so much suffering. It is NOT worth it.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Jeff, God created us with the ability to rebel against Him because that is the only way for true love to exist. If we didn’t have the choice not to love Him our love for Him would be as empty as the love of a doll who says “I love you mommy” every time you pull the string.

    God is not playing a hide and seek game with you Jeff. He is revealing Himself to you all the time. Just because you want Him to show Himself to you in different ways doesn’t mean that He is hiding. As much as you deny it, His love for you continues to pursue you and invite you to return to relationship with Him.

    Lord Jesus, help Jeff to see the many ways You are showing Yourself to him, and help him to feel Your love and care for him. I do pray that You would relieve his suffering and bring good things into his life. Amen.

  • Jeff says:

    Jamie,

    Say what you like. But yes, as a matter of fact, I do know something that God doesn’t: that He is losing me because He believes His plan is so infallible that I would never walk away. Well, He’s absolutely wrong. I will NOT cooperate with a God whose plan seems to be based on a foundation of me suffering through my entire life while giving those closest to me almost everything they dreamed. I will fight Him with everything I’ve got and sacrifice everything to fight for what I know is right.

    If He’s been “active” in my life…it hasn’t been for my good, that’s for darn sure. And who created us with the ability to “tune Him out”? Another example of holding us responsible for what HE created. If I purposely make a clay pot with a hole in it (imperfect), do we really blame the pot when it fails and leaks? That’s outrageously stupid.

    And I couldn’t care less if God is “able to withstand our frustration”, what I care about is that He gets off His *** and does the right thing and fix this despicable plan He created for my life. I will not accept any more scriptures as evidence of His “love”. And I’m tired of Him trying to “reach” me through other people. Isn’t that a ridiculously juvenile approach for an all-knowing, all-loving God? And, no, I don’t believe a God that thinks this kind of suffering is ever an acceptable part of a person’s life plan is perfect. And I’ll spare you my diatribes on his “justice” and “knowledge”

    You may think that arrogant, I consider it calling out God for what He really is and how mean spirited He really is. If God really wants me back, He MUST come and get me, I will not seek him out in, what is for me, an unwinnable and unproductive game of hide and seek where I can never find Him.

    If He thinks His plan is sooooo perfect, then He is more than welcome to come live my life and then we can see how much He would like His plan.

  • Jeff says:

    Jamie,

    Say what you want. I don’t really care anymore whether God knows everything or is perfect or whatever other kudos you want to place on Him. The FACT is that my life has been about suffering while others around me get almost everything they want. You’re right, He hasn’t given me what I need. But don’t you think as the one living this life I have some right to decide what I need? Especially since God has completely refused to tell me what He thinks I need. Sorry, I’m a terrible guesser and I don’t do subtle well. I stick to my accusations against Him because I have no proof to the contrary. If He wants me, He can come get me. I will NOT put in any more of what has been worthless effort to get His attention. I’m tired of the “maybe you just don’t recognize His work in your life” garbage. That argument essentially says my REAL experiences just don’t matter. And they DO matter. God may be able to handle my anger and frustration, but I couldn’t care any less whether He can or He can’t. What I care about isn’t what He says, or who He “places” in my life. All I care about is Him fixing this crap that IS His fault.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Jeff, I guess there are a few things that you have said which I would characterize as arrogant: 1) You say that you know for a fact that God doesn’t know the level of your frustration because if He did He would have dealt with you differently. It would seem that you are suggesting that you know things that God does not. Given that God has always existed, that He has created you and everyone else in your life, that He knows the thoughts in your mind (an everyone else’s) before they are spoken, it would seem to me that you are the one who lacks knowledge, not God; 2) You say that God has had 40 years to do something about the suffering of your life, by which you imply that He has not been doing anything in your life. How do you know what God has or has not been up to through the course of your life? Just because He has not acted in the way that you would like Him to act does not mean that He has been inactive in the whole of your life.

    I am not the one suggesting that you or anyone can tune out God; rather it is God who has said that. Through the prophet Isaiah God said, “I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen.” (Isaiah 66:4) Paul wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20) So yes, people have been tuning out God since the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is not the limitation of God, but the stubborn arrogance of humans who refuse to listen to Him.

    Now please don’t misunderstand me: I believe God wants us to be honest with Him and he is more than able to withstand our frustration about life’s circumstances. The Bible is full of that kind of honest communication. But my caution is to remember who God is, and not allow your frustration to cloud your perspective about the infinite God Almighty. There is no way that you compare with the boundless knowledge, wisdom, power, justice, and love of our God. To suggest otherwise defames the source of all perfection.

    Lord Jesus, I pray that You would help Jeff to maintain a proper perspective on You, even in the confusion of his suffering and loss. Confront him with Your holy presence and surround Him with Your limitless love. I continue to pray for his release from pain, and that he would see all the good gifts You are pouring in to his life. Amen.

  • Jeff says:

    Arrogant? No, p***ed. I’m thinking maybe you don’t really understand my frustration. I can tell you for a fact that God has NO clue how deep my frustration really is. If He did, He’d have known that allowing the crap He’s allowed in my life would drive me AWAY from Him, not toward Him (remember that little fact that He created me?). And if He really understood, He’d have fixed it by now. He’s had 40 freaking years to do something about it, and that doesn’t include the fact that He’s known for eternity that this is how things would be between me and Him. Evidently it doesn’t bother Him very much that I know almost nothing but suffering and that I view Him with contempt. How did He come to decide that my parents, my sisters and their husbands, and everyone else in my immediate family would get nearly perfect lives with everything they ever dreamed, and I got nothing? Because He loves me so much more than them? As I said, He’s earned my accusations.

    Need God? For WHAT? So I can suffer more? So I can dread getting up every morning? So I can watch other innocent people suffer even more than me? Let’s assume for just a moment that I do “need” God, then why doesn’t He provide the things I NEED? Peace, stability, healing? If He doesn’t think I NEED these things, then He either doesn’t care or isn’t paying attention.

    As for the Garden, God CREATED everything including Satan. He KNEW that Satan would trick them and allowed it, but then punished them for what He ALREADY knew they would do. To argue otherwise implies that God can be surprised, which would destroy the argument of omniscience.

    The one thing you got right is that my heart IS hardened to God. He’s earned that! Remember, it wasn’t Pharaoh who hardened his own heart. GOD hardened Pharaohs heart for His “purpose”. So don’t talk to me about how God can’t do wrong things. He OVERRODE Pharaohs choices for His own purpose and to h*** with what Pharaoh REALLY wanted. How can I miss something (God’s presence) that I NEVER had?

    And do you really believe that anyone, particularly little old me, could tune God out if it was His choice to talk to you? Jonah couldn’t and neither could I. So, are you saying that there are limits on God? If God wants to communicate with me, really wants me to hear Him, there isn’t ONE single thing I could do to prevent it. But the truth is He is NOT TRYING. He’s content with me having a life of suffering. He doesn’t give a hoot about what I want. Don’t believe me? It’s so bad I’m better off praying for what I do NOT need, because that gives me the best chance of actually getting what I NEED.

    God needs to get this through His thick head: trying to reach me through other people, or some scripture, or some story of someone’s past suffering is NOT going to work. This is PERSONAL, between Him and me. The ONLY way He even has a chance is for Him to get with me PERSONALLY. Anything else on His part WILL fail because it will be seen by me as Him not thinking me important enough to deserve a personal interaction. Did Jesus not say He would leave the 99 to find the 1? Well, I’m the 1 and it is time for God to come find me.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Well Jeff, while I think I understand the frustration that is behind your words, I do want to point out that your comment does sound a little arrogant. I think it is important to note that God does not need your praise or your love; He did not create humanity because there was a void in His life that needed to filled by a relationship with humanity. He created us because of His love and because it is His nature to create.

    The same cannot be said for us: we DO NEED God. Our purpose is to be in a relationship with Him. Our rebellion against Him was exactly on that issue. You will note that Satan’s lie to Adam and Eve was that they could be just like God if they ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5) which in essence meant that they did not need God in their life. The rest of history has pretty conclusively proven that indeed we do need God because we make a mess of everything when we are separated from Him.

    So the issue is not that He will lose you forever, but that you will lose Him forever. Now I understand that you feel like God has abandoned you and so you are saying these things in light of that opinion, but I would caution you about the words you use because they impact the way we think and feel. The end result of what I hear in your words is a heart that is hardened towards God. That has proven to be a dangerous attitude to foster, because then when God is speaking to you, you don’t listen. That was the problem with the people of Israel who had lived for many generations as slaves to the Egyptian people. They had developed hardened hearts towards God and even when evidence of His presence was clearly evident to them, they still grumbled and complained and ignored Him. If you look at Exodus 40:38 you will note that the pillar of cloud and fire that led the people of Israel was with them through all their journeys. That included when they waited at the base of Mount Sinai and began worshipping an idol of a false god in the shape of a calf. So even though the pillar of cloud and fire was right there signifying God’s presence with them, still they said, “make us gods who shall go before us” (Exodus 32:1)

    I would hate for you to miss God’s presence with you because you had allowed your words to harden your heart.

  • Jeff says:

    It’s all in God’s court now. I will do nothing more to solve the problem. God has a choice to make. Either contact me directly and fix the problems HE created or continue to ignore me and lose me forever.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I will join you in that prayer Jeff. I know that God is looking to have a personal relationship with you, and that’s why I shared the video with you; I have found in my life that I learn about having a relationship with God by hearing from others how He has connected with them. Sometimes I have missed some of the ways that God is reaching out to me, but when I have heard the story of other people’s experience with God it has helped me see the blind spots in my life where I had missed God’s hand on me.

    Lord Jesus, I join in Jeff’s prayer that You would confront him in a very personal way. Help him to see the awesomeness of Your presence and Your character. I thank You that when we do meet with You that we are forever changed. I pray that Jeff would be forever changed through his interaction with You. Amen.

  • Jeff says:

    Thanks Jamie, but I’m no longer interested in other people’s stories. As I’ve said, I’m not playing around anymore and I’m not compromising. This is between God and me. Not me and Vitor. Either God wants a REAL personal relationship with me or He doesn’t. If He does, He needs to communicate DIRECTLY with me, not through intermediaries, that’s what junior high boys and girls do because of their immaturity. So, tell God if He wants any chance with me, He needs to get with ME and stop thinking that He can solve the problem through you or Vitor or anybody else.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Jeff, I know that when I am in the middle of pain I just want it to stop. I really wish that I could help end the pain that you are experiencing. I can understand your anger and frustration. Let me encourage you to continue to talk to God and ask that He show Himself to you. I know in my own life, that it is through my personal interaction with God that I have been able to find contentment in what I face day-to-day. That is Vitor Belfort’s story as well. He says, “There are two ways to get to God: through pain or through love. Mine was through pain.” Have a listen to how that happened in his life.

  • Jeff says:

    I HATE the Book of Job. It is the most dramatic example of the immorality of God. The only reason Job suffered was because God allowed it and believed that His “proving His superiority” was more important than the experience of Job. What would happen to you or me if we did that to someone? I can tell you it wouldn’t be fun, but it’s ok for God to do it? Sorry, that’s not acceptable. And if He is the “standard by which love is measured”, then love doesn’t mean much. I guess I could live with God “loving” me a little less.

    And how did we rebel? He CREATED us and KNEW exactly what Adam and Eve would do even before they existed. That’s just schizophrenic. The imperfection existed precisely because God knew the way He created the world and man, that imperfection was guaranteed. It’s EXACTLY the plan He put in place, but then we get the blame for something He knew BEFORE we even existed.

    And if God thinks He has really suffered because of the “crucifixion”, then He is more than welcome to come live my life and see just how “wonderful” and “purposeful” it really is. And I do NOT care if suffering is mandatory, it does NOT make it right.

    And how do I accomplish a plan He won’t even share with me? I NEED, ABSOLUTELY NEED, all the answers. He created me with that NEED. I’ve had it ALL my life. So, He creates me with a specific need and then denies me anything that would satisfy that need? Sorry, again that is not acceptable. And trust me, I continually share my frustration, anger and dissatisfaction with Him. But it doesn’t do a dang bit of good, He just ignores it. It’s like He gets a perverse pleasure out of watching me struggle.

    And, I do NOT need more people praying for me. I do NOT need people to come around me. What I NEED is for God to get off His dang throne and do something real and tangible and meaningful. Until He does that, He will get nothing in the way of praise or worship from me. He gets from me what He gives. Nothing for nothing until He decides to do the right thing.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Jeff, I wish I could do something to make your life different, but you are right, I am pretty powerless on so many different levels. I can understand how you have come to the conclusion that God must not love you, and instead is just ignoring your pleas for help. When all you have experienced is loss and pain, it is a logical conclusion that if God exists, He does not love you.

    But that is not the only logical conclusion; there are other ways to interpret the experiences of your life that are equally logical. Those different conclusions hinge on the nature and character of God. Your claim that God does not love you comes from a conclusion that God is able to choose not to love, but I would suggest that it is God’s nature to love you and for Him not to love you would be a denial of the very essence of who He is. In fact, He is the standard by which love is measured. Unless love is just a subjective reality that we can define based on our own tastes (i.e. some people define love as one standard while others define it differently) we have to acknowledge that there is a standard by which love is defined and that standard must be perfectly loving.

    Like you, the question that Job asked was, “How come I am suffering so acutely if God is love?” which is a completely justifiable question. God’s answer to Job was, “There are things going on that you know nothing about.” Now that is a really crass paraphrase of the beautiful poetry of the book of Job in the Bible. Let me encourage you to have a look at this overview of the book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQwnH8th_fs. But essentially that is what God is saying, the Universe He has made for us is designed is beautiful and complex and wild and dangerous and because of that there is suffering. In other parts of the Bible we can also see that while the Universe was created perfect, our rebellion against God has brought imperfection into it and is the cause of our suffering. God’s promise is also that one day He will perfectly restore all of His Creation to its original design and we will be free from suffering once again. But in this intermediate period we can expect to suffer.

    Does that mean that God is unjust or unloving? Of course not! In fact, He joined in our suffering as the only means for us to be set free from the consequences of our rebellion against Him. It is His grace that allows us to not face the judgement of our rebellion right now, and instead have the opportunity to receive His gift of grace and freedom and hope that one day every wrong will be made right.

    You and I are not in a position, nor do we have the perspective to be able to judge whether God’s acts are loving or just. There is so much complexity that we are not able to comprehend, and so we need to trust in His character of perfect love and justice. We follow His leading in our lives so we can know how to respond to the good and the bad that happen to us, and accomplish the plan that He has created us for.

    Does that make the pain of loss and injury any less? Maybe a little, but not much. But it does give us the correct place to look for help and support; the Bible talks about God as our anchor, the one solid certainty in a complex world we will never be able to fully understand.

    The other thing that we can learn from Job is that God wants us to bring our frustration and confusion to Him because it is in our honest approach that He comes and meets with us. And for Job, that was enough. He no longer needed to have all the answers because he had met with God. Let me encourage you to continue to bring God your hurt and pain. Keep talking to people like you are here, looking for answers on how God has helped them. As you continue to push in on God, He will reveal Himself to you in a way that you could never imagine. Like Job you will say, “Before my ears had heard of You; but now my eyes have seen You.” and the world will suddenly look very different.

    Jesus, I keep praying for my brother Jeff as he wrestles through the disappointments and pains of life. I pray that You would reveal Yourself to him in a way that is undeniable, and that he would be aware of Your love for him. I ask that You would bless him with relief from the pain and an overflow of good gifts. Bring people around him who will encourage and support him through his search for You, and let him find strength in their love and care for him. I praise You because there is nothing hidden from Your eyes, and there is nothing that can stand against Your power, and there is no end to Your love. Amen.

  • Jeff says:

    Look, I really do appreciate your concern and compassion. The problem is that you can’t do a darn thing about my problems. Only God can and He obviously doesn’t care that I suffer through a life I didn’t have the choice to participate in. Hundreds of people have prayed for me over the years and He hasn’t answered their prayers either.

    I’ve tried praying all sorts of ways. And let me assure you, I’ve never prayed for wealth, fame, or anything selfish like that. All I’ve asked for is to have peace, health and to be treated the way the rest of my family has been treated. Heck, some of them aren’t even believers and they have lived what can truthfully be called All-American lives of health, wealth, and purpose. Not an ounce of that for me.

    And I will NOT attempt to turn my suffering into something good. That would only send a message to God that I approve and condone how He has treated me. Since I’m an honest person I will not lie and say God can turn any of this for good. I gave up on that possibility years ago. Even God can NOT turn the pain of my life to this point into something “beautiful”. The only way to create beauty out of this crap is to go back in time and remove it. And I don’t see God doing that.

    What I want is NOT to turn the crap of my life into something good, I want a life that is just good, without the crap.

    It’s time for God to STOP ignoring me, STOP trying to help me through the “Word” and STOP trying to go through other people. It is time for God to PROVE that He loves and cares for me by actually DOING something. If you really love someone, you’ll do anything for them, right? Well, God won’t do simple things for me, so how much can He really love and care for me?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Jeff, I am so sorry to hear that your life has been so full of disappointment and suffering. I wish I could tell you why all of these tragedies have struck your life; even more I wish that I could turn it all around for you and bring joy and fulfillment to you.

    What led you to become a follower of Jesus? What was it that He offered to you that motivated you to say “yes” to trusting in His sacrifice on your behalf? Was it circumstances, or something that someone said?

    I want you to know that you are not alone as the recipient of great trouble even as a follower of Jesus. There are many through history who have suffered greatly as the children of God. All of Jesus disciples were mercilessly persecuted because of their faith. Paul’s litany of sufferings are listed for us in his second letter to the Church in Corinth, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[b] in cold and exposure.” (2Corinthians 11:24-27) He was finally beheaded by Emperor Nero because he refused to stop telling other people about Jesus. Of the 12 disciples who followed Jesus, only John was not martyred, and He was boiled in oil, exiled to an island and tortured in many other ways to try to get him to stop preaching.

    We could look at Christians like Corrie ten Boom who was sent to a German extermination camp because she hid Jews in her home during the Nazi occupation of Netherlands. There are the Christians in North Korea who suffer hunger, disease, and isolation in prisons. The world is full of testimonies of those who follow Jesus who face all manner of pain and loss.

    The thing is, Jesus never promised that His followers would be immune to suffering, but actually stated the opposite. He said, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:20-21) At another time He said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) So His promise is not that He removes problems from us, but that in the midst of the problems He will guide us and strengthen us to face those struggles. That is why Paul wrote, “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13) What gave Paul hope and strength in the difficulties of his life was Jesus.

    So let me encourage you to change the way you pray. Please continue to pray that God would take the problems and sufferings away from you, but add to that a request that He strengthen you in the sufferings and that He would show you how best to respond to the painful experiences. You may not see it now, but God will make something beautiful come out of the pain that is being heaped on you. It is His promise in the Bible–“we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)–and it is His nature to make miracles out of the messes of our lives.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Jesus, I pray for Jeff and ask that You would rescue him from the problems and sufferings of his life. He has been through so much already and he needs to find rest from it all. I also pray that You would guide his steps so that he honours You in the midst of the suffering of his life. Give him strength to face the troubles and pain, and give him wisdom to know how best to respond to it all. Protect him from deceptions that say “death is the only escape” and instead draw him closer to You. Let him feel Your love more and more each day. Amen.

    I look forward to hearing back from you Jeff; I am interested to hear about how you came to put your faith in Jesus.

  • Jeff says:

    Short answer: NO!

    I don’t believe God loves me one bit and the suffering he’s placed in my life proves it. Everybody in my family quite literally has lived the American dream life: wealth, professional accomplishments, long marriages, you name it. And me? It’s so bad that we joke that anything bad that happens in my family happens to me, because it does.

    God created EVERYTHING, and everything includes evil and suffering. He could change everything in my life with but a single thought, but He doesn’t. He ignores EVERY prayer. In fact, for a long time things would get so much worse AFTER my prayers, that I actually started praying for the opposite of what I sought. There has NEVER been anything good come from any of my suffering and it HAS been more than I can handle, which is why I’ve been on the verge of suicide twice…both times AFTER I accepted Jesus. It did me sooooooooooooo much good to accept Christ…NOT!

  • Chris says:

    Michael…bad governments are made of corrupt people. our problema in the world today are the same people who crucified jesus christ. if jesus hadnt use his free will to save us, we would still be dead in our sins. thank God for jesus free will used on our behalf, now we can use our free will on his kingdoms behalf too. luke 11.

  • Michael says:

    Chris? Forget scripture I’m not listening,
    Everybody’s different. Forget Jesus he been through enough.
    What your saying to people is Jesus will help if you believe, right?
    You can’t promise such a thing with out knowing your self he,it, even existed. Which you DONT
    PROMISING PEOPLE SOMETHING is wrong.
    Your going by a book? A book? You might as well be quoting from the good book of dick and Jane.
    You should stop! I believe that a relationship with God is a personal matter, then its genuine, it’s personal. So stop talking.

  • Michael says:

    What would the world be like without free will? This is a question that for unknown reason isn’t look at, why?
    Take a good look at what free will has done to the human race.
    Racism, WAR, murder,rape, false governments, everything we look at has everything to do with free will, in the eyes of a god.
    Forget Jesus Christ he’s been through enough when it comes to people. Let’s go higher, to god him,her,it, what ever it might be.
    God gave us free will and look what we’ve done with it.
    So to sit there and say, does God love is unconditionally is a question that can only be answered in a book on fiction.
    I believe free will is a curse and not by any means a blessing. A curse that will end in a bad way.
    People can’t be trusted, why have governments that don’t work? Why ?

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