We've always tried to put God first, yet both my husband and I now have multiple health problems, while our neighbors (who have no use for God) are both healthy and have good jobs. I admit I'm upset about this. How do you explain it? — N.S.
God knows what you're going through -- and to be honest, we don't always know why He allows hard things to happen to us. But remember, God never promised that our lives would be free from trouble or sickness, even if we love and serve Him.
After all, no one was closer to God that Jesus, yet God permitted Him to go through the worst possible suffering, by dying a cruel death on a cross. Nor was His suffering only physical; it was also mental, emotional and spiritual. And yet Christ did not shrink back from the path set before Him -- because He knew it was part of God's plan. The Bible says, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering" (Isaiah 53:3).
Why do I mention this? I mention it because it points us to an important truth: No matter what we're going through, Jesus has already been there, and He knows what we're experiencing. But Jesus' example reminds us also of another important truth: Even in our darkest moments Christ is with us, and we can trust our lives into His hands.
Pray for your neighbors, and ask God to help you be an example to them of Christ's love. And may your lives also be a demonstration to them of Christ's strength and grace. Remember Jesus' words: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).