Does God Give and Take Away?

Job_by_ArtistXeroCreationsThe entire Bible is good for you, but you won’t get much out of it unless you know Jesus Christ. To understand the written word, you need to know the Living Word. If you try to read the Bible without an appreciation of Jesus – who He is and what He has done – you may end up taking someone else’s medicine. Some verses will appear to contradict others and you will get confused.

In the first part of this study on God’s gifts, we looked at a sincere lady in the Bible who mistakenly believed that God gives us bad gifts like death and poverty. Today I want to look at a man who had a slightly different problem. He believed that God gives us good gifts only to take them away again. You can probably guess that I’m talking about Job. Job had this one really bad week when his livestock were stolen, his servants were slain, and his kids were killed when a house fell on them. For some reason, Job thought God was behind his loss for he said:

“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)

If there was ever a scripture that has led to some screwy notions about God’s character, it’s this one. Anyone who has suffered loss has probably heard this verse. It’s often quoted at funerals. We even sing songs about it. For some strange reason people seem to find comfort in believing that God is responsible for their loss.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love Job’s attitude. He’s saying that whatever happens in life, he’s going to praise the name of the Lord. He’s no fair-weather believer. But Job still said some dumb things about God. Later on in the story Job would come to regret his choice of words saying “I spoke of things I did not understand” (Job 42:3).

But the question stands: Does God really give and then take away?

Any picture we have of God needs to be informed by Jesus Christ. Jesus is the “radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of his being” (Heb 1:3). To get a good understanding of God’s character, we need to look to Jesus, not Job. Can you imagine Jesus stealing or killing? Of course not. So how is it that some people think that God was responsible for Job’s loss?

Now you might say to me, “but Paul, it’s in the Bible, it’s right there in black and white – ‘the LORD gave and the LORD has taken away’.” Let me put it to you like this. If you want the very best insight into God’s character, are you better off looking at:

(a)    Jesus, who said “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9), or
(b)    Job, who had only heard of God but did not actually know him  (see Job 42:5)?

It seems obvious to me that Jesus is the better choice. Form your views of God by looking at the things Jesus said and did.

As we saw in Part 1, Jesus came to reveal God the Great Giver. Have you been given something good? Then see God as your source. He gave it to you:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (Jas 1:17)

Who’s robbing you?

But what if you have suffered loss, like Job? He lost his health, his wealth, and his family. The temptation may be to blame God for your loss, as if God had a change of heart. But God is not fickle. He does not change like shifting shadows. He is an extraordinary giver who never takes back his gifts.

“God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded.” (Rms 11:29, MSG)

So if God is doing the giving, who is doing the taking? Again, Jesus provides the answer:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Joh 10:10)

We ought not to be confused about these two different roles. One is a giver, the other is a taker. If you have been given something good, then give thanks to God. But if you’ve been robbed, don’t blame God. He’s not behind your loss.

Humans are spectacularly slow learners. From the beginning of human history the devil has been trying to steal or ruin everything God gave us and yet there are still some who think that God is the thief! God gave us authority over a planet and the devil took it. God gave us freedom and the devil somehow got us to choose the way of slavery. God gave us eternal life, health and glory, and we lost it all. But thank God for Jesus who took back what the devil stole!

Karma versus grace

If you think that God gives and takes away, then you’ve missed the point of Jesus. Jesus came to reveal a generous Father and to destroy the work of the Thief (1 Jn 3:8). Jesus came that we might have life to the full, not to the half.

If you think that God gives and takes away, then you have more faith in karma than grace. Karma says what goes around comes around. If you’re healthy now, you’ll likely be sick tomorrow. If you’re prospering now, poverty’s waiting just around the next corner. When disappointments and hardships come, you won’t be surprised. You’ll just throw in the towel and say, “I knew it was too good to last.”

The world works according to the principle of give and take, but God just gives. The only thing he’ll take off you – if you let him – is your sin, your shame, your sickness, your worries and your fears. He takes away those things that harm us and only gives us good things that bless us.

Are you a Job or a David?

Both Job and David were robbed. Both were greatly distressed and surrounded by foolish men who gave bad advice. But unlike Job, David did a very Jesusy-thing and took back what was stolen. Why did David fight back when Job quit? We are told that David “encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (1 Sam 30:6). In his pain David considered God’s goodness and realized that God was not behind his loss. He understood that it was not God’s will for him to suffer and, so strengthened, he fought back and prevailed.

I wish I could go back in time and get to Job before his friends did. I would say, “Job, God didn’t kill your kids! He didn’t steal your livelihood and make you sick. You’ve been robbed! The devil is having a go at you. Don’t sit there in the ashes and cry about it, get up and fight! Are you a warrior or a weakling? Are you a victor or a victim?”

The church will never see victory if we think God is behind our suffering. If we think God is robbing us we won’t even resist. We’ll let the devil waltz in and plunder our families all the while singing “He gives and takes away.” Funny, but I can’t imagine Jesus or David doing that.

For too long we have been incapacitated by uncertainty which is really just another name for unbelief. Don’t look to Job, look to Jesus! Jesus was never confused about who was giving and who was taking.


  1. Ronald R says:

    Pastor, Can you give me the title of that song that are being sung in funerals? Glory to God!! powerful message.

  2. Susan Vivas says:

    Powerful! Enlightening! Eye opener!!! God Bless!!!!!!!

  3. lesley & Rodney says:

    We are really getting this about our Lord at last! and gradually putting it in to practice. Thankyou for your boldness and sharing.

  4. This is a really great article. I am trying to relearn a lot of incorrect teaching. Thank you.

  5. brandonhutzell says:

    Thanks for sharing. You’re next to last paragraph says… “we’ll let the devil waltz in and plunder…” Job 1:12… “and the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power…” God let the devil waltz in and plunder. The difficulty in what you share in this post is that it simply ignores God’s omnipotence. I think the church needs to recognize the suffering is not always bad. When we come to grips with this truth… we can receive suffering from the hand of God and it will not seem to oppose our correct thinking that only good comes from God.

    • Can you give me an example of “good suffering”? I have heard an argument similar to the one you make, which is this: God is sovereign, therefore suffering reflects God’s sovereign will. I have three problems with this. My first problem is that it is wholly inconsistent with the character of God as revealed in the Bible. Jesus said, “No one is good – except God alone” (Lk 18:19). Moses said, God “does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deu 32:4). John said, “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5). Jesus did not teach us to pray, “Our Father, help us to lie down and take all the suffering that life throws at us.” He taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Suffering is not found wherever God’s will is done. There is no suffering in heaven. There was no suffering in the Garden before man rebelled. God is indeed sovereign, but he is not schizophrenic. He’s not good on Sunday and then bad on Monday. He is 100% good 100% of the time.

      My second problem with the notion that God causes suffering is that it’s a faith-killing doctrine. If you think God made you sick, unemployed, or defeated, you won’t fight back. Why would you want to fight God? So you’ll just lie there and take it, believing the devil’s lies.

      My third problem with this doctrine is that it confuses sovereignty with causality. God is the Ultimate Cause, if you like, but he is not the cause of all things. If I come to your house and kick your cat across the living room, would you blame God? If you drive drunk and mow down an infant, should they arrest God for drunk-driving? Of course not. Was it God’s will or mine for your cat to get kicked? Was it God who drank too much or you? We can’t blame God for our mistakes. God didn’t sink the Titanic and God didn’t cause the Netherlands to lose the world cup. This is just fatalism dressed up with Christian clothes.

      What do you get when you combine God’s sovereignty with God’s goodness? You get Jesus. You get redemption. You get miracles. His majesty is not that He hammers people, but that He can bring good out of suffering and tragedy.

      • brandonhutzell says:

        Thank you Paul for the kind response. Let it be known that I appreciate the conversation and in no way have an argumentative attitude. I love and appreciate you as a brother in Christ. I am working through the problem of suffering for myself and am thankful for any input from others.

        as for problem #1… a simple revision of our conception of good will help us understand that suffering can indeed come from a good God. A red-bottomed toddler or a grounded teenager would obviously not call their chastisement good, though we the parents know that the temporary pain of their punishment is producing wisdom and positively shaping their character for the rest of their lives. Discipline is good, and a parent who disciplines is good… (Hebrews 12:6-11)

        problem #2… what if a christian man becomes unemployed because his job has become an idol, and he learns to trust his employer to provide for him instead of God. Should he fight the devil when God removes his paycheck until He learns who his true provider is? If so, he is not learning the intended lesson, and any failed test is necessarily taken again at another time and place. Fighting and quitting are not the only two options in response to suffering… learning is also an option if indeed the suffering is chastisement.

        problem #3… I belive drunk-driving and cat-kicking are not directly by the hand of God. The Ultimate Cause vs. situational cause is a tough discussion. I do not believe that all suffering is from God’s hand… but I also do not believe that all suffering is dispersed freely by satan and his legions… God is more powerful than that. I simply believe we must be more willing to watch for God’s hand and spiritual life lessons in the hardships we face. Constantly fighting the devil for hard things will produce children who are not willing to receive chastisement from father… and Hebrews 12 plainly states the position of such children.

        some other scriptures: I Corinthians 5:5, I Peter 2:20, I Peter 3:14-17

        Thanks again…
        I’m looking forward to another response if you’re so willing

      • Hi again Brandon. Thanks for your gracious comment. I think we share a strong desire to dig deeper into the reality of God and see his reality invade the reality we live in. I have just come from a Bill Johnson meeting where he preached on how the renewed mind is one which sees things from heaven’s superior perspective. This is the challenge every believer faces. Things which aren’t permitted in heaven, ought not to be permitted here on earth. That is God’s will.

        Now you can probably guess that I am talking about suffering, but in your latest comment you take on a broader definition of suffering than what I have in mind. So I want to distinguish three “painful” things. First is the kind of suffering that Job experienced – sickness and tragedy. Let’s be clear – this sort of suffering is not found in heaven and God does not cause it here on earth. Jesus came to deliver people from sickness and death. If God is giving sickness and death while Jesus is taking it away, then their house is divided.

        Second, you mentioned chastisement or discipline. Our loving Father does discipline us, but not through sickness or disease. (What kind of father would give his kids leprosy to teach them a lesson?) I don’t have space to go into this deeply, but the word “chastening” in Heb 12 – which to our minds connotes images of spanked bottoms – can also be translated as “education” or “training.” The Lord trains those He loves. How does He do this? How does He bring correction when we’re off course? Often it is through his word. We read something, the Holy Spirit gives us revelation, we repent and make a course adjustment. This is 100% a good thing and quite different from the physical and mental suffering that Job endured. To be trained by the Spirit is a mark of Sonship (Heb 12:7), and something I’m very pleased to be a part of!

        Third, you mentioned hardships so I would also distinguish persecution. Troubles and persecution can come because of the word. God gives you a promise, and the devil opposes it. You are now faced with a possibly painful choice. Live by what you see or live by faith. Persecution also comes simply from following Jesus and preaching His gospel (Jn 15:20). Think of Saul the persecutor who became Paul the persecuted. God said to Ananias, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16). Paul was beaten, flogged, imprisoned – I would say that was suffering! It happened because of the gospel, but God was not the one beating and flogging him. [Update: See also my post on “Fear and Trembling“.]

        I agree with your view that Satan is not the cause of all suffering. Humanity is more than capable of afflicting suffering on itself without any outside help. But know that God is 100% good. He uses suffering and tragedy (of the first kind) for His redemptive purposes, but He doesn’t cause it. If you are suffering you do not need to wonder, “is this from God?” Just ask yourself, is this type of suffering His will in heaven? Or, did Jesus afflict people with this type of suffering? If the answer to either question is “no”, then you can confidently know His will for your situation.

      • Thanks for your post on this subject. It’s very relevant to me as I lost my 2 daughters (in 2003 and 2011). If Job had it wrong, then what do you make of Job 1:22?

      • I’m very sorry for your loss. I think the author of Job had the same old covenant understanding of God that Job had. As the book plainly states elsewhere, Job did accuse God of wrongdoing (eg: denying him justice in Job 27:2 and ignoring him in Job 9:16). By his own admission, Job was a self-righteous whiner, full of self-pity (Job 3:20, 7:11), who wished he had died at birth (Job 3:11). Happily, he came to understand that God was bigger than he thought and he repented of his unbelief (Job 42:5-6).

      • Thank you Paul for such a great post !!! On the front cover of Adelaides Sunday Mail was the headlines God gives everything and then He takes it all away in regards to the SA bush fire destruction of property – I felt very uncomfortable with this statement knowing it was wrong but not sure where people get this from even my Christian friend over coffee today said its in the bible in Job like it must be true then so when I got home I looked up your post on this and to my delight ( but not surprise ) you nailed it perfectly wow so beautifully put & so I just want to thank you so much as I have shared this on FB to Christian and non Christian friends and family

      • Hi Julie, I’m horrified to hear about that headline. God is not a bush fire! I lived in Australia for 10 years and saw plenty of fires. I even saw a locust plague once – it went through the Wheat Belt. But never did I hear anyone blaming God for those disasters. I’m glad you found my article and are sharing it with your friends. South Australians are going through a tough time right now. They need to hear the good news of God’s love, not the bad news of Job’s superstition.

    • roger vankuylenburg says:

      Because job was in fear
      Fear is faith in reverse

  6. brandonhutzell says:

    I’m sure you’re a busy guy, so please receive my thanks for the response. I’m working on taking an apparently big jump from my belief about suffering to something similar to your point of view. It is not an easy jump to make and I know their are a lot of variables in the life situations of millions and millions of people inhabiting planet Earth. For now, I join Job in saying… “I spoke of things too wonderful for me to know”. Thanks again and blessings to you brother.

    • Hi Brandon & Paul,
      I love how you two are talking.
      I believe there are 3 sources of hardships;
      a) the devil
      b) a corrupted world where things physically decay
      c) the failure of GRACE in a fallen world
      God is not responsible for any of these.
      God CAN make ALL things work for Good for people who love Him & have been called according to His purposes.
      However He doesn’t NEED these hardships and prefers infinitely that we would know & believe His Word to renew our soul and body.
      Grace & peace.

  7. God's baby girl says:

    Paul, thank you for the article. It is early on the morning I am suppose to join others in singing a popular song with the statement “He gives and takes away.” From the first time I heard the song, when getting to the part “He gives and takes away”, I always stop singing because it is theologically incorrect and unjust to God. Job is the only book that made that statement and we all know the mental state of Job and he did not have the concept of satan. The statement is very religious and it kills. Humanly speaking, why would you give your son or daughter cookie/candy then turn around and take it back forcibly or even peacefully. The child’s cry will be deeper because the same person that gave the sweet snack is the same person that took it away. But if someone else took the cookie/candy from the child, then the child will run to you and tell you what happened and he will want you to give him another cookie/candy and/or request that you take it back from the person that took it from him.

    But hallelujah our SAVIOR JESUS came to destroy the work of the enemy told the truth of who is behind our set backs, IT IS THE DEVIL. The devil is the father of lies, killer, destroyer and a thief and GOD is the GIVER of all good things. OUR GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and NOT TO HARM YOU, plans to give you hope and a future.” We need to change our perspective of God, because to receive goods things from HIM, we must believe that HE is a rewarder, restorer and LOVES to give us the desires of our hearts. AMEN

  8. If God is always good, then why do children die from cancer? If God is always good, then when a car is stopped at a stoplight, and a truck comes flying down the highway, and the truckdriver isn’t paying attention, slams into the car killing everyone it, who caused that? If the ‘enemy’ is a root cause of bad things, then why is God allowing the the bad thing to happen? How many of us would ‘run’ to a Daddy, who when we got to his lap, would grab us by the forearm and slap us across the room? I know many Christians who have suffered. I know many who suffered and died. Life is not always good. I have seen this before my very eyes. If God is in control of everything, then you must admit that God allows bad things to happen even to those that have faith in Him, and even to those that love him. When I had cancer I had to walk through the children’s cancer ward to get to my doctor’s office. I remember their little faces, the IVs hooked up to them. Some crying, some laughing, some sleeping…but all with cancer none the less. I say there are things about God we cannot understand. God has a God brain, not a human brain. His ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts, and what we think is important, he may not think is important at all. I say we are put on the earth not to see how much material things we can accumulate, not to see how much money we can make, but I think we were put here to care for one another. and maybe the bad things going on in the world are because some folks just dont care about one another anymore. But seeing children suffer, children murdered, tortured, raped….that is straight from Satan…so why isn’t it stopped? Ah but then we get back to having to maybe admit there are things that God does not stop from happening even though he knows it is going to happen ‘down the road’..hard pill to swallow.

    • Hi Lou,
      Thanks for writing. I totally agree with you when you say there are things about God we cannot understand. Why doesn’t a good God stop all the evil and suffering? I don’t know. My father died of cancer when he was 36 years old and just a few weeks before my brother was born. Why does God allow this? I don’t know. I don’t write about this sort of thing much because I don’t have all the answers. None of us may ever know this side of eternity why God allows this stuff. But what I do know is that God is on the throne and He is good. Sickness happens to good people but it never comes from a good God. He died to set us free from sickness, sin and poverty. He never asked me to figure everything out. He just asks that I trust Him, and I do. Suffering is a hard pill to swallow, but we can fight back with confidence knowing that it is not His will for us to suffer. We can lay hands on kids with cancer utterly convinced that God wants us to heal them. Any time you doubt His good will in your own life, just look what He did for you at the cross.

      • I think u just never experience loosing your own child due to cancer . You didn’t go through each day of painful journey. You don’t have to ask the mercy of your God everyday to heal your child. You never heard a pray from your own child asking God to heal them and nothing but u saw worse n worse condition. You never experience the pain of seeing the faith of your own child waiting God to heal them

      • Dear Jeannie, I am truly sorry for your loss.

      • Nickolina says:

        i have an answer for this. i hope i can make you understand at least a little by giving you an awesome word ” faith”. now answer this question, if you want god to keep on giving you all good things, will you ever remember his name?/his miraculous works? definitely no, is it? because we are human beings who experiences confusion at times when things happens beyond our control. so in order to remind us that he is still alive, certain bad things happens which is from the satan. so just to test us whether we are still with him in faith, satan gives us bad things. so as god’s children, we should not turn back to satan by giving up god’s faith when we are in trouble. just be strong in your bad times and the battle will be fought against satan exclusively for you by our GREAT GOD!!!

      • Hi Paul, I strongly believe that God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life. I also strongly believe that He is Good. I agree with you that we do not and will not understand everything about God on this side of heaven. However, from His word and my experience in life, I am compelled to believe that God knows what is best for me at any given time of my life. He is in control and on the throne. Therefore, no matter what happens to me – good or bad – I know it is in his will and for my good.

      • This is not faith, but fatalism. It’s actually unbelief in Jesus and what he said. I’m not trying to pick a fight; just trying to get you to filter what you believe through the Word of God (ie: Jesus). More here.

    • Lou,
      God is not in control. That’s the problem you’re butting up against, wrong theology about God being in control. He’s in charge not in control. This video from Bill Johnson explains it well.

    • I believe death is one of the toughest things in Life. I believe that is why many people question and doubt God. First, God is real, his word is true and you have to understand his word and believe in it. I recently had my baby who died, I’m a faithful Christian, and I believe the problem was we had faith, but did not have the works to go with it. So I agree God do not allow bad things, I think it is a result of our actions. I look at it as seed time and harvest, if we plant a seed in the ground, then we do not water it. The seed dies, it is not God fault, we did not do our part. It do not die instantly, but took a while for it to die, we have to do work. God gave us dominion and many things are the people’s fault in the world. A lot of things take a while for it to harvest, good or bad. A baby with cocaine in its system is not their fault. I am responding to encourage and help someone. To stay focus and not waste life. Enjoy life and stay faithful.

      • Hi Tyler you should read Corinth 3 the whole chapter,you are judging yourself for What God is responsible for. This is not from God and I can only assume it is someone else’s poison spoken to you.I am so terribly sorry for your loss, but I can assure you God loses nothing that is his, and Jesus himself said do not stop the children from comment to me. In another place he says unless we become like little children we can not enter heaven.I know you have written to encourage others, but I believe it is you who needs encouragement.

  9. I am deeply moved with tears of thanksgiving for the wisdom God has given you in writing this letter (and your wisdom in responding to honest questions). God bless you Paul Ellis, whoever you are. Recently, I had this church praise song “Blessed be the name of the Lord. You give and take away. ” pop into my head after a string of negative thoughts were pummeling my mind over a loss in my life. I searched for the verse in Job and for answers and found this blog. Thank you!

    • Lisa Radice, Richardson, Tx says:

      “You gave to make a way, You gave to make a way, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name”

  10. I stumbled across this post because Nick Thacker (@loopingworship) retweeted something I said on Twitter. As I was investigating, I saw that you had also been retweeted and found this article.

    I’ve been a worship / music leader for 11 years, and I’ve always tried to eschew songs which are theologically unsound, but Blessed Be Your Name slipped by me. I enjoy this song because of how it encourages us to continue praising God even in the midst of suffering. It never occurred to me that the bridge (You give and take away) could be incorrect. You make a very strong argument. Especially where theology is concerned, I tend to be a slow adopter, but you’ve encouraged me to seriously reconsider some things. Thanks for helping to keep it real.

    • Hi Chris – thanks for your comment. I was in a church recently singing “Blessed be your name.” It’s a really great song! But for myself I changed the refrain to “You give and give and give!” (Are there any lyricists out there who can do better?) As much as I love the story of Job, I don’t identify with his pain-distorted judgments of God’s character.

      • doesn’t Job chapter 2 verse 3 make it very clear just Who is moving against Job?

      • Lisa Radice, Richardson, Tx says:

        “You gave to make a way, You gave to make a way, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name”

      • ‘You give and give again’ is what i sing with great joy!

      • Michael Austin says:

        “You give and make a way” is what our music team changed the words to.

      • “You give not take away!”
        That’s what I sing.

      • Urgent change of Boolean operator needed!
        “You give NOT take away.”
        Thanks for helping to open my eyes to God’s Hyper, Hyper Grace.
        My life will never be the same.
        Thank you Jesus!

    • I’m with you mate, I’m in the same boat. Now I think about it hey, it just doesn’t make any sence.

      • I have had issue with this song, but I never knew anybody else did! I told my dad, that I when I sing it I change the meaning of the words for me to mean that He gives me all good things, and takes away all my sins. But I really like the way that your worship team changed the words to you give a make a way, I love that! So good bc so scriptural!

  11. I saw somewhere in an earlier post that spoke of Paul’s sufferings. I would like to point out that even then Paul did not suffer unnecessarily. When he disobeyed God (God said not to go to Jerusalem), he took his flogging like a man. But when they tried to flog him another time, he declared his status as a roman citizen with authority.

  12. I’ve always has my doubt on this song when a church I attended sings this during worship service. It just didn’t make sense. But my husband said the part that sings ‘you give and take away’, he interpret as, He ‘gives’ good gifts and blessings, and He ‘takes’ away our pain, diseases and sicknesses. I thought it was not a bad idea to think it this way.

    • Best comment ever from your Husband Fay. ‘Give’ good gifts and blessings and ‘takes’ away oru pain, diseases and sickness and may I add sins. As I rooted thru all the comments after just now discovering the song again, I think this is just a good one for the theme “Escape to Reality”. Upon first knocking into the song on my phone I give it some thought for a while until I come across these passages.

  13. I came across this blog like many seem to have. I have always felt a restriction in my heart when singing the wonderful song ‘Blessed be Your Name’ & get to the bit about ‘You give & take away’ & would often not sing that bit. I was searching the net for helpful commentaries about this. This was the first I saw. I found the above discourse most helpful.

    Initially I found the assertions by Paul Ellis perhaps a little harsh (as the truth often can be). However as I read the thoughtful & humble discourse with brandonhutzell, I was really blessed & appreciated how, in an attitude of love, we can disagree yet influence each other & perhaps come to agree rather than take up entrenched positions & feel threatened.

    Thank you brethren, & all the contributors.

    Just as I thought I had clinched it though, I went back to study the scripture again & read the comment that followed ‘The Lord gives & takes away.’ Job1.22 ‘In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly’. Does this mean that Job’s statement was deemed not to be wrong as he did not sin by his comments or ‘blame God’/ ‘charge God with wrongdoing’?

    • The writer of the book of Job, like every Old Testament writer and Job himself, lived with an incomplete picture of God’s character. If the writer was Moses or some other person living under the old covenant law, it would be consistent to think of God as someone who gives and removes blessings. But this view of God is shaped by an inferior covenant. It describes a temporary way that God chose to relate to people. It does not begin to capture His heart of lovingkindness and His eternally good purposes. We need to form our views about God from Jesus, not Job or any other OT personality. You might say to me, “but Paul, it’s right there in black and white.” But God is bigger than His book. If you look at the chapters where God describes Himself – who He is and what He has done – you will see that He never mentions taking away things. He creates, He gives, and He rules with justice. In fact, God rebukes Job for questioning His judgments (40:8). Job had basically said God was unjust for allowing the bad things to happen. Job later repents saying “I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3). What was “too wonderful”? How about God’s character?

      Also, don’t forget the very specific nature of the test Job was facing. Satan was agitating to get Job to curse God to His face (1:11). Job said some dumb things, but in all his suffering he never cursed God, and that is the point of Job 1:22.

      • With all due respect, are you sure that Job lived under the covenant of the law?

      • No, my guess is that he lived before the law-keeping covenant had been given. We don’t know exactly when he lived. What we do know for sure is (a) he had an incomplete revelation of God, (b) he and his friends knew nothing of Satan and so attributed Satan’s works to God, and (c) Job was fearful and, frankly, a bit superstitious. This is why he made so many sacrifices. This is why many people make sacrifices today – they are motivated by fear and the false belief that they can atone for their misconduct.

  14. Paul, you say that both Hannah and Job made “dumb comments” and that they had “distorted views” of God’s character, yet I feel that they had a deep understanding of God’s character and that their comments were valid. True God is 100% Good, that there is no evil found in Him.

    But, how can God’s sovereignty be understood without understanding the simple fact that God does IN FACT “give and take away.” God loves us, no doubt about it, He came down as a man and humbled himself to the point of a cross so that we can experience eternity with Him. We did NOTHING to deserve it. In fact all of us because of sin deserve Hell. But Jesus came and SUFFERED for us. Our salvation comes at a cost, but even with all of that, like the Israelites, we are prone to wander, stray and make idols of ourselves and the things of this world, yet because God loves us, He will take a way in order that we will grow closer. Look at Job, by the end of his suffering his relationship with God grew even more. Through sacrifice and loss, when we cling to our Savior, His sacrifice for us becomes more real and our relationship with Him becomes more solid. This is what true blessing is.

    With that said, God will remain sovereign over us and-to us whom He calls-always has our best in mind. Nothing goes on in this world without his consent, if one day he decided to stop our breathing He very much could, and yes He is just in that because He created us. Or did God not Harden pharoah’s heart(note the bible didn’t say it was sin or Satan)? Or send plagues on the Egyptians? If anything as I am writing these things I am feeling humbled knowing that if God wanted to, He could take away the roof over my head, my job, my family and whatever else for His glory.

    • Dear Ulysses, thank you for your comment. You say God takes away His good gifts because He loves us and so that we will draw closer to Him, but you provide no evidence other than old covenant stories. I don’t relate to God under that inferior and obsolete covenant because I’ve met Jesus. Presumably, you have too. The context of your comment is “God brings death” (Hannah) and “God takes away health, possessions and children” (Job). In other words, He kills people and takes things. Can you provide any scriptural evidence for your claim that God is a killer and a thief from the new covenant? I also wonder how you respond to Jesus’ claim that He came to give life while the thief comes to take and destroy it (Jn 10:10). It seems Jesus and you have different points of view about who’s killing and who’s giving.

      Incidentally, I see no inconsistency between a person holding a deep understanding of God’s character yet still saying the occasional dumb thing about Him. We are all growing in the knowledge of His grace and character. By the end of his book Job said that he had spoken of wonderful things “which I did not know” (42:3)

  15. For the record, never did I claim that God was a thief and a killer. You are the one pining me as a “spectacularly slow learner.” You say “old covenant stories” as if to say the God of the old testament is in stark contrast to the God of the New testament (which is absurd because they are the same person, that is if you do in fact believe in a triune God.) With that said Let’s take a look at Romans 9, where Paul speaks to the Romans of God’s sovereign will. When Paul speaks of Jacob and Esau whom before coming out of the womb God says “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”, he says in Romans 9:14 ESV-
    “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For He says to Moses “I will have compassion on whom I have compassion,” so then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”
    He goes on later to say that, by the example of Pharoah that I used earlier, He “has mercy on whomever He wills, and He hardens whomever He wills.” Romans 9:18 ESV.
    He yet goes on further to say (and this cut me to the core the first time I read it)
    “You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” But who are YOU (note I put emphasis on “you” for a purpose), O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to it’s molder, “why have you made me like this?” This sounds very similar to something God said to Job in the Old testament-
    “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding.” Job 38:4 ESV
    My point is that yes if we do believe in Jesus Christ and make Him Lord of our lives that we will spend eternity with Him, but lets not be so quick to assume that because we’re saved that God may not decide to shake up our world a little bit or a lot. It’s very clear in Romans that He decides who recieves the Holy Spirit and who doesn’t. HE gave Satan free reign on Job. When Stephen was stoned in Acts 7 it was God’s WILL that he would be stoned by the Jews. When Paul was mocked, beaten, and imprisoned to the point of death, it was God’s WILL for this to happen. When Peter was martyred, it was God’s WILL for this to happen. Satan did not take them away, or put them through trials and tribulations, God WILLED these things to happen so that He could be glorified. Jesus came to give life to those whom He calls, Satan and his workers come to destroy it. Jesus gave us a new life, but He doesn’t will it to be an easy thing for us, how else are we to draw closer to Him if everything came easily. It’s HIS WILL that Satan is allowed to pester us in order that we cling to Him. It’s HIS WILL that Satan will steal many and bring them into eternal destruction, but God is the one calling the shots! Because it’s all His!
    Jesus loves those He appoints unconditionally, but don’t be so quick to put Jesus in this all grace no wrath category. You put too much importance on the “blessings” of this world as opposed to the eternal blessings in Heaven. If you see earthly blessings praise Him! If you see lose praise Him! Nothing is promised to us here, Our life is but a vapor is it not? Blessed are the sick, the deaf, the lame, the blind, and all those who have gained & lost through God’s sovereign will, for who says that we can’t use what God has taken away to help empower and change someone’s life?

    • Ulysses, you touch on many interesting issues, but you never answered my question. You assume it was God’s will for Peter to be martyred, because Peter was martyred. That’s not evidence, but illogic. According to your reasoning it was God’s will for terrorists to fly into the World Trade Centre. It seems you are a fatalist. By definition, someone who takes things from you is a thief (Jesus’ words not mine – Jn 10:10), and if God is taking life while Jesus is giving life, then they’re working against each other. Oh I’m sure you could construct an elaborate theology to account for these contradictions, but I’m not buying something that requires no faith. God sent His Son because He loved the whole world. He is not willing that any should perish. “Nothing is promised to us here”?! I could not disagree more. In your view, the cross makes no difference here and now and Jesus healed the sick for no reason except to show that He has favorites (and to torment those who aren’t). You are naïve if you think it’s blessed to be sick or handicapped. I guess if I have not been able convince you that God is good all the time and that He wants His will done here as it is in heaven, then nothing I write here will be convince you now. Thanks for sharing your views.

      • Frank Ticas says:

        There seems to be an underlying animosity in your responses when people don’t necessarily “buy” your belief that God doesn’t take away or that He doesn’t work in ways that may seem “unfair”. The Bible does in fact show that He has allowed for “negative” things to happen in order to manifest His power (John 9:1-3 “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”, John 11:1-5 “he (Jesus) said, This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby”). Niether of these men sinned, and there is no mention of Satan causing neither of these ailments. Jesus also describes in Matthew 25 from verse 34 to 40 the different states in which we might find “the least” of His brothers;hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, in prison, strangers, with no sin attached to any of these conditions in that text. Does it say in these verses that God is responsible for any of these conditions? Do we assume as you have that the devil is behind it all? This in no way shape or form should make us any less grateful and this should not diminish our faith. On the contrary; it should make us realize that nothing escapes God’s greater will for us and that He is interested in perfecting us and purifying us as gold is tested by fire.

      • Hi Frank, with all respect, do you have a point? The point of the post is that Job was blaming God for his loss and this is wrong. Yes, I am hostile to the idea that God robs us because it is a lie from the pit of hell. It leaves Christians wringing their hands and talking about the sovereignty of God and His mysterious ways when we should be fighting back. Here’s my point again: God is a giver; the devil is a thief. If you have a different view, feel free to share it.

    • Roshan Easo says:

      God did not really hate Esau. If you remember in Genesis 32 and 33, Esau was actually extremely wealthy and powerful in his own lifetime. Jacob was even a bit shocked and weary. The hate that Esau experienced was in terms of the lineage of Jesus and the nation of Israel – both went to Jacob. In the same way, the way to read Romans 9 is in terms of accepting the reality of salvation through Christ. God’s point is that “O Man” cannot attain salvation any other way than through Jesus. Outside God’s will of love – which is served and lead by Jesus, man is left to bitter and arrogant self-destruction. God is a God of love, not of robots – so we can decide our own way, or we can trust Jesus. And good news of good news – Jesus said, “I came to give life.”

      • Roshan Easo says:

        The reason that Esau did not receive the promise, was simply because God was trying to demonstrate that it’s not by one’s own power (Esau being eldest) that the promises are received, but rather through weakness. So Jacob was elected. God’s point is not pick favorites – but to give as symbol, that God’s our source rather than self. And that source happens to be a well of good news. Thank goodness we are blessed in Christ, not cursed. We are to fight through curses with the sinless identity we have in Christ – the way Christ fought through the cross, scorning it’s shame for the glory that was to come. He did not conform or give in to the cross – he knew better and his heart was you and me 2000 years later.

  16. Paul, it seems you’ve garnered some attention with this post… it’s clear that many believers carry different viewpoints on suffering. Because suffering is one of the legs on the atheist’s “three legged stool” -(God is absolutely good, God is all powerful, and evil and suffering exist)- it is important we display a unified, truthful answer to nonbelievers who are deceived and confused by this “dilemma” which is really no dilemma at all. I’ve been following each post over the last few months and would like to humbly chime in again.

    You said above: “I don’t relate to God under that inferior and obsolete covenant because I’ve met Jesus.”

    It seems rather bold to take a stand on how YOU’VE DECIDED to relate to God, especially when Jesus said He did not come to abolish the old covenant but to fulfill it. You’re point is well taken, however, and I believe you’re motives are pure. However, God’s allowing Job to suffer occurred before the old covenant ever began.

    Also, it is important to note that though Jesus and God are ONE, yet they are also separate, and there are distinctions among the three persons of the Trinity. The Word says that Jesus “did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him would be saved”. This doesn’t mean that God no longer condemns the world. As a matter of fact, it is the Holy Spirit who moves on the heart of sinners to make them aware of the very condemnation that Father looms over their head… this is the beginning of their coming to Christ for salvation. Spurgeon said that people will not value the sin offering of Christ unless they are fully aware of their sinfulness. God still condemns, and Jesus saves. There are distinctions among the Trinity, and even though we no longer relate to God under the old covenant, He and His ways have not changed.

    The Old Covenant is types and shadows of the gospel of Jesus, and it is also types and shadows of how God works to bring us to the place where we recognize our need for Jesus. (judgement, hunger, wilderness, slavery, etc.) all these things are grace in action if they lead us to a place of eternal salvation.

    I believe the key to helping us stand together on this topic is to be honest, revere the truth, and to understand that suffering has different origins. It is not always Satan, it is not always harvest for our sin, and it is not always God. There are many variables and it is up to the person or persons involved to be lead by the Spirit to determine the origin and purpose of suffering. A blog post is insufficient to paint an accurate broad stroke to define and explain suffering world wide.

    This post has been a blast to follow and I’m looking forward to more visitors and more comments. Love ya brother Paul. cool name Ulysses.

    p.s. doesn’t Job chapter 2 verse 3 make it very clear just Who is moving against Job?

    • Brandon, I’m not sure why you have a problem with me making a decision to put my faith in Christ and then being bold about it. Everyone makes decisions about whether to trust Christ or their own religious performance, but not everyone is clear about their decision. I desire to be clear: None but Jesus!

      When I said the old covenant was inferior and obsolete, I was quoting the Bible (2 Cor 3:11, Heb 8:13). Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the old covenant so we don’t have to. I disagree with the notion that God the Son and God the Father are in a good cop-bad cop routine with humanity, that one saves while the other condemns. Hebrews 1 tells us that the Son is the “exact representation” of the Father. Jesus is not like a housewife protecting her kids from an abusive father. There are distinctions within the Trinity but they are united in purpose, character, desire, and redemptive plan. Everything God the Father said while Jesus walked the earth affirmed the ministry of the Son. Regarding Job 2:3, I have been waiting for my friend Cornel to publish his views on that (but he’s taking his sweet time!). Let me say what I’ve been saying from the beginning: Jesus offers us a far better, far more accurate picture of God the Father than Job and whoever wrote the book of Job. Where there are apparent inconsistencies in Scripture, you’re infinitely safer going with Jesus.

      • brandon hutzell says:

        It’s cool bro, see you at the Marriage Supper… None but Jesus!

      • Happy Christmas Brandon!

      • Let us say there are two adults and one child. One if the adults is the child father. The other adult is the fathers enemy. So, we are the child, the father is God, and the enemy is Satan. So the child has a toy. The enemy decides, since he hates the father, to take away our toy. Now we are sad, but we know that the father is watching us 24/7. So we know the father could have stopped the enemy. And the enemy also knows this. So the enemy is hoping that we will hate the father as the enemy hates him. But instead we fight it, and go against the enemy. (that’s what you are saying Paul) Now, what if it didn’t happen that way. Let’s say the father take away our toy be cause we are finding our joy in the toy, rather than the father that gave us the toy. So the father took it away and we know he could have stopped himself from doing so, but didn’t. But the father sends us another child (Jesus). And that child shows us that our joy should be in the father rather than in the toy. So the child show us how to find joy in the father. After we realize this the child gives us other toy, and we find joy in the father that gave us the toys and the child who showed us how reality really is. See God can be taking away and Jesus can be giving and still be on the same agenda.

      • This is the kind of euphemistic mumbo-jumbo that binds the saints and has them saying “God killed my kids.” God doesn’t give us toys. Toys come from toy shops. Job lost his kids and his livelihood. Are you saying that God killed Job’s kids because he was enjoying them too much!?

      • Someone just wrote me and ended with “God gives and God takes away”. I found your article and I’m sending it to her.
        In the same time I’m going through the comments and counter-comments where Frank Ticca says “There seems to be an underlying animosity in your responses when people don’t necessarily “buy” your belief that God doesn’t take away…” I don’t think so.

        Actually I’m going through something similar actually with the person I’m mentionning above and she accuses me of trying to convince her that I’m right and she’s wrong.
        All I can say is that it’s not easy to preach the grace and goodness of God I found and I might have blown it quite a few times trying to convince.
        But Paul you’re really doing a good job in patience and lovingkindness, I’m learning a lot from you, thank you, blessings to you brother!

    • Lisa Radice, Richardson, Tx says:

      <3 Awe Brandon, you're breaking my heart <3 The Holy Spirit does not condemn, but convicts. There is a huge difference. People are drawn to repentance by God's great mercy and by His goodness, not by their feeling condemned by their own sins. Believe me, I know first hand about this. I have taken a few different approaches in trying to get people to listen to me tell them about Jesus and how they need Him. But two I will mention here are (a) pointing out people's sins and (b) pointing out God's mercy. Well, I did once hold strong to the saying "Law to the proud! Grace to the humble!" But I've never been able to get anyone to listen to me while I had my accusing finger in their face and a Bible in the other hand trying to force feed them the TRUTH! No! It's God's goodness and mercy that attracts people to His saving grace and causes their hearts to soften toward Him. God is love. Love is patient….love is kind….. <3

      If we don't know why something is happening, all we have to do is ask God to give us discernment and to show us what it all means. He is faithful to answer. Always <3

  17. Matt Shockey says:

    Brandon Hutzell,
    You say that anywhere suffering exists God’s will is not being done. I’d encourage you to consider Christ’s bloody, excruciating, work of atonement on the cross. Isaiah 53:5, prophesying about the SUFFERING servant, namely Jesus, says “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” And Isaiah 53:10 goes as far to say “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief.” The greatest thing that has ever happened to a hell-deserving sinner like me is the SUFFERING of Jesus Christ, willed by the Father.

  18. Matt Shockey,

    Thanks for the post, however, the comment your addressing wasn’t made by me, It was made by Mr. Ellis. I agree with you wholeheartedly sir, and I’m thankful you’ve joined the conversation with the very true, amazingly moving scripture that tells us “it pleased the Father” to crush His son for our salvation. By the way, I’ve blogged on Job at if you’d like to check it out. (blog title: noone is innocent) blessings man…

    • Dear Matt and Brandon,

      I suspect we are talking past each other. As I said in a comment near the top of this thread, there’s more than one kind of suffering. This post is about Job’s kind of suffering – i.e., loss of health, children, and wealth. You might say Job was a classic victim, which I define in the literal sense as one who suffers from adverse circumstances. Jesus was not a victim. His suffering was different from Job’s. As far as we know Jesus never got sick and He was never robbed. I am sure the devil tried to do to Jesus what he did to Job, but Jesus didn’t lie down and take it.

      Yet Jesus suffered incredibly as a result of yielding His will to the Father. All the apostles suffered and all of us will suffer when we live for Christ because His will cuts against the grain of this world. The kingdoms of this world won’t let you seek first His kingdom without some resistance. Pharaoh will not help you pack your bags for the Promised Land. The Bible calls this kind of suffering persecution or trials or troubles. This kind of suffering is inevitable, but cheer up, Jesus has overcome the world! (If you want to learn more about suffering for the gospel and bearing up by the grace of God, read 2nd Corinthians.)

      When your circumstances cause suffering, you have a simple choice. You can lie down and blame God like Job, or you can fight back strengthened in the Lord like David. If you think God is making you sick or killing your kids, how could you do anything other than act like a victim? If the devil can get you to passively accept sickness, he wins. If he can then get you to blame your Father for making you sick, he wins twice over. If you then poison the well for others with your bitter experience, he wins again.

      Let me be perfectly clear: there is no greater tragedy in the world today, than the church telling a lost and dying world that God is the one killing them.

      • Lisa Radice, Richardson, Tx says:

        Amen to that brother Ellis! Amen to that!

      • I really like the way you describe the way the poor devil wins thrice when we see ourselves as victims of God’s mighty hand and sovereinty, I’ll keep it in mind for further convincings.

        I don’t have your experience but I’ve gotten to KNOW my Papa in a greater and more intimate way than ever before in my life since around 4 years now. It is therefore easy and simple to receive everything you share (though like you said somewhere above: no one is 100% right and we’re all growing in the knowledge of Him).
        Also, I can see also from the reactions and the comments that a lot of us know the word and our theologies but have a real hard time, due to our lack of intimacy with the Father to really know Him for Who He is and receive the pure grace. Most know a lot about God and have a great knowledge of scripture but I feel lack the depth of communion with Him and so we still see Him within the consciousness of good and evil, within our own knowledge of good and evil. When it’s about the Tree of Life in us, His Life in us, Jesus, the single eye vision that fills all with His Light, as sitting with Him in heavenly places and seeing all things FROM there.
        I was just wandering on how best communicate God’s grace and unconditionnal love and I got Ephesians 1 & 3, the two prayers of Paul for his fellow brethren that they may grow in the knowledge of Him. Amen, let it be Father for all of us.
        Thanks for teaching!

      • What about when David’s son was sick and died? In 2Sam 12, The LORD caused the baby to get very sick. David fasted and prayed, begged, that the LORD would have pity on him and spare the child and LET him live. But He (God) didn’t and He let him die.

        What about Isaiah 45? I the LORD did all these things. I can’t believe the Creator of the universe is subject to the evil whims of one of HIS creations. Either God is omnipotent, or He isn’t. Either He holds all things together and works them for good for those who are called according to His purposes, or He doesn’t. God’s will for us isn’t necessarily for us to be healthy and wealthy and on PTL. It’s for us to be conformed to the image of Christ. It’s for us to love Him and rejoice in Him in all circumstances. Whether we abound or are abased.

        I’m not a fatalist. I separate God’s omnipotent sovereignty from my responsibility. I still have to fight and struggle and run the race, but my strength is not my own. And no matter what happens, Christ is my reward.

        Does God murder babies? No. Does He allow them to be murdered? Yes. If God can’t stop satan (or humans for that matter) from doing bad things, then he’s just a nice guy with a beard that’s hoping everything works out in the end. He is a good, just, fair God who brutally punished an innocent man for crimes He knew someone else committed, for a greater purpose.

        Oh, and just because the Bible doesn’t say Jesus was never robbed or sick doesn’t mean it never happened. It doesn’t say He pooped either, but I’m confident He did.

      • Hi Tony, it doesn’t sound like you asked your question because you were looking for an answer, but if you were, please read the post “Does God kill babies?

        You seem to be caught on the horns of a dilemma. If God is sovereign, he’s bad (or at least complicit in the badness of others). If he’s not at fault, then he’s not sovereign. Might I suggest a third alternative, which is found in the beginning of his book. God made this world and everything in it good and then he gave it to us to look after. The rest is history.

  19. iluvtheword says:

    Hi Paul,
    Loved the article and also loved your gracious and loving responses to comments and questions. Leading a small grace fellowship in Scotland I find myself constantly “fighting” against the attitude that Gos is not always a good God, that He brings illness and disease, and that He does “give and take away”. The post-cross Word just does not show that type of God. He only does good, He only loves; it is the enemy who brings cancer etc.
    Keep up the good work brother,
    Luv from Pastor Vic in Scotland ( and

  20. I think people often confuse natural consequences with punitive action on God’s part. Also, I think that sometimes because of the messes that we make of our lives, sometimes God allows certain things to run their course in order to bring us into alignment with the reality of our identity in Christ as co-heirs and sons. Part of it is simply the tension between the ages as God’s plan of salvation and ultimate victory is still being worked out. However, there is a huge difference between God ordaining and causing something bad and Him using for good what the enemy intended for evil. Scripture attests to the battle / warfare / wrestling that we are enmeshed in. Sometimes there are casualties in that war that we do not understand, but God is never the direct cause of evil.

  21. Gold! I haven’t spent a lot of time looking back through the posts that came before I found e2r. Silly me…lol!

  22. You know I think God is good. Don’t agree with take suffering lying down, but I don’t believe in busting a muscle in warefare prayer either. But the question is, what will you do if something bad does happen? Not asking for that, but our reaction might be an indication of what we are worshipping. Retrospect is always twenty-twenty, but I know there are feet to this teaching, not just wings. The question isn’t will the Trinity heal and bless so much as am I worshipping the Trinity? Truth was tempted, just like we were. But if we give into temptation, it’s idolatry from a relational point of view, but just as significantly, it’s damaging.

    In the Bible, we find righteous poor people, and we find righteous rich people. We find unrighteous poor people, and we find unrighteous rich people. With Jesus, life on earth is the closest thing to hell we will ever experience for all eternity. Without Jesus, life on earth is the closest thing to heaven we will ever experience for all eternity.

  23. why do ppl want to be “like Job”? i am so perplexed at why anyone would choose Job to model their relationship with God on. I read Brandon’s blog post he linked and the one comment that a woman posted, her words, “If suffering aligns my perspective with yours… then I can take it!” oy vey! why do we need suffering to align our perspectives when we have the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth (john 16:13)? I choose to be led of the Spirit not the flesh.

    speaking of hannah and job and their incomplete views of God’s character…i would say that they knew Him according to how much He revealed about Himself and His ways of dealing with ppl at that time (blessings/cursings, sacrifices…). God does not change, but His covenant did… (see Hebrews 8:6-13).

    • Oy vey indeed!

      • brandonhutzell says:

        I’m sure you guys might be familiar with Joni Eareckson Tada’s story, so here are a few quotes from a person who has EXPERIENCED what we’re all TALKING ABOUT.

        “It is a glorious thing to know that your Father God makes no mistakes in directing or permitting that which crosses the path of your life. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. It is our glory to trust Him, no matter what.”

        “The greatest good suffering can do for me is to increase my capacity for God.”

        “If you had never known physical pain in your life, how could you appreciate the nail scarred hands with which Jesus Christ will meet you?”

    • Right on there crista.
      Can I ask for permission to quote your “God does not change, but His covenant did” line? It hits the nail right on the head

  24. I found your post as a result of a question I have. Recently our Pastor friend lost their daughter at age 22. Perfectly healthy and then died of a blood clot instantly. They are saying God took her and praise Him for it. She was a practicing born again believer. I don’t know how to even talk to someone that is grieving and tell them I don’t believe that God took her. I belive the enemy comes to steal kill and destroy and that God gives life and life more abundant.
    THis is burdensome to me and I feel that if I say anything it would further add grieve to them. My husband told them he didn’t beleive God took her. I have always felt in my spirit any time someone said God gives and takes away very grieved that anyone would take God to be some kind of Father that would use this as a lesson or suffering to teach us.Or because of Job God permitted Satan to take her. Help. I read this whole blog and found that I would have to agree That GOD IS ALWAYS MERCIFUL AND GRACIOUS. He want us to prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers. Jesus died for all of this.

  25. Outstanding post! I don’t know if this has been mentioned in the comments but when I see Satan before God and He gives him permission what I see missing is an Advocate. A Mediator.

    Job shows perfectly the verse quoted about how the Devil comes to “steal, kill and destroy” and how Jesus came to “destroy the works of the Devil”.

    Since God was kind enough to show me His Grace and how Grace has been distorted and watered down to just thanking God for the turkey sammich I’m seeing Him in a very new Light and it’s Beautiful.

    Knowing what I know now the Lord doesn’t send sickness and even criminals to teach a believer something valuable. Jesus came to destroy those works not use them as a teaching tool. My 2 cents.

  26. Deborah says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember anywhere in the NTestament that the disciples ever went with out food, shelter, or clothes. I don’t remember them being in poverty, they wouldn’t have needed a treasurer if they didn’t have money. They were persecuted for proclaiming the gospel. When Jesus died He surrendered His spirit to the Father. When Stephen was stoned for the last time, he surrendered his spirit. Paul did not he just kept going but only suffering persecution for the spreading of the gospel. Even when Paul talks about the thorn in his flesh (human nature, physical or moral) he is very clear about what this was, a messanger (GK – angelio – angel) from Satan. I remember Jesus cursing the fig tree but never a person, not even Judus. ” Father forgive them for they no not what they do.” “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” When we see Jesus we see the Father, He said so, so who am I to not believe Him.

  27. Thank God there are still people who believe HE is really GOOD.

  28. This is a topic that hits close to home for me and my family and is near and dear to us. We have a daughter who… will require regular open heart surgeries throughout her life… I wish with all my heart that it was God’s will to heal every single person of their physical defects, diseases, and sicknesses. And I think it is, just not here and now…. When our daughter was first born we were attending a church that believed in healing very similar to the same way it appears is being taught here. We believed that God would heal our daughter. We were let down. My wife was crushed. The response we kept getting was “just believe”. So we lifted ourselves up and believed again, yet nothing… Does God heal? I believe so, but only when it’s His will. Is it always His will? I don’t believe so. God’s will will be done. We can rest knowing this. We can pray trusting God that if it’s his will then he’ll heal and if not then he’ll provide sufficient grace and it will work together for good in the end. I don’t think God causes sickness, but I think He permits it just as God doesn’t cause sin but permits it…

    I believe it is both foolish and dangerous to say that it is always God’s will to heal… God’s grace brings us rest. We can trust our gracious Father that if it’s His will then He will heal, if not then he will work the sickness together for good likely in this life, but if not here, then most definitely in the coming eternal kingdom. And that’s our hope. Though we suffer, though we feel pain, we look forward to a better and lasting kingdom and life eternal, where those who have gone before us will be resurrected and where we will live with our family and our Father and where there will be no more tears or pain. Just like our salvation…

    Though I believe God uses the things of the enemy for good in the end, sickness and death are His enemy. That’s the beauty of it. He takes those things the enemy uses to try and kill us, and though it’s hard to fully see and understand how this will all work out, He will one day turn it around and the blessing He pours on us will make the sickness and pain all look like nothing.

    • Dear Erik, I normally cut comments off after they reach 250 words. In your case I trimmed your very long comment in such a way that I hope none of your meaning was lost. Thanks for writing in.

      • Hi Paul,

        I do think some meaning was lost but it’s okay. I certainly understand and I apologize for the wordiness. I was at work and rushing so I was thinking as I was writing and I’m sure it came off like that. I also understand about removing the John MacArthur article but I do think it provides a good balance to the conversation, one that may be much needed for people who have struggled with this. Nonetheless, comment sections in blogs are never the best place to discuss things in detail and I can understand wanting to keep them short.

        I hope you understand the spirit in which my comments were written. I’ve read much of what you’ve written here and I thank you for your service to the body of Christ with your very encouraging words.

        I wish peace to you, brother.

  29. Pastor has mentioned many times, if any man wishes to declare that his situation is like Job’s, that person must also acknowledge that Job received double what he lost for his trouble. One cannot really say that they are “Job” until they have seen God restore!

    God gives, and his gifts are without repentance.(Romans 11:29)

  30. Hey paul, i am a semi new christian and soo much stuff (bad and good) has been happening to me. Ive been in bad physical pain and it brought me close to god(its why i started believing in him). God has assurred me it will go away and i have faith it will but i dont know when. My pain was from Boxing and since ive been out of boxing and closer to god i have lost interest in boxing, it was the only thing in my life to ever make me happy and have fun and now since i started believing in god i feel like i dont like it anymore, BUT i want to have the passion i used to have for it. I am not sure if God took it away from me(he gave me it in 1st place) or satan that made me feel like it doesnt interest me anymore. I just wanted to see if you could help me understand why i feel this way that i cant be a boxer anymore and how can i get this back. I hope you read this, god bless.

    • Hi Parker, It sounds as if God’s giving you some new desires that don’t result in so much bad physical pain. Ask Him for wisdom and He’ll point you in a good direction.

  31. I definetly believe God is a thief,a robber to steal and rob us from the things he has given to us. The scripture said “for God so loved the world, then he GAVE.-Jn 3:16. When God should take away that which he has given you, then he refuses to be God, for it has been said in

    Heb 6:18 “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.”

    God can never Lie, so if he can never lie he will not say “All good and perfect comes from Himself(GOD)”.

    • Kweku, I’m thoroughly confused by your comment; I think you meant to say that Satan is a thief, a robber to steal and rob from us things God has given… but maybe you really do think negatively about God; if so, I hope you’ll accept my apologies for misunderstanding, and I’ll pray you’ll understand Jesus better someday… I wrote about that here.

  32. This is another one of those widely trivial debates about the Bible…

    I don’t know what I would agree on, but they would say that everything in the Bible is Jesus’ words so they would be definitely right.

  33. But I kind of agree with what Paul Ellis said. I dunno but this is really trivial if God really does give and then take away.

  34. Maybe God didn’t take away from Job, but he PERMITTED it…..isn’t that the same thing? (maybe worse?)

    • God is NOT WILLING that any perish, yet people perish – He permits it (2 Pet 3:9). Qn: What is God’s will? Is it that people perish or don’t perish? Do you see the point? You cannot determine God’s will based on what He permits. If you did, you would think everything that happens is His will. You would think everything the devil does and everything man does is God’s will. This is called fatalism.

      If you would know God’s will, look to Jesus. Jesus said “I have come that they might have life; the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10). So if something is stolen, killed or destroy, whose will was it?

  35. keith blond says:

    A great article Paul [as always] but does God not take away our sickness- our hurts- out dissappointments, the list can be as long as one want’s?
    I originally thought, like most people, leave this bit out when ou sing the lovely song, but if we change our mindset then the words make sense.

    • Hi Keith, you could sing that – He certainly takes our guilt and shame. Isaiah might sing it a little differently though. He might sing “He surely took away” (past tense) – see Is 53:4, especially in a literal translation.

    • Daniel Kotin says:

      heheh, I used to never sing that part as well in my early realization of the give and take away thing. And then I realized that I could sing it with my heart and mind set on how he gave me life and took all my death away. It is so very refreshing :)

  36. I don’t know if my reply to Brandon is viewable by all but in the song which is otherwise very good, change the words from “He gives and takes away” to “He came to make a way.”


  37. I too like the song except sing that phrase differently. I change “He gives and takes away” to “He gives and gives some more”.

  38. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for writing this!!! I have been so passionate that the body see this truth and have often felt like the lone ranger. The lie that God is behind bad things or evil is so prevalent today and is exactly what hinders people from receiving all that Christ died to give us. The verse John 14:9 has been on my heart so much. If we want to know what God is like LOOK AT JESUS! :) I was in tears after reading this… I was just on the phone before I read this talking to someone about needing to “encourage myself in the Lord” like David. Again, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dear Melissa, you are blessed! (Matthew 13:16)

    • I love the Truth our King is a giver we must not allow the enemy to come into our life to take what God has given us . live to his holy will and even if the enemy take,s away for a while we must fight back with our Father,s words. I am a warrior for christ when my family gets attacked in their health or finance my Lord always restores after heartfelt prayer . I love my God so much , he is so mercyful i felt i had to share this because i would explode i feel so loved by him .

  39. ImALittleCrazy says:

    How can we say with certainty that God does or does not cause bad things to happen. (I use the term bad loosely). In the Old Testament, God’s wrath was ever present. God remain’s unchanging. That is one of His Qualities. Malachi 3:6, God says this of himself plainly. However, in the New Covenant, God sends Jesus as our savior. Through Christ, we have forgiveness of our sins. Does this mean we will never be corrected by our heavenly Father, I truthfully don’t know. I feel that if we are saved then our slates have been wiped completely clean of all sin in our life. The biblical consequence of sin is death. With Christ, we will not suffer that death. However, mankind has created this seperation from God through the immoral acts of sin. With the existence of sin in our world, there will also be the existence of pain/loss/suffering/ and the “taken away’s”. So in essence, all bad things in this world can be blamed on Satan and Man’s failure. It’s merely the result of living in a fallen world.

    On a different note, I can say that this article and the discussions that followed created a blessing in my life. I have literally spent the last three hours reading scripture and examining my own beliefs on this topic, and I must say that the results of my finding was very different than what I would have expected if someone just asked the question – “Hey, do you think God causes bad things to happen.” So regardless of the many differing thoughts on this, Thanks to all who commented on it, and to Paul for writing it. You all are responsible for me getting another step closer to God.

    And as far as the song lyrics go, how about ” He gives and Makes a Way”

  40. Isn’t God more concerned about our character rather than if something is “taken away.” There is nothing that God does not know about that happens in our lives. God knows when bad things happen, and I believe it is allowed to happen… to shape our character. Look at Job and how he came out at the end, refined! This is a major point that wasn’t really mentioned in your message. We may go through bad stuff in our lives, but we must trust God through it. God isn’t making it happen, but He is allowing it.. He is God- whatever happens… it is according to what He believes is best for us. You might say, “Well why did God allow me to get stage 4 cancer?” I would come back and say, “I don’t know, but trust Him.” I would really like to say though, “He’s more concerned about you- your salvation, your relationship with Him, then He is about this mortal life. He is concerned about your eternity.” Well, what if I am a true believer and I get a terminal illness? I honestly believe that if God allows you to die that way, it is the death He has planned for you. Whether you are going to be a witness in your faith to the very end and bring people to Christ because of it, or you are going to be miraculously healed and bring people to Christ because of that. Either way, people are coming to Christ for something that was “allowed” to happen. He is more concerned about eternity than this quick time on earth. I hope this makes sense, and it is a very important point.

    • Dear Rachel, thanks for your comment. I agree that this is a very important point. The problem I have with the mindset you espouse is that it leads to uncertainty, which is unbelief, and passivity. Can you imagine Jesus going to the lepers of Judea and saying “I don’t know why God allowed this but trust Him?” The Old Testament gives us a glimpse of the Father’s heart but through Jesus we see Him face-to-face. I will not follow Job. If you came to me with stage 4 cancer I would hope to reveal Jesus. I would rise up in my Christ-given authority and rebuke that cursed disease.

      • ImALittleCrazy says:

        1 Corinthians 2:11 – “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

        You can’t claim certainty in any thing other than Christ Jesus. I do not see the logic in Rachel traveling a path of unbelief or passivity because you think her mindset leads to uncertainty. Rachel, your points are all very valid, and only strenghtened my belief, that regardless of whether or not I understand, I’ll follow God through the example of the life of Christ.

      • 1 Corinthians 2:12 “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

        I want to be sensitive here because it’s my experience that those who relate to Job are those who are suffering. In no way do I wish my confidence in Christ to come across as condemnation for those who aren’t walking in victory today. (I’m about to go pick a friend up and take them to hospital!)

        My point is this: Job was uncertain because he lacked a clear revelation of Jesus. We have seen Jesus. We know the Father’s heart on all matters relating to the curse of sin (including sickness). We ought not to be uncertain on these points but to exercise our God-given authority. Creation waits for the revelation of the mature sons of God. If you are battling with sickness, consider your symptoms as lying symptoms – they are not acting in accordance with the full truth of Jesus’ sacrifice. By his stripes we were healed. Do not make peace with your illness. That’s like making peace with the enemy. Instead, submit to God and resist your enemy. Don’t take on the burden of your own healing but confidently proclaim what Christ has already accomplished. If you are sick and need encouragement, send me a personal message. I would be happy to pray for you.

      • ImALittleCrazy says:

        I’ll certainly accept your offer to pray for me, however I am blessed to not have any affliction at the moment. I agree that many people do refer to Job through times of trouble. I also agree that Job spoke some thoughts out of agony and defeat, not the victory found in Christ, because Christ had not yet came. I also agree that it is correct to follow the teachings of Christ, as well as the example of Christ, instead of that of a man. What I am in a disagreement with you own is your claim that Rachel’s mindset leads to uncertainty, which IS unbelief ans passivity.
        Uncertainty is in no way unbelief. Admitting that you aren’t certain about the reasons things happen in life is not the same as not believing the truths found in Christ. It is simply admitting, that as a flawed person, although saved by the Grace of God, you don’t know all that is to be known about the reasons things happen. For me, not knowing why doesn’t hinder my faith, but strengthens it. After all, how much faith must one have if they know all that there is to know about God, His thoughts, His reasons, His desires? When there is something that I am uncertain about within my relationship with Christ, I have something to be concerned about. But when it is just a question that I have about God’s Character and reasoning, I study until I either find the answer or I pray until I get some sort of relief from that question. That is neither unbelief nor passivity, but faith in action and agressive learning.

        Also, I disagree with the context in which you use 1 Corinthians 2:12. Perhaps I’m incorrect, but it seems as if you are using that as an argument against my use of 1 Corinthians 2:11. This is what I take from those verses – You know your own thoughts, but no other man does. The Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God, but no other man does. We have recieved (as Christians) the Spirit of God that we may understand what God has freely Given us. What has God freely given us? God has freely given us salvation in Christ Jesus. So looking at it this way, “We have received the Spirit of God so that we may comprehend the salvation that God has given us in Christ Jesus. ” I quote my own interpretation, not the Bible. I just don’t think, based on those verses alone, that we have the ability to claim certain and definate understanding of God’s actions/reasons/thoughts.

        I look forward to your reply to this. I have truly been blessed by all of the comments and replies to comments on this thread.

      • I don’t claim to have God all figured out and I am uncertain about many things. But I am not uncertain about the finished work of the cross. The context of my comment that uncertainty equals unbelief is sickness and healing. Hebrews 11:1 says “faith is being sure… and certain.” If someone is unsure or uncertain then by definition they’re not in faith. How can you believe for something you don’t believe? Belief in the face of uncertainty is hope or wishful thinking, not faith. I want every single person who reads this to be 100% sure and certain that it is God’s will to save every lost person and heal every single sick person every single time. You may say, I don’t see that happening. Well look at Jesus. It happened for Him. He’s the one we follow.

        What has God freely given us? His Son along with everything we need to participate in His divine life here and now (1 Pet 3:4), along with every blessing (Eph 1:3), along with the awesome Holy Spirit to teach us all things (Jn 14:26). The number one reason why Christians are not enjoying these gifts is unbelief arising from ignorance. We have made uncertainty a virtue. It is life-sucking leaven. For too long we have bought into religious mumbo-jumbo that paints a picture of God as distant, mysterious, and unknowable. It’s as if Jesus never came. It’s as if the Holy Spirit never came. It’s as if God was an absentee Father.

      • ImALittleCrazy says:

        Heb. 11 : 8 Was this wishful thinking on the part of Abraham? He didn’t know where he was going, yet out of faith, he went. The point that I am trying to make very clear is that we don’t always know the where’s and the why’s, yet we are expected to have faith in the Deliverer. Is this wishful thinking or just hope? No, not at all.
        I’m not sure who you are referring to in the” “we” have bought into the religous mumbo jumbo god is mysterious and unknowable (paraphrased)” , but thats not what i was saying at all. I don’t think of God as distant, unknowable, or mysterious. I know who God is, but I don’t know His every thought and His reasons; I do not need to know all about God to fully trust and obey Him. The parts of God’s character that is revealed to us in the Bible are numerous. But never in the Bible does it say that it is an all inclusive, conclusive list of who God is.

        “But I am not uncertain about the finished work of the Cross.” – Amen, brother. And thanks be to God for that finished work.

  41. Paul,

    Pack to the garden of Eden, all God created was and is good. Suffering starts from the fall so our choice to disable God and follow the lies of the devil are responsible.

    Isaiah 53: Jesus was innocent but was punished for our sin, wasn’t this suffering ochestrated allowed by God. And christians are blessed when they suffer for Christ as opposed to suffering for unrighteous and wrong choices. God is not obliged to protect any one who is living outside his will but that does not mean that those in obedience to him dont suffer or get trials. How is christian character built in the life of a believer?

    Whether some suffering is caused by the devil or human disobedience, God stays sovereign and all things only happen when he allows them like he allowed the devil to attack job.

    About the song Blessed be the name of the Lord, the lyrics are direct quotations from the book of Job and I believe that all scripture is innerant, inspired by the spirit for reproof, teaching,…. according to Timothy. How we apply it to our life situations could be prone to error since we are all fallible humans. However, that shouln’t mean we look down upon certain verses in the bible or take them out of context.

    God blessed job, allowed the devil to take away but blessed more in the last chapter. My challenge to us is can God look down upon us and tell the devil that “have u considered my blameless servant “put ur name”.

    Since the lyric in question is a direct extract from the bible, its not necessary to critique it, u need the whole counsel of the bible not just the wealth, healthy, abundant life.

    About God not having punished any one with disease, who punished Uziah with leprosy? who allowed david’s first son with bathesba to die? All suffering is not from the devil.

    • Hi Julie, thanks for the comment. If you read Job 1:8 in a literal translation you will not come away with the impression that God was setting him up for a test. Here’s Young’s: “And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, `Hast thou set thy heart against My servant Job because there is none like him in the land, a man perfect and upright, fearing God, and turning aside from evil?'”

      I submit that a lot of suffering that goes on in the world happens because we – in our ignorance and unbelief – allow it to happen. If the devil attacked me like he attacked Job I wouldn’t sit in the fireplace and grizzle about it. I would resist him and he would flee (Jas 4:7). Job and Jesus could not have been more different. Job did nothing but talk; Jesus healed the sick. It is stunning to me that Christians would seek to follow Job rather than Jesus. The man himself said he spoke of things he didn’t understand. That’s why I have a problem with that lyric. It’s a direct quote from a confused and hurting man. God told Moses to kill all the leaders (Num 25:4). That’s a direct extract from the Bible too. Should we sing about that? Regarding David’s baby, please see my post “Does God kill babies?

  42. The fundamental issue here is God’s character. If you have a religious, harsh, punitive image of God as an avenger, a judge and an executor of divine justice, you will be happy (odd term, I know) to see God as the one who is somehow taking away all your blessings. A lot of atheists, and yes, even some Christians have this view of the God of the bible.

    Then there’s the view of God as shown by Jesus; entirely antithetical to the old-fashioned view of God as harsh, cruel and the robber of our blessings. I don’t recall one instance of Christ killing people, making others sick or poor… do you? Religion does well to portray the Father’s character as that of a harsh, punishing, vindictive god. The sad thing is, many religious today, have bought into the lie. It’s much easier to fear God than it is to love Him, I suppose… The problem is, however, that no one in their right mind wants to WORSHIP a god who is cruel, malicious or a stealer of health, children, finances or other blessings.

    I suspect such dogma is has been the work of hell and its hordes for generations. After all, the complaint that God is not good is the number one grievance most non-believers cite with the bible God. Isn’t that interesting…?

    • I do remember one instance… Jesus blinded Saul on the road to Damascus… and when Jesus spoke with Ananias regarding Saul’s healing 3 days later… He said this “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Jesus had suffering planned for Paul… Of course we all know God’s response later when Paul prays thrice for relief from the “messenger of Satan” which was assigned to him… God said… “My grace is sufficient”. According to your belief, Martin, the apostle Paul lacked the authority to cast away this messenger of satan because he (and I quote) had “unbelief because of ignorance.” I’ll let you tell him that when we get to heaven…

      • (I’ll respond since you quoted me.) When it comes to matters of salvation and all that Jesus has done for us (eg: provided healing), I refuse to play the excuse-making game. I could provide hundreds of examples of believers not getting healed at times including myself. But I have decided not to filter God’s word through my experience. The suffering that Paul went through was persecution for preaching the gospel. He lists all the things that happened to him – beaten with rods, stoned, left for dead. Not once does he mention getting sick. A thorn in the flesh is not a sickness – it’s a Hebrew idiom that describes troublemakers (see Num 33:55, Jud 2:3).

        I personally know Someone who was never sick and who healed 100% of those who came to Him. He even raised the dead. He said we would do these and greater works and I believe Him. If you don’t that’s your business.

      • Brandon, Your comment has not left my mind, since I too knew a Minister of like character & abilities in healing that suffered from a condition that she was born w/that made her unable to keep much of any food down & it was not uncommon for her to vomit blood. That she lived into her ninety’s w/ this condition is a miracle in itself though.
        She taught of an all loving God that was incapable in it’s own makeup to ever will that anyone suffer or have lack. God was constant & unchanging. If their was any change, We were the changers. It was We that gave power to God one day and the devil the next and it was We that were causing our own suffering & lack etc. because of our false beliefs and ignorance of God. But NEVER was this Gods will for his children.
        I was a child when I knew her but I remembered something that my Mom had told me. She asked the minister why she thought she was never healed of this
        lifelong condition. After all, she had had many miraculous healings in other areas of her body. The minister told her that she thought she was left w/ this condition to keep her humble. WHAT? That went against everything she taught and believed? At what age did she accept this belief? Did she ever really realize that it went against her own teaching? Maybe not? Many of us have deepseated beliefs that we are unaware of. The minister had a similar teaching to A. Wommack (from what I’ve read so far). She was outcast by other ministers not only for what she was teaching but because she was a women (this was in the 50’s, 60’s. 70’s.) She had no one to pray for her or to help her figure this out.
        Has the pastor that you know had anyone successful in healing pray for him? If not, would you like someone to pray for him?
        OOPS,Did I replie to the wrong post, I think it was your next post that I meant to comment on. Anyway, nobody has all the answers. We’re all just doing the best we know how.

      • Thank You Lynn for replying… and yes… many with the gift of healing have prayed and continue to pray for this pastor. And I agree with you 100% that nobody has all the answers… which is exactly why I also believe that we cannot and should not say that it is God’s will to heal “every single sick person every single time”. Think about it… if it is true… than anyone who is a believer and is not healed is left to believe that there faith is weak or incomplete… and “without faith it is impossible to please God”… now the sick Christian is in a position which gives them reason to believe that God is displeased with them. This is obviously not the intention of the “God wants to heal everybody” message… but it can many times be the result.

        I believe that God is ABSOLUTELY GOOD… I also believe that His ways are higher than our ways… and our perception of GOOD is lacking. It is possible that lack and suffering in our lives during this present age could produce fruit, glory, and even salvation for the life to come (which is eternal)… thereby making lack and suffering, in this present age, GOOD. Most Christians agree and have agreed through the ages that we learn our most valuable spiritual lessons… not on the mountaintop… but in the valley. Like Paul said “I reckon that the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

  43. Paul, in a recent response… you said… “I want every single person who reads this to be 100% sure and certain that it is God’s will to save every lost person and heal every single sick person every single time.” Do you honestly believe that every believer who has ever had any sickness, from diabetes to cancer, and didn’t get healed… lacked faith? That’s is a broad stroke and very stereotypical… I personally know a pastor who emptied a small hospital in Africa in one day… and yet he continually suffers severe foot pain from neuropathy as a result of diabetes. The gift of healing operates in his life and he has seen many, many people healed. He is a general in the faith and has served God all his life… he does not lack ignorance and is not uncertain in God’s healing power… now what?

    • Brandon, you are adding to my words. We can be certain it’s God’s will to save and salvation includes healing. I don’t claim to have it all figured out and I don’t heal 100% of those I pray for. There may be various reasons why some people aren’t healed or don’t receive their healing immediately but double-mindedness on God’s part is not one of them.

      • Good response, Paul, I just want to encourage you and let you know that many of these teachings have changed my life and set me free. I thank God for you and others like you. We need more ministers of the Gospel who preach undiluted, pure, and bold grace. Be encouraged brother, you are more appreciated than you even know. Thank you so much for your boldness of speech and I thank God In you and for you, Hallelujah!!

    • Roshan Easo says:

      Brandon, you bring up an amazing point – but your ladder is still leaning on the wrong wall. Brandon, if I were sick with lukemia, it would still be my responsibility to fight – that’s just what it means to be a new creation. If I didn’t fight, I would be a hypocrite against my own nature. I am not of this world. We fight cancer differently in the kingdom. Don’t lump us in with the rest of the human population when Jesus’s sacrifice meant that you and I are no longer to be cynical but rather be greatful and fight. People are wrongly taught to ware out their bodies for work, then to accept the consequences of sickness. It should be the opposite. We work AND resurrect from the energies of God, not of self.

      • Roshan Easo says:

        I mean ‘resurrect’ in the medical sense, not in the greater physical sense – although obviously that’s our inspiration. A true inspiration at that.

  44. Great post paul! I’m right there with ya!

  45. Great discussion. Something all the people who “want to be like Job” miss and are missing here is that Job didn’t see life through God and Satan’s actions. Only God’s. He credits God for giving and taking. He doesn’t even believe God allowed things to happen. He saw God as the CAUSE! But, good news, watch this. Job 1:12 12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in YOUR power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out and he killed, caused the sickness, the storm etc. Job apparently wasn’t even aware of the existence of Satan. He credited God with all that Satan did. God is good all the time and the enemy is bad all the time. Just the fact that God is stirring this conversation is proof to me that He really is waking His kids to see His goodness and that we have bought a lie. Hallelujah what a savior!

  46. Jairus did not quote to Jesus Job 1:21 “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away”. The devil stole the life of his daughter, Jesus raised her and gave her back! God is good. Devil is bad. God gives, devil takes. Theology of Grace 101 :-)

  47. Wow….. I am sensing some changes in my thinking coming up. I have always thought suffering can come from God for His good purposes, but I can see what your saying makes sense. Keep posting and I will keep reading. Thank you so much. I am really enjoying you posts, and 90%of them I have found very helpful. ( that sounds bad tho doesnt it).. lol… ok 90% i agree with and I am open to changing the other 10% :)

    • Hi again Tracy,
      As you can tell from my last comment I’m sensitive to the welfare of babies and children. I want to encourage you. I can see you’re in the middle of a radical turn. For some of us this turn has taken years so please don’t feel any pressure from me to hasten on. Just keep your eyes fixed on Him and you can’t go wrong. God loves His kids more than you love yours. He never, ever, ever inflicts suffering on us to teach us things. He doesn’t beat us with rods, make us sick, or force out of the boat – despite what we’ve heard.

  48. Hi Paul,

    A very interesting read – thanks for all the work you have put into this and your passion for truth.

    I’d just like to clarify what you are saying here. Are you saying that as Christians we are free from all the consequences of sin like sickness and poverty while on this earth?

    It seems to me that while God is in the redeeming business – causing good to come from bad and bringing to life things that were dying or dead – not all of this redemption is going to happen on this earth some of it is reserved for Heaven alone. And some of the redemption He brings about may affect our hearts rather than our physical situations.

    Doesn’t Paul teach us in Phil 4:10-12 (Paul talking about being content in all circumstances) to learn from the circumstances we find ourselves in allowing God to redeem them rather than simply trying to get rid of them all? (I don’t think Paul is saying all these bad things come from God, but he doesn’t feel the need to have only good things happen to him.)

    I guess I see no promise in the Bible that Christians are exempt from living under the consequences of sin while in this life. In fact, isn’t death the ultimate consequence of sin (beyond poverty, sickness or anything else)? And last I checked we all die – even the people Jesus cured of their sickness and raised from the dead went on to die again.

    If we teach that God will cure all our sickness and relieve all our poverty on this earth then when bad things happen don’t we run a risk of destroying people’s faith? (I could certainly cite examples of when this has happened as I’m sure you could as well)

    Thanks again for the huge effort you have put into this, I look forward to following future articles.

    • Hi Dan,
      Thanks for your question. The point of this post is to refute the lie that says God steals and destroys. Jesus said stealing and destroying (not to mention lying and killing) were the devil’s work (see Jn 8:44, 10:10).

      Your concern, if I read you right, is “Let’s not get people’s hopes up. When life disappoints them they’ll quit believing.” With respect, people who operate like that need to fix their eyes on Jesus. If you make faith decisions based on life’s disappointments you’ll live like Job. You’ll develop a carnal theology based on what you’ve seen rather than what God has said.

      I’m not saying I have even half of the answers, but I know where the answers are found. Peter said everything we need for life and godliness comes to us through our knowledge of Him who called us (2 Pet 1:3). Whatever your need, the answer is found in a revelation of Jesus and His finished work. For instance, if you don’t know Jesus healed all the sick, then you won’t have faith for all the sick to be healed.

      There is nothing in the Bible promising you won’t get attacked or persecuted or die (Heb 9:27). But there is plenty indicating that God’s grace is sufficient for all your needs. The average Christian is ignorant of the riches of God’s grace. They believe they’re saved by grace but that’s it. They’re like the freed slaves of the South who remained on the plantations out of ignorance. They’re freed but not free. I write to declare the good news of the emancipation proclamation to all believers.

      We have a blood-bought right to live free from sickness, oppression and poverty. It is our blood-bought right to look forward to the resurrection of the dead. In many ways, we have already crossed over from death to life (Joh 5:24). This is what salvation means.

      • Thanks for your speedy response John,

        I completely agree that the devil is the father of all things evil and that God doesn’t bring any evil on us or even temp us towards evil (Jas 1:13). I also agree that Jesus healed everyone who came to Him for healing (though there are no recordings of Him healing someone from the flu or a cold – I’m not sure if there is any significance to this).

        My concern is that in North America where life is good it is easy for us to attribute the health and wealth of our countries to our faith while most in the world has much less than us but often has a much greater encounter with God. Ironically health and wealth most often lead people away from God (Matt 19:16). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should shoot for poverty or sickness or oppression we should shoot for the opposite! but we live in a world were Adam’s sin and our own sin continue to have consequences. Some of these consequences include death, poverty and sickness. Our role as Christians (especially those of us in the West) is not to live defeated lives saying “there is nothing we can do”, but, like you said, fight against these evils seeking to bring the light of Christ’s justice into these situations. The only point I think I might differ would be in acknowledging that we live in the “already-not-yet; we are new creations, but we still die. God hasn’t promised to take us out of this world, but the be with us while we live in it (Jn 17:15).

        I do believe in the miraculous, but we must serve God not His miracles. It seems to me that while God cares about our temporary physical well being, He is more interested in the eternal state of our souls often using the physical difficulties we experience to draw our hearts towards Him. This perspective allows us to believe God for the miraculous, but also to use the situations we find ourselves in to allow our character and spirit to be transformed like Paul did when he talks about learning the secret to contentment in all circumstances (Phil 4:10-12).

        I certainly don’t mean to be argumentative, this is an issue that is close to my heart right now and one I am working through. I sure do appreciate the forum for dialogue that you have created here.

        God bless you bro.

      • Thanks Paul… not John (oops)

      • Roshan Easo says:

        Dan – just wanted to recommend to you (and to me!) a Bill Johnson video concerning healing of sickness – it’s source, God’s faithfulness, God’s agenda, and our faith. To believe.

  49. lance puckett says:

    Hey Paul, tonight a heard a sermon talking about how God is a giver not a taker. I was just wondering how you felt about the books Isaiah and Jeremiah, doesn’t God use people to take away from the israelites? Also, if someone comes up to you and asks you if they can steal something from your family member and you say yes, doesn’t that still make you responsible even if you didn’t physically steal from them? Im really trying to wrap my head around this concept. Im so thankful that I found this blog, thanks for everything.


    • Hi Lance, welcome to E2R! I love Isaiah and Jeremiah. Those guys had an amazing insight into the new thing that was coming – namely the new covenant. But let’s not forget they lived before the cross and under the inferior covenant of the law. Living on this side of the cross we have it much better. What they dreamed and longed for, we live! For a quick intro into the difference between the old and the new, take a look at this and then this. I also encourage you to have a browse in the archives. If none of that helps, feel free to ask questions.

  50. paul warren says:

    how can you say Job 1:21 is bogus when Job 1:22, the inspired narrator, validates the statement? the narrator also approves of job’s similar statement in chapter 2.

    • I’ll let Jesus answer that: “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father” (Joh 6:46). “No one” includes Job and whoever wrote Job. So here’s my question – who gives us a better picture of God the Father? Those who haven’t seen Him or the One who has? Job said “God did it.” Jesus – and the writer of Job for that matter – said the devil did it.

      • Actually, and I already mentioned this and you did not respond, The commentator/inspired by the Holy Spirit writer of Job said that God did it, not the devil. Job 42:11 So they came to him, all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they dined with him in his house. They comforted him and consoled him for all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

        Also, concerning God not having sickness and so He can’t give it, (Referring to “Endure Hardship? Or Thresh Mountains” – your reply to post # 3) that totally ignores Exodus 28:20-24. Of course you would say that this is Old Covenant and not New Covenant. Here is New Convenant: Revelation 22:22:18, 19 (God sending plagues upon those who add or take away from the Book of Revelation and even take away their share in the Tree of Life)

  51. The writer/commentator of the Book of Job seems to be of a different opinion as to where the trouble came from then those who deny God’s hand in this. The writer says in the closing thoughts of the book of Job that those who had known Job came and comforted him for all the trouble the Lord had brought on him.

    As to whether discipline = correction, proverbs combines the term rod with that. A rod of correction/discipline. Proverbs 22:15
    Your quote from Hebrews on discipline is a quote from Proverbs 3 which connects obedience with blessing and disobedience with discipline (not having vats full and not having physical health) Proverbs 3:8-12

    • Once again, we have a reply that sees God give out sickness and disease to His children. He does not do this. The fact is that Job is not our model for God’s relationship to His own. It is Jesus and Jesus alone. Sad that when people have something happen as far as sickness etc, they tell others that they immediately think about Job. Why not Jesus? He was never sick and in fact healed ALL who requested healing from Him. The fact remains that believers pick and choose verses that deal with judgment etc but God’s Word is very clear on who receives what. The obedient received the blessing and the enemies of God received the curses. It is very black and white. And that is outside the New Covenant. The disobedient children in the wilderness are the only generation we know of that walked in pure divine health all that time. That is a sad commentary on His church today. Healing is part of the atonement. God does not work against His son or the son against the father. Jesus came to destroy sickness and disease and He forgives all our sins and heals all or diseases. Very clear! Psalm 103:2

  52. Hi Paul,

    This was a very good article thank you for writing it. Two quick questions, do you believe God can “take away” people in your life for your benefit/His will, or for that persons benefit? And also, while we are given the freedom to choose, do you believe He has a preference on your love life, on who you should marry? Like I have heard a preacher at my school say “He is not keeping you from something, He’s saving you for someone”

    • Hi Jeremy,
      Let me rephrase your first question and you’ll know my answer. Did Jesus kill anyone or talk as thought He might? Regarding your second question, my short answer is “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” So many Christian singles aren’t finding because they’re not looking. They’re waiting for their spouse to fall down from heaven or something. Passivity is not faith. By the same token, I believe the Holy Spirit does play an active role in our lives. I would never make an important decision without His guidance. But that’s a story for another time.

  53. That makes sense on the second question, but if one does look, interact, etc, do you believe the Lord guides them to the right one, before he or she prays about the decision? And on the first question I should have clarified, I meant “take away” as the case of a friend suddenly moving away, or not able to afford to go to the same school despite prayer, taking away from an unhealthy family environment, etc. ? Hope im not confusing.

  54. What still hasn’t been addressed is that by allowing evil to happen to us, God is essentially condoning it. He has the power to stop it, yet doesn’t. For example, let’s look at the horrible abuse case at Penn State. A young assistant allegedly witnessed a horrible act, yet did nothing. I think we can all agree that the assistant was guilty of something. Maybe not the actual abuse, but definitely guilty of not interceding on behalf of the victim.

    On another note, if God desires to heal all who are sick, then why doesn’t he? As someone close to a Iraq War Vet, why has God NEVER healed an amputee? Why does God not direct limbs to regenerate?

    • In answer to your first question: “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1Jn 5:19). I don’t think it’s God who is not acting, but His Sons and Daughters. In answer to your second, I have heard testimonies of limbs growing back, although I have not personally seen this. I don’t claim to have even half the answers regarding healing, but I believe there’s healing for everything. God’s not limited in what He can do.

      • Perhaps God’s sons and daughters aren’t acting to stop evil, but He isn’t stopping evil either. If God is truly omnipotent, it’s within His power to stop it, and He chooses not to. As for limbs growing back, please direct me to sources for those testimonies you’ve heard of. In modern medicine, there’s not one case of documented limb regeneration in humans. If God is not limited in what He can do, why would He choose to never heal an entire group of people (i.e. amputees)? If He heals other ills and maladies, why would He deny this one group completely?

      • The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I put your question on E2R’s FB page and have so far received a few interesting replies. I disagree with your premise that God isn’t acting. He has acted – see the cross – and He continues to act. I would not be alive today if He wasn’t acting. You scorn what you haven’t seen; I give thanks for what I have.

      • I don’t believe that amputation is a sickness – sometimes it is used to heal a sickness and at other times it is used to heal an injury. Amputation is a life saving treatment Is it not??

  55. Okay, He acted on the cross 2,000 years ago. You say He continues to act – but why just for some and not for all? Why doesn’t God intercede on behalf of an innocent child who is raped and tortured? What kind of loving father would allow his children to be so abused? Yet it happens every single day. Yes, I understand free will, but I also understand a loving father. What I’ve seen go on in this world is not evidence of one. I don’t “scorn” what I haven’t seen, I simply use the brain God gave me to question it. “Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens

    • What you believe determines what you see. If your faith is in nothingness, then the universe won’t appear exceptional, the miracle of birth – not exceptional, the beauty of love – not exceptional, the healing of the blind and crippled – not exceptional, a God who stoops – not exceptional. All the exceptional evidence in the world won’t budge you. Jesus didn’t come just to present more evidence but to challenge us to “change your mind and believe.” The price tag of life is you have to want it. You find what you seek.

      • I have’nt read every post on this topic, but it began around the time I had to have a kidney removed due to a cancerous growth on it. It was found ‘unexpectedly’ without any symptoms I knew of. I had all kinds of prayers prayed over me about this, that the growth would shrink, that I would get a new kidney, that they would open me up and find it healed, but I knew with the remarkable way God was in it all, it had to come out. I had no time to ‘wait and see’, and a month later it was removed. Now my key lesson in this journey is this; The Lord is with you and your spouse in a special way when you have to face tough stuff like this. We must see that God works in problems and problems drive us to Him. God’s goal is always the revelation of Christ in me, the hope of glory. The ghastly stuff of cancer, rape & abuse etc, is not from His hand, but God permits what he could prevent, for His purposes. He will use ‘all things’ in our lives to push us to Him. One thing that troubles me from the beginning of these posts, is that it never commenced with the whole verse; Job 1:21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” ‘Giving and taking away’ makes total sense when read in context.

      • Actually this is a response to Stewart. Stewart I’m glad you determined what had to really happen for your body to be made whole. You know maybe Job was trying to to the same, by his scratching and by his words and throwing dust on his head. But Stewart, you and I and much of the whole world have something that Job did not have: we have the better promises Stewart. What you say may make sense in Job’s situation, but even Job wasn’t content with his initial answer. He was suffering and wanted to be set free from that suffering. He questioned what he could. But you and I don’t live in Job’s time or even Old Covenant times. We live in the Age of Grace in New Covenant times. Even David had better knowledge than Job. David knew that before we were in our mother’s womb He knew us. And through Jesus Christ we have the assurance of eternity future as well. He’s alive. Stewart the knowledge of these things radically alters how we approach the problems of suffering and death. These problems are nil to us because birthed within is the knowledge of Life. As a final note, if Job had known that it was Satan and not God who was provoking his situation – what might have Job said differently? Where would his energies have been directed? Where would ours?

        To conclude, we have better knowledge than Adam. Therefore, unlike Job, we are not in Adam – we are in Christ. Spread the word.

  56. Bruce Monforton says:

    Hi Paul,

    Love the article and haven’t read all the comments but wanted to say a couple things. I to am bummed when this scripture is used to tear down Gods goodness. It’s sad when we make a theology out of one scripture.

    1. The enemy operates through fear and that is essentially what Job was doing. He was in fear over his family and how they were acting. He was sacrificing constantly and speaking in fear. Fear is the gateway to allowing the enemy into our lives. We as Christians are to operate out of faith and that is of God. When we operate out of fear it is the worlds faith and we are essentially saying God you cant help me and opening the door for the enemy to enter in that situation. The bible says if your not in faith your in fear. When we walk under the protection of God we have nothing to fear. When we step outside of that covering we are open to the enemy and the curses of this world. The Question in my mind is does God do it, or does He let it happen. This premise brings us to the second part which is Sovereignty.

    2. Sovereignty – Yes God is sovereign outside of His word. Another words God can never go against His word or it would make Him a liar. Without being to long here the reason God cannot interfere is if it would cause Him to go against His word. If we willingly walk in fear we are essentially telling God that He is not in control and that we are trusting in the enemy and the worlds ways. We are essentially handing over the reigns of our situation to the enemy to do what he wills. I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jer 29:11

    We must not ever allow what we see in the natural to create our doctrine. I am sorry when loss comes, but we can’t use that as a reason to say God is responsible due to us not understanding. God said ” I have come to give you life and life to the full. Things haven’t gotten so bad that God needs the enemies help.

  57. roger vankuylenburg says:

    I see many Christians suffer because they have the wrong understanding of God. How can a person stand on Gods promises if thay think He gives then takes away.

  58. Hello :)

    I agree with you. But when you mentioned something about “Can you imagine God stealing and killing?” would it still be stealing if he owns it? For example when someone dies. I believe that God can give and He can also take away just because He can. Though the topic at hand here is Job’s attitude that whether he experiences good or bad things, he will still praise the Lord. Also when the Lord gives you a job and then suddenly he wants you to give it up. I want your thoughts about these things please

    1. would it be called “God stealing” if it was His all along (ie. life) –
    2. like something that we own. when they saying goes The Lord takes it away so He can give you something better.


    • Roshan Easo says:

      What about a Father? Does a Father own his sons? Not really. But he loves them. Do what degree is life God’s and to what degree is it a gift to us? The New Testament (and the Old Testament) talks about gifts. A gift has the spiritual covering of the Giver, but what is so amazing is that the giver chooses to give to you and to me… This is similar to the question of freedom to choose. In the Garden of Paradise, everything was available including the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But God wanted Adam and Eve to trust Him and not eat of it. Why would God even give the option? My own thoughts on freedom are being renewed of late. Yes the most important choice is to accept the ‘tree’ of Jesus. But the outworking of that tree is life and life to the full. The fact is, even though God made everything, including us, He chooses not to obliterate us, but to give us eternal life. That’s a loving Father. If we see salvation include healing and life, then we are seeing “on earth, as it is in heaven.” We were never to pray in heaven, as it is on earth. But we are to pray always for the saints, rejoicing – that we receive the inheritance of every blessing. We couldn’t be kings on this earth any other way. Remember that Scripture called us “a royal priesthood.”

  59. Right on! I know the song you’re talking about. I think it’s Newsboys, Blessed be your name. Great sounding song, very catchy,
    but not a song that New Testiment churches should be singing. It’s a lie.

    I had some friends comment about how they loved that song and I just knew the words didn’t make sense.
    Well, my comments didn’t go down too well. Thanks for explaining it so well.

  60. Phyllis Pickertty says:

    I just lost my son to alcohalisu,, he was raised Christian & told me a few days bfore he passed he talked to Jesus every day & felt his Grandma would be with him in Heaven, I miss him so, I am ,heartbroken, he was a kind hearted young man, always helped when help was need, soft hearted, but just could not stop drinking, we tryed everything, the last year of his life was so full of pain & hospitals,jet he blamed no one, he said it was his actions that was taking his life, I am asking your opinion, will my boy have a chance to be in heaven? I have read thay he will not because he was a drunk, then have read he will be because he prayed & believed in Christ, Please send me some help. Thank You Phyllis Pickett

    • Dear Phyllis,
      I can give you something far better than my opinion – I can give you the promises of God. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… For, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:9-13). Your son is with Jesus! Anyone who tells you otherwise has failed to grasp the awesome significance of Christ’s work on the cross. God doesn’t look at your son and see his drunkenness. He sees Jesus. Jesus is our atoning sacrifice. This beautiful Lamb is without blemish.

      • Roshan Easo says:

        Phyllis, your son had the best of times in the mist of his worst of times – quite simply by fellowshipping with Jesus, your son experience heaven while he was on earth. When Peter walked out on the water, the other disciples stayed in the boat. Yet both were deeply loved. In the same way, many believers die in the prison of their sin, but the truth is that through Jesus they were already new creations, kings of this earth, not worthy of this world – they had better promises in their homes beyond the skies. When the role is called up yonder, your son will be there. Your son’s innocence is based simply on this fact – Jesus resurrected. Jesus had died for your son’s sins and all our sins. But he resurrected because of our righteousness. I think your son knew in his own way, that his righteousness was a free gift from God. He had done nothing to earn it – it was all because of Jesus.

  61. Adelaide says:

    Yeah I never liked that bridge! We don’t sing it now. I’m racking my brain for alternative lyrics now, though…

  62. Thanks u just answer a question that was a heated debate with a family member. I was right he never takes away.

  63. Hi pastor, first of all, this article is really inspiring… it helped me realize some things i’ve missed about God’s grace.
    I’ve been wondering, if God doesn’t take, why does He allow us to suffer from the thief? :/
    Please help me…

    • Hi James, thanks for your question. It’s a good one. I don’t confess to have all the answers but in true rabbinical fashion, I’ll respond to your question with a question of my own: Why do the sons of God allow the thief to rob them?

  64. Let’s say you have a son, and the son gets hit by a drunk driver and dies instantly. What could you have done as a son of God to stop the “thief” from robbing you?

    My thoughts… Even if the devil is behind it, he’s not asking YOUR permission. You have no say. What scripture says anything about the sons of God allowing anything to happen? I don’t see it anywhere. You’d think that if God wanted us to just rebuke Satan every time bad things are happening, he would have clearly said it somewhere. But he didn’t. He said to rejoice in suffering, not to just have more faith and it would go away. Satan didn’t go to Job and ask him if he could thresh/sift him like wheat. Satan went to God and asked him. A good God can and does take away, BECAUSE he is good. God allows only the things to happen that will bring him glory, and it’s all about Him, not me. God does give and God does take away, and I trust in his goodness even if everything I have and am is stripped away. I trust that God knows what is good more than I do. My God turns curses into blessings. Pain and suffering in His kingdom are used for our good. There is nothing that can be done to his children that he can not use for his Glory and our good. Even death serves him and can be a blessing in His kingdom. THAT is the point of Job. To deny that God takes away is to deny part of his wisdom and goodness. God often takes away good things, and replaces them with better things. He took my mother away (for now – but I will be with her for eternity!), and gave me more peace, a closer walk, greater faith, and so many other blessings I cannot list them all. I can accept it because I love him and trust him. I choose to believe in his wisdom over mine.

    Do you have children? Have you ever taken anything away from them? I do and I have. I take stuff from them all the time, not because I don’t like them, but because I know what’s good for them, and when to much of it wouldn’t be good anymore. Sometimes they get into things I didn’t give them permission to have, and, after I take those things away they also need to be punished. Not because I like them to be sad, but because it is my responsibility to teach them, and I know the wisdom they gain from the discipline is better for them than not getting disciplined.

    My mother died of cancer, and had faith to the end of her healing. She is healed now, in heaven. For the believer, the worst case scenario is that you die and go to heaven. So I would say poverty, sickness, disease, death… they can and do affect the children of God, but only on the surface. The thief cannot take their souls, their joy or their faith, or their love of their savior. God does take away. If not, why don’t Christians live on this earth forever? If God didn’t take us away from here, we wouldn’t have the greater joy of heaven. Even the ones God just took up to heaven without dying first, they were still TAKEN. God only allows superfluous things to be taken away, nothing we really need. No one can take you away from him or him away from you.

    • Hi Abby,
      Thanks for your thoughts. I don’t think there is much we could do to stop the proverbial drunk driver. My problem is saying the drunk driver is an agent of God’s will, that because God allowed it to happen, God is responsible for all the road fatalities and murders and rapes that happen. That kind of thinking is called fatalism and is contrary to what Jesus and the other NT writers taught. I also have a problem with viewing death as a kind of blessing or promotion. God is not willing that any should perish. That means it was not His will for your mother or my father to die from cancer. Yet they died. Yes, God is a great redeemer who makes all things work together for good, but that doesn’t mean He slays people. Jesus gives life, not death.

      There are numerous scriptures indicating that God has given us authority to heal the sick, cast out demons, etc. If I don’t pray for a sick person, and they stay sick, I can’t blame God. Creation waits for the sons of God to be revealed.

      Your illustrations don’t really fit the context of Job’s story. The things you take from your kids don’t leave them sick and dead.

      Satan didn’t ask God permission to attack Job. Satan tried to manipulate God into harming Job (Job 1:8) but God wasn’t about to do that. Read it in a literal translation rather than, say, the NIV, and the exchange becomes clear.

      Apologies if this comes across as blunt – I’m trying to be economical with my words. I appreciate this is a big and painful discussion for many. My point is this: God is neither a thief nor a killer and thinking He is makes us passive.

      • Hi, I see that verse differently “God is not willing that any should perish” I understand that as God is not willing that anyone should spend eternity in hell – it is his will that all come to the saving grace & knowledge of Jesus Christ. To everything there is a season a time to be born and… and if that verse be true then ya know what’s not.

  65. I really don’t think the sons of God have much say in it, and to say that they do puts just as much responsibility on those who are “robbed,” as you put on God, when you said if God allowed it to happen then he’s responsible… The bible says in Job 1:22 that Job didn’t sin, AND that he WASN’T BLAMING GOD. So how could you say that saying God takes away is blaming God? God can accomplish his will no matter what we do. I can understand why you might think this would lead to passivity…

    As for having a problem with me thinking of death as a blessing or promotion… do you have a problem with Paul thinking that? Because he did. “now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” Phil. 1:20b-23…

    You cannot make the blanket statement that healing is always God’s will. It is sometimes his will to heal us in body, and sometimes to heal us by taking us Home. We have to listen to the Spirit and follow his leading, praying in the Spirit to know what we should pray for. I don’t really know why. I’ll leave that up to him, and maybe when I die (which I’m looking forward to, by the way) and I can see him face to face, I’ll be able to understand.

    • Abby, I trimmed your comment because it exceeded my 250 word limit. Most of your Job objections have been addressed in comments above – I encourage you to read them if you are interested and also this more recent post on Job and the comments under that. I would also encourage you to read this post on healing. God does use bad things but He doesn’t do bad things. “It is unthinkable that God would do wrong” (Job 34:12). I am totally not buying the religious notion that killing people or “taking them home” is a good thing. Death is an outrage. It’s a curse not a blessing, it’s sin’s wage not God’s gift. Paul didn’t have a death wish; His desire was to be with Christ. I know it’s difficult to appreciate that many things happen contrary to God’s will, but that’s been the history of the world since the Garden.

      How do I know God is not willing that any should perish? Because Jesus said so. “I have come that they might have life.” I appreciate people still die, but I choose to believe Jesus. I don’t base my understanding of God on what happens or what some Old Testament person said or wrote, but on who Jesus is. Jesus didn’t kill anyone. How do I know it is always God’s will to heal? Because every single sick person who came to Jesus went away healed.

      • My position is based solely on the Bible. People’s experiences cannot change it. Any power lack has to be on this side. One thing I am fully persuaded about: if everyone who is not healed came before Him 2,000 years ago they would have been healed. God’s Word is clear that He is glorified through healing not suffering outside of His clear word. Some things are hard to understand but God doesn’t change the rules along the way. That’s our basis for our foundation.

      • I’ll be honest and say I have both certainties (it is always God’s will to heal) and questions (not everyone I pray for gets healed – I don’t know why). Just yesterday my 7 year old came downstairs limping. She had a sore ankle from a big run she’d done the previous evening. I prayed for that ankle a couple of times and although she put a brave face on it, it was clear nothing had changed. She was still limping. So I got my 5 year old to pray and there was an immediate healing. The limp was totally gone and a sad kid became a happy kid. As a Dad I’m thrilled; as a part-time healer I’m puzzled.

  66. Paul, thank you for your responses and for remaining respectful. I have read all of the comments above, and did so before commenting in the first place. I do see that someone else brought up the point about Job not sinning in that verse, and not blaming God, and I read your response… I think it’s a bit foolish to say you understand God better than someone who wrote part of the bible, whether you’ve read the New Testament or not, but the reason I brought it up was because I wanted to bring home the point that saying God gives and takes away is NOT blaming God for when bad things happen. There is a difference. That doesn’t change with new revelation, new covenant, etc…

    • Abby, when you have two opposing statements, they cannot, by definition, both be true. If one verse says Job didn’t sin and another says he did, then you’re going to have to choose. I don’t know why you would disregard the testimony of God (Job 38:2), Elihu (Job 32:12), and Job (42:3-6), himself. In a court of law they would count as an impressive line-up of witnesses. But even if Job’s “confession” wasn’t in the Bible, I think it’s a bit foolish to follow someone who’s going in a different direction from Jesus. Only one person in scripture is called the exact radiance of God and it wasn’t Job or his biographer.

  67. Roshan Easo says:

    I think a lot of the problem lies in two areas:

    1) There is a misapplication of viewing sickness (whether consciously or unconsciously) as a “the opportunity to struggle to overcame more, deeper, smaller sins” when we are faced with the report of ill health. The fact is you and I CAN struggle like this – but just because we CAN does not make it Scriptural or true. The fact is we ARE co-crucified with Christ, and dead to sin. This was the truth 2000 years ago, but because we still have a flesh – we confuse the trouble it gives us with the now crucified “sinful nature.” Elsewhere it is shown that we have the nature of Christ, and it’s a poor gift (and not a good news) if God has left us bi-polar with sinful nature as well when we we were “baptized” into Christ – if one needs a physical marker in their own lifetime (though I would argue even there, this is all a work of grace, and symbols are merely helps to receive that).

    2) Secondly, if the main struggle for most of us is with a sense of our identity – sinner or saint, well…then…there is no second problem. 1) Just about covers it. We’re saints! We HAVE already overcome. The curse(s) of the fading covenant were broken 2000 years ago. Life simply catches up with the truth of our identity. Yes we may still die – but the glory of a saint dying is much better than the false humility of a saint trying to die as if he or she is still alive to sin. For that matter, the first saint will probably extend and live longer. What a wonder to forget not all His benefits!

    So maybe what I was trying to say in 2) is that once you take out this element of saved or not saved from sin, then the physical symptoms lose the momentum to linger.

  68. I fully understand how people always quote this. When I lost somebody early last year, I didn’t want to believe that it could have been God that would have taken that person away… It just didn’t make sense so I started to look at this myself.
    I love what it says the verse after the moment Job proclaims to the Lord:
    “Job did not sin in accusing God of wrongdoing”.

    For me, that says it all. Job was of course speaking out according to his faith at the moment. He didn’t know who or what took his possessions away… but he just assumed that it would have been God who had given so freely. Thanks for writing this. I was a little bit worried I was going against what alot of people hold onto in their faith in trails.

    • I think the only thing that God takes away is the sins of the world. John 1:29

      • Quoting Joseph Prince”I don’t know y christians fight 4 d rite to b sick and poor”. Personally I tink it jst apeals to our flesh dat we can endure hardship and look down our noses on odas and feel like dy r not special enof to b disciplined by God thru suffering. As one who has gone thru a lot(I’m a nigerian) I confidently say dat sickness and poverty cannot b from God and dat dy serv no purpose watsoever.eva since I discovered grace iv been walking in divine health and provision. I repeat their is no glory in suffering.

  69. Natalie Pacama says:

    I am just so blessed with this post. i used to really think before that GOD gives and takes away but that is a lie. I believe that GOD is a good GOD. He is a loving GOD. If I want to know the Father, I should look at JESUS and not any other people in the bible. :) I just discovered the gospel of grace last January!! I have been set free from all religious mind set. praise JESUS!!! :)

  70. Hey Paul, it’s Sean again. Sorry I have not figure out how to reply to what you said yet. Anyways, I am not trying to say that God took Jobs kids away because he found to much joy in them. And I only use the term “toys” because I figured that you could take some other object or person in the wrong way for the illustration. So since God is in full control, what is the difference between what God wills and what is part of Gods will? So like what God directly does and what Gods plan is. If someone dies what is the difference between God killing them and them dieing because God let them die. God is in full control so isn’t it either way happening because of God killing them?

    • Your assumption that God is in full control is at odds with free will and scripture. “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 Jn 5:19). God is not willing that any should perish yet people perish. That should be proof enough that not everything that happens is His will.

  71. Pam Simon says:

    I recently lost my husband & was left with 2 children aged 10 & 14. When I gave God an opportunity to minister to me His words were “I have not called you to understand, I have called you to believe that I am good & that I love you.” Strangely, these words gave me great comfort. I think we each need to hear God’s voice for our situations.

  72. our good and perfect God has a good and perfect will for us. satan only wants to kill, steal and destroy everything that is (and always has been) God’s perfect will for us to have and be. Jesus perfect work stripped satan of his power over death @ the cross and made us victorious over the enemy…and all the curses related to death! the Holy Spirit even reminds us that the enemy has been judged. (Jesus defeated the enemy w/ the enemy’s own weapon!) if it is true that He gives and takes away, what would prevent a God “that gives and takes away” from “taking away” the very salvation He has covenanted w/ us thru Christ? it goes against His very nature to do such a thing.

  73. pastor oluwamuyiwa orojo says:

    am so blessed wit this.tank u very much.

  74. If you look at the text God allowed Job to be tested. without Gods permission the Devil wouldn’t of been able to do anything to Job. I do agree that God doesn’t randomly make people sick or just do things for the heck of it.

    • Karl, that’s a common misperception that is supported by some dodgy translations of Job 2:3. You will often hear people say, “Surely God could have stopped Satan. Surely God set Job up by boasting about him.” Both statements reflect the view that God is responsible for everything that happens and that Satan can’t act like the murderer he is without God’s permission. Read the Job account in a literal translation such as Young’s and you will see that Satan came gunning for him:

      And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, “Hast thou set thy heart against My servant Job because there is none like him in the land, a man perfect and upright, fearing God, and turning aside from evil?” (Job 1:8, YLT)

      Why didn’t God stop the Devil? For the same reason He doesn’t stop earthquakes or famines or wars. Not everything that happens is God’s responsibility. He left the planet in Adam’s control and Adam handed it to the Devil. Satan went for Job because he could. When God said, “All that he has is in thy power” (Job 1:12), He wasn’t handing Job over to Satan – God doesn’t do deals with the Devil! – He was simply stating a fact. The whole unredeemed “world is under the control of the evil one” (1 Joh 5:19).

      • Herb Nye says:

        I agree with Karl. While reading Young’s literal translation does allow for some room for the thought that Job was already at satan’s disposal, this is not what is intended from the conversation. Satan, in returning to God in chapter 2 vs. 6 is given further permission, and the language used, in the original, means: “Here he is, I put him into your hand.” And the restriction placed in both chapter one and 2 show that God has granted permission with restriction. Also, Job 42:11 says that Job’s brothers and sister comforted and consoled Job for all the trouble THE LORD had brought upon him.

      • Herb, you made the same point in a comment above. I didn’t respond there but I will now. Job 2:6 is not God giving permission – although I understand how one could read it that way. But read that verse in a Literal Translation and it looks more like God is stating a fact. “He is in thy hand.” Who put unsaved Job in the devil’s hand? I don’t like to quote the devil, but when he talks to Jesus in the wilderness he says of all the kingdoms of the world, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me” (Lk 4:6). Satan was prince of this world, yet Job and his brothers and sisters were ignorant of him and his schemes. Neither they nor Job’s friends ever mention Satan. Not once. Their grid attributed everything that happened to God – even disasters, thievery, and death.

        Evidently there are some who think the same way today. “God is control of everything,” they say. They sound more like Job’s ignorant friends and his unsaved brothers and sisters than Jesus who said this: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Jesus is the EXACT representation of the Father and He said the devil steals, kills, and destroys. “I don’t do that,” said Jesus. “That’s the devil’s handiwork. He’s a murderer from the beginning.” Job’s friends and family had no revelation of Christ so they blamed God for everything. You can listen to those lost folks if you prefer but I’m going to go with Jesus.

      • Herb and Karl are right. The more people I see comment on this post to challenge you Paul, the more you twist the scriptures to fit your “truths”. You have an unbalanced view of the Trinity and I hope someday soon you can see the error of what you’re saying even though I appreciate your good intentions.

      • I fail to see how directly quoting Jesus and claiming He speaks the truth is twisting scripture. If two people say contradictory things – as is happening on this thread – they cannot both be right. Job’s brothers and sisters say “God is a murderer and a thief” while Jesus says “Satan is a murderer and a thief.” Those of you forming your theology of God based on Job are implicitly calling our Lord a liar. I am sure me saying this will ignite a war of words – and that is not my intention – but come on; pick a side. You can’t agree with Jesus and disagree with Him at the same time. The truth of any theology is not determined by popular vote but by how accurately it holds up against Jesus. He alone is Perfect Theology.

      • Pat Davis says:

        Right on Paul! Because so much of the church world has bad theology in their understanding of God, when you hold forth the TRUTH you are seen as twisting the Word or bringing division. So sad! Keep up the good fight brother. It’s well worth it. God is good, giver, blesser, provider, healer, lavisher etc. the enemy is bad, stealer …

  75. Michael says:

    In many of what has been written it is right on but even a little false witness is still false. A little leaven, leavens the whole lump.

    Job 42:7 (in the closing section of the book) is pretty clear: ‘After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.’

    Is now the Lord a liar or do we just pick and choose what things Job has said and declare them wrong or right?

    What may be missing is the total point of the story especially since the volume of the book speaks of our Shepherd. We need to ask ourselves the question, since all are unrighteous,”Why did God declare Job righteous?” and bring this question to the Throne Room of Grace and receive our answer, for I am not your teacher we only have one Teacher and part of the wonderful relationship is receiving the blessing of such revelation from our Lord.

    I know God is for you as am I. For if God is for you who could be against you. I am only about sound doctrine, the rightly dividing of Truth that can only be divided by the Spirit of Truth. I depart with in many words there is much sin and my hope is in these many words that they have been seasoned with the Heavenly Salt of the Spirit of Truth.

    • Another example of post hoc ergo propter hoc. You assume you hold the key to interpreting Job and then interpret alternative views as leaven. How can your preachy tone be anything other than offensive? And then you say you are for me?! By all means call me a false witness – I believe in free speech – but don’t be mealy-mouthed about it.

      Job 42:7 comes right after Job 42:6, “Wherefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” Job has been speaking superstitious nonsense for most the of the story. It took a wise young man to set him straight and even then he didn’t listen. God had to show up. Finally, Job gets it. He says, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,” and repents. In the very next verse God encourages Him. “Now you’re making sense.”

      There are only two ways to exegete scripture; through Jesus or not through Jesus. On that basis it’s quite easy to determine when Job was speaking of things he didn’t understand. One more thing, it’s not about labeling bits of scripture as right or wrong. That’s fruit off the wrong tree. The real question is, Does this bring life or death? Anything that points to Jesus brings life because He is The Life. Preaching a message that says God kills children does not point to life.

  76. Pheephe says:

    Powerful insight.may God bless u

  77. Gail Praharenka says:

    God Bless you Paul. I have been wrestling with this faith question on suffering all my life and reading your exposure to the lie satan has been feeding me and my family has finally lifted. The truth of scripture rang out and I feel so spiritual free. I have had such a hard life early on a schzophrenic mother a genius but very sick I help her as a young girl then when I was 15 my Dad the only sane healthy one was diagnosed with terminal illness and in a year he could not talk or walk and 5 years later died weighing only 55 lbs. At the time of his diagnosis my sister started her suicide attempts, to this day she is very ill. I later married what I thought was a very nice hard working man, for 7 years it was bliss then he turned into an alcoholic and became abusive the worst was mental. At the time of my Dad’s diagnosis I began reading Job. At age 27 I received the Lord and he was and is everything to me. But, I struggled with suffering. Now my husband has adulterated on me and is trying to rob me and the boys of all are assests with his new girlfriend.
    All throughout my troubles I fought against sin and injustice and against my mother and sister’s negative give up and lay down and died additudes. I fought against the immoral of drinking and the fraud my ex did. I now realize the scripture that the Lord has been giving me is to keep up as a warrior of God and fight the lies of the doctrine of suffering is at the hands of God. I have been given so much hope from God but I had “doubt” that God is causing all of this why is He against me why would he cause so much trouble on me. I now realize that is not by his hands in reading your article! He has been helping me, supporting me and saying fight on against injustice. Thankyou Paul, I have been wavering on fully embracing faith in God’s Grace and Goodness only til now. God Bless, Gail

  78. Paul: The thief is hard at work in my family. My wife is using “God takes away or at least God allows bad things to happen” as one of her justifications for ending our marriage of 25 years. In no way a perfect marriage, but pretty good 23 years (24.5 in my book) with 3 kids and certainly no abuse, other females, addiction, etc. There is of course another man (The thief incarnate 4 times divorced) which she now denies as just a friend, after admitting an emotional affair. She seems convinced that because God does not intervene every time a baby is dying, etc, he must have “allowed” her to lose feeling for me and fill that space with this other in the name of his greater purpose, thus ending our marriage is a justifiable path to his bigger plans. I very much did not handle everything correctly after finding out about the affair. She uses this to say there is no marriage. There is and will always be a marriage. While I certainly don’t have the answers for babies dying, I can surely differentiate between this and the free will choice to end a marriage that he created.There is no way that it is God’s will for this marriage to end and I am not willing to give her a divorce (I still love her, She is sick with an addiction right now, I will not allow our entire family to be destroyed) which angers/saddens her (she wants to be divorced and under the same roof). Any Words of wisdom and prayers are certainly appreciated.

    • Brian, I feel for you. You’re in a difficult spot. Good on you for being a man and not throwing in the towel. It looks like you’re fighting for your family and your marriage. God cares about our marriage – he invented it! But if your wife chooses to walk away God won’t override her choice. So I will join with you in praying for HELP – that God may give you grace and wisdom so you know how best to act. I will also pray that he will give her a full understanding of the consequences of any choices she makes. My prayer is that she won’t make a mistake she’ll come to regret. I am sure others reading this will pray too.

  79. Regina Smith says:

    Thank you!!! I have been a Christian all of my life. I have, for many years, believed many things based on my confidence in men’s word. Men whom I still know love God. I have had a fear of “now that I live faithfully for God what will He permit as he did for Job” afraid to completelytrust because I didn’t want the carpet pulled out from underneath me. God has been revealing to me Who He is…I have started, a few months ago, to go over truths in my head and heart with Him and I have asked Him to show them to me in His Word. I want to know if what I believe is true. There are some things that I just don’t question bc of one on One moments w Him, but there are things that don’t line up with Who He seems to be to me. Eg. “You give and take away” I asked Him, “God, how can that be so when it doesn’t match any other part of You that I know?” So, I started going to a new church that I believe He led me to. The worship leader flippantly in conversationsays, “Yea, like the crazy idea that God gives and then takes away- Job was in despair when he said that and people have based many circumstances on it– on despair!” I was blown away- still am! I felt so liberated from fear at that moment! Oh how my God delivers me!!!!! So, then as I walked with this new conception in my heart, I realized once again that I had taken a man’s word for it. “When will I learn?”- I asked myself. So today I was reading in James and I got to 1:17 – need I say more? :) Then, I thought, I want to know where it says that in Job. I Googled it- I found your site and read it!!!! Then, I read it for myself in the references you offered. As I sit here, sobbing and typing, I truly am free from that fear!!! Thank you for posting this!!!! I know, for sure now!!!! I am not afraid!!!!!!!

  80. Good word. Well said. Too much of the Church today believes God is the taker. The enemy. Thank you for putting it so clearly.

  81. Amen! Thank you for this insight. My spirit agrees!

  82. What a terrific article. I have been coming to the same revelation and your thoughts are almost identical to what I have been coming to. It first started as wondering how many christians say, “God works in mysterious ways” when referring to a miscarriage or “its all part of God’s plan” when their house is robbed. I am fed up with christians placing these attributes of death and destruction upon God. You word things so well and your clarity and insight to the scripture is terrific. Thank you for putting into words what my heart has been meditating on.

  83. Julius Ntabanganya says:

    Hi Eric, I don’t know if anyone has responded to your post which among other things contains these words “… Does God heal? I believe so, but only when it’s His will. Is it always His will? I don’t believe so. God’s will will be done.” This is my response given with all sympathy and love.

    1. How did you arrive at this conclusion i.e. that it’s not always God’s will to heal and that God’s will will be done. Since Jesus is the ‘exact representation of the Father’ according to Hebrews 1:3 and He went about ‘doing good, and healing ALL that were oppressed of the devil’ according to Acts 10:38, doesn’t that settle the matter of God’s will on healing for us today?

    About ‘God’s will will be done” that is clearly unbiblical as 2 Tim 2:3, 4 says that God our Saviour will have all men be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth” yet we know that not all men will be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth – only those who believe on the Lord Jesus.

    This is not meant to win you over as one might want to do in an argument but to encourage you to continue in faith knowing that it’s Gods will for your child to be healed. When you do, you will receive the promises for your sake, your child’s sake and the watching world (that they might glorify your Father who is in heaven). What promises? You might ask. How about Psalm 103:3, 1 Pet. 2:24 for a start.

    • God lays out His will very plainly in both the Old and especially the New Testament. He sent Jesus to be our healer. Jesus does not work against the Father. They are in unison with each other and desire to heal. The bottom line is this;: When people pray for God’s will for healing; they almost never see a healing. If people pray believing for one it much more often happens. That has been the black and white of healing with our ministry in the US and when we travel abroad. Some people on healing teams see many more people healed then others. There is a requirement of faith and asking for God’s will is approaching a person with all the responsibility on God’s shoulders. He told us to “heal the sick.”

    • brandonhutzell says:

      Julius, (and Pat). I have seen many sick people, full of faith, who believe God’s will is for them to be healed, receive agreement in faith-filled prayer from others who also believe God’s will is for them to be healed. Yet a healing does not manifest. Can you please explain this according to your position?

      • So funny Paul!! Totally agree!!! Been there and done that many times. God is the healer and we are learning.

  84. Julius Ntabanganya says:

    Oooh I had forgotten to mention how your articles are a great blessing to me Paul. Keep writing, I follow you with the devotion of a stalker.

  85. Does suffering comes from God?

    I guess my answer would be no. However, following God does set us on a path of suffering.

    When we choose to be used the Lord for His will, we are bound to get hit by the devil and his minions in this great spiritual war. We are also bound to encounter trials, obstacles and persecution of all kinds. The devil will not stop at anything to destroy your faith and relationship with God — just look at what the devil wanted to do to Job! The price of following Christ is to take up our cross daily. No one said it would easy, and certainly not the bible. The bible does tell of numerous blessings but also warns us of suffering. Jesus himself said that in this life you will have trouble.

    This is why I hold the belief that God can use suffering for good. He does not cause it but he certainly uses it to mold us, to shape us to who He wants us to be. At times, suffering is an ingredient in God’s test. His test is not to pass or fail us, but to prove us — to prove that we are ready to serve and attempt greater things for him. God doesn’t want to use suffering to fail us, he already knows we will succeed the test since we are the real deal, created in His own image. God uses suffering to make us better.

    – For he makes ALL THINGS (the good and the bad in our lives) work together for my good

    – He gives and takes away. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this statement, like most other statements from Job’s friends, the statements are used in the wrong context. God is not in the business of giving blessings and taking them away, as we know from scripture. But what does God take away? He takes away our sinfulness, our unbelief and even things that we deem as blessings…. but all in all, it’s still for our good.

    Disclaimer: I’m not saying that God gives us stage 4 cancer as a ‘test’ but I’m saying that He has a plan for your life no matter what…. and it’s always good. The devil wants to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY your relationship with God…. everything else the devil does is achieve that primary purpose of leading you away from God. So yes, pray and believe that God will heal you and if He does not, rejoice in the fact that He is using you — we can’t see that full picture yet when He is in the process of using us, the Creator who is in control of all things CAN!

    Long post, appreciate if you don’t cut it. Thanks and God bless to all.

  86. MAN OF GOD says:

    Thats wonderful! This will serve as eye opener for most of us. Thanks

  87. It seems that the Christian world, as we know it in America at least, would be well-served to remove the Old Testament from our Bibles for a few years UNTIL we all have enough understanding of the New Testament (New Covenant; Jesus’ Finished work) to be able to understand the Old in light of the New (because everything in the Old points to the New, not defines it). Of course, I can already hear all the Legalists gasping and accusing me of violating Revelation 22:19 (taken out of context as usual) by even suggesting we remove part of our Holy Bible.
    “Religious sin is the most destructive kind of sickness…” – Gregory Boyd, “Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgement to the Love of God.”
    Thank you, Jesus that You came to heal us, even from the sickness of religion.

    • Gordon, your quote reminds me of this one:

      “Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst.” ~CS Lewis

      • Yes, as you’ve pointed elsewhere – the religious ‘bad guys’ were the ONLY people whom Jesus confronted with a degree of holy anger; but He DID confront them. Everyone else, He loved and healed.

  88. brandonhutzell says:

    “In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

  89. Does John 10.10 really refer to the devil? It doesn’t seem to, to me.

    • In this passage Jesus is speaking of religious leaders with diabolical agendas but we may rightly see these thieving destroyers as offspring of the devil.

      When speaking to some leaders like this, Jesus said: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (Joh 8:44). So those who steal, kill, and destroy are carrying out the devil’s desires, not God’s desires. When the serpent showed up in the guard he used cunning and deceit to steal our inheritance and condemn the human race to death. So while there are many thieves and killers, it is correct to see the devil as the thief and the killer. As Jesus said, he has been a murderer from the beginning.

  90. Nandi Geiger says:

    This is so true and so necessary for believers to understand. Thank you for writing this. It has truly helped me clear some things up especially about God’s character and who he is. Its all a matter of knowing the word and having a close relationship with God too. I’m learning that the closer I get to God, the more love (agape) I show, the more peace I have, and I am filled with the fruit. Thanks for this.

  91. Read Brokenness (How God Redeems Pain and Suffering) by Lon Solomon. This book is a great read if your a Christian facing a tragedy. My husband and I were in a car accident while I was pregnant, I had to have an emergency C-section, and our son suffered a brain hemorrhage. Our son never walked or talked, all because a guy ran a red light. He suffered through fifteen surgeries, and died two weeks before turning six. In spite of everything though, he was happy and life with him was full of joy, and I know that God was sustaining us daily. God permitting and God causing, seem pretty much the same. I believe God is soveriegn, and always in control.

    • Dear Anne,
      I’m heart-broken to hear the story of your son. I’m doubly heart-broken to hear that you think your heavenly Father was in some indirect way responsible for your loss. As you know from precious experience, God redeems our pain and brokenness. But he doesn’t cause it.

      • You really should read the book I mentioned. Brokenness: by Lon Solomon. I actually find comfort in the fact that the Lord is’nt just an uninvolved bystander when it comes to something tragic impacting my life. I believe in an Almighty God. That being said I also know that God is love and He has blessed us in ways I never could have imagined. God can use tragedy for His ultimate glory and to fulfill His purpose.

      • Anne, I totally agree. God is a great redeemer. This is nothing he can’t fix and make beautiful. I know from personal experience what it is like to walk with God through the valley of shadow. In a strange way, the lowest points of my life have become my most treasured memories because God was there with me.

        And thanks for the book recommendation although at present I literally have 30 unread books next to me that are demanding my attention. I encourage you to check out the link I gave you above about the sovereignty of God. I think it will bless you.

    • brandonhutzell says:

      Anne, Your trust and dependence on God through your trial is inspiring. My parents also lost their firstborn son, he died in my mothers arms on the way to the hospital at about 6 months with heart problems. I agree with you… I would rather believe that God allows pain, even what seems to be unbearable pain, for a (relatively) short time. (very, very short in light of eternity) for a divine, glorious, profitable purpose, than to believe He was absent when the devil comes to get us, or our children. God was, is, and will always be with you… and the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in you. I can’t wait to meet you and your son in Glory.

      • Thanks for this article, Paul. It is very much needed today.
        For those who want to know the truth, two very good books i’ve found on this topic are, “Is God To Blame? Beyond pat answers to the problem of suffering” and “God at War” both by Gregory Boyd. The first one is an easy read and gives real-life examples of the importance of understanding this issue from a scriptural basis. “God at War” is a much more thorough study of the issue from scripture for those who want to understand more fully, or who grapple with the scriptural basis. Among other topics, it covers the free will of all God’s created spirit beings, and how that works in the spirit realm as well as the ‘real-world.’ Boyd also discusses the Sovereignty of God in light of man’s free-will.
        Regardless of our opinions or experiences, we must always get our theology from the Word of God, otherwise, we will never truly know our Father and we will often be confused or deceived. Jesus came to show us the Father so we would know this One whom we have a relationship with.
        However, it isn’t about being right in our theology; it’s about being His. Many are comforted by an Ultra-sovereignty view. But, if we are wise we shouldn’t want to passively allow the Enemy to deceive us.

  92. Hi there, My name is Chris McLean, I am a believer from New Zealand, and I came across this post randomly! I have been encouraged by some of the graceful posts on this thread!

    I have read through so so many of these posts, so that I do not repeat what is already said. I have been illuminated something recently which I think adds to Paul Ellis’s thread. Paul, I disagree with your post about the Lord’s power, will, goodness, and involvement in human suffering.

    I can also speak from experience as a fellow human sufferer! However there is (I believe) no greater reference of evidence than in God’s Word. Romans 5 verses 1 to 5. In verse three, Paul speaks of “rejoicing in our sufferings”, because they produce perseverance, character, and then hope. My sufferings have produced perseverance, and this then leads to character (maturity) (though I am only 23 years old), and therefore Hope, that the good work which He began in me, He will carry on to completion – and even unto glory.

    Paul, I have never met you, and I respect your passion for Jesus and your passion for what is ‘good’, but friend, from your responses, examples, and your post, do you think that your feelings have influenced your understanding of what our God is capable of? How can we understand Him? We are yet mere men, graced with mercy to see Jesus Christ and our sinful state.

    My wonderful God allows me to suffer in health or injury every year (at least once) – and though I do not ‘embrace’ the sickness as such, I accept that God is reminding me so often to not rely on my health alone, or my body, but in His arms. I would not take back any of the suffering, because I look back, and see so much of what He has taught me.

    Thanks for the grace and perseverence in reading these posts, and I hope you read mine. I really do care for this subject because I am overjoyed with the truth of the bible.

    For Jesus Sake and Glory,

    Chris McLean

  93. Hi, I have been very interested and challenged to read this now rather long and old post. I have been to a funeral of a faithful young mum today, passionate and receiving great comfort as she worshipped her Lord as she faced cancer. This verse from Job was quoted by her elderly father as he prayed. I understand the idea of entering battle when sickness comes as a torment from the enemy. However, Jesus didn’t heal all that were sick, though all that he prayed for were healed- yet he loves all the world. He did also say that the poor would always be among us. I don’t think this means that we don’t fight sickness, injustice and poverty- he came to heal the sick, broken hearted etc (as fulfillment of Isaiah 61). I think the thing is, we live in the age of “the now and not yet”. He has defeated death, such that we can declare, “where o death is your sting?” knowing we have an eternal destiny, however, the new heavens and new earth (of Rev 21) have not yet come. Thus, the devil still has power in this time. Does this mean we don’t pray and believe for healing? Absolutely not! Does this mean we will always see it? No, and the why of that is in God’s, not our, understanding. It would concern me that those who have faith but don’t see healing will blame themselves for not having enough faith when it may be a lot more complex than that- God is kind and does not condemn. My other comment about the original Job text is to see life as being in God’s hand and therefore being his to give or “take away”. (Ps 90:10 suggests our years are given to us and Ps 139:16 God recorded the days of our life were written in his book). We are the clay, does he not have the right to determine when our day to go home is. This does not mean we have “perished” of course but taken from suffering, pain and sorrow of this fleeting world. I hope my trying to express briefly has still managed to convey what I mean. Thanks for the thought provoking comments, be blessed in your journey with him!

  94. Child of God says:

    I disagree. I think God uses suffering as a tool to shape us or the people around us. Did God not send His only son to die for us? Is that not suffering? In a way suffering is a blessing.

    • God makes all things work together for our good… including suffering…
      but the point is, do you see yourself as a victim of the circumstances that are causing you to suffer? or do you see yourself as a victorious conqueror over the circumstances that Jesus gave you the authority to use…? ;)

  95. Paul, I would like to offer you another suggestions as I believe your view is not correct or faithful to the text…

  96. Awesome Paul, Finally someone who knows the Gospel… Our feet are shod with the Gospel of Peace,,, Okay on the previously comment at the first with Brandon He said Job 1:12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold , all that he hath is in thy power. I just wanted to give some clarity on this. God was not giving power to Satan to attack Job. God was merely saying Satan he is a man everything he owns is in thy power to attack him. But he says don’t touch Job himself. Satan was so stupid he didn’t even know he had the right to attack him. You see Satan in Job 1:11 wanted God to touch him, but God said if you want to commit harm to Job you do it. Everyone thinks God took down his hedge around Job but if you really read it. Satan was stating a question in 1:10 And God more or less said there is no hedge around him if you want the power is in your hands. And the power was in Job’s hands to stand up and act like a man and declare himself unto God and repel Satan. Stay strong Paul and God Bless you….

  97. Bellinda Baatjies says:

    Enterpretation has shed some light, God is love

  98. Hi Paul, today I copied and pasted the link of this article to my facebook wall. Later on, I noticed a friend of mine (a Baptist minister) had his own post regarding this article. He said it was leading people astray, that grace preachers are tickling people’s ears, and that what we believe is just plain wrong. Then he quoted Exodus 4:11. I tried to share with him other things, backing everything up with scripture, stating it was OT, but he wouldn’t hear of it. Said my stance was wrong. I’m kind of hurt by this, although trying not to be. What do you say to people when they throw stuff like that in your face? I’m discouraged!

    • Hi Mary, sadly this is a very common experience. You have to pick your battles and most of the time I say nothing at all. Just preach the gospel and let the Holy Spirit do what he does best. These are arguments where nobody wins as you can probably see from some of the comments on this thread. Those who have seen grace cannot be convinced it’s not real; those who haven’t seen it yet cannot be convinced it is – except by the Spirit of revelation.

      For your own benefit, and not to inflame the situation with your minister friend, you may be interested in this post I have written on Exodus 4:11.

      • Thank you very much for that Paul. I won’t post it, you’re right, it would most like inflame the situation. But it is nice to understand. I appreciate your help!

  99. “I want every single person who reads this to be 100% sure and certain that it is God’s will to save every lost person and heal every single sick person every single time. You may say, I don’t see that happening. Well look at Jesus. It happened for Him. He’s the one we follow.”

    Paul, I ran across your site after doing a search concerning the subject of “sin” and have enjoyed the countless hours I have spent reading. This quote was from you a while ago but just read it so hoping you are willing to answer.

    My question is your meaning of “It happened for Him.” Are you saying that all were saved and all were healed during the earthly ministry of Jesus? If so would you provide a reference. I agree 100% with you that it is His will for these things to happen but we know they don’t. Although I do believe that all are healed physically, however some are this side of glory and some the other.

    Thanks again for your heart and passion. I have certainly been blessed.

    • I’m saying Jesus healed every one who came to him for healing and we should base our understanding of healing on him and not our own experiences.

      • I wish every believer would get on board with this truth. I’m so tired of hearing doubt and unbelief speech. Isn’t that “why” people “don’t” get healed? Because of doubt and unbelief?

  100. Thank you for this I’m not sure how I stumbled upon it. But I think God needed me to. You see were losing the battle with cystic fibrosis and my 9 month old nephew.

    • Hi Jess,
      I’m glad you found us. I hate cystic fibrosis with a passion. Everyone of us reading this is standing with you in faith against this illness.

    • Lisa Radice says:

      Dear sweet Jess……prayers going up for you, your nephew and family…….it can be difficult not to focus on what we see with our natural eyes and refuse to accept the doctor’s report and just take God at His Word and believe for healing, but we must. I seriously believe that if everyone in your family will speak life over that baby with focused and aggressive faith filled words, “he will live and not die”……prophecy! prophecy! Miracles are as real today as they were when Jesus walked the earth. When satan gets aggressive in his attack, I believe we need to get more aggressive with our faith and speaking LIFE into whatever situation we are facing. I would also ask God to heal any unbelief and to silence the voice of anyone who is speaking doubt or unbelief or death over your nephew. <3

    • Stewart says:

      Jess, I believe you are receiving some unhelpful advice from this discussion thread as well as some good. Yes we are to pray in faith for healing, but leave the result in God’s hands. Anything else that falls at your feet to do is not correct. We leave it at the feet of Jesus. If He does all the work He gets all the glory. We cannot systematise God. He can do anything, but the object of faith is ultimately seeing Christ in us, the hope of glory and we don’t trade anything for that!

  101. Here are my thoughts on healing and suffering.
    James 5:13-17
    “13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses[e] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

    I think that this passage of scripture answers any question to whether God wants us well or sick. People try this and when it doesn’t work, its easy to say it must not be God’s will to heal every time. its easier to “credit” it to God and His sovereignty than it is to realize the missing element in us- faith. The scripture clearly says it must be a prayer said with faith, because “without faith it is impossible to please Him (God).” Hebrews 11:6. It’s not God’s will that people don’t get healed. It’s our lack of faith. The Bible also gives instances where Jesus could not do miracles because of people’s lack of faith. If God is sovereign (and He is), why would the Bible say He could not do something? Because our lack of faith limits Him. It’s not His desire (or lack thereof) that controls every little thing. He has given us authority over the earth, and over our choices. We can choose to believe or not to believe… For the salvation of our souls, and our lives. :)

    • I had not read the cystic fibrosis comment when I wrote my comment. My comment wasn’t aimed at preaching toward it. But the passage of scripture I quoted can be helpful in that situation. Definitely praying for that precious baby and loved ones.

    • its not that Jesus couldn’t heal them – its that some people’s unbelief prevented them from actually taking the step in faith to go to Him for the healing He had to give them – He couldn’t heal people who wouldn’t come… because everyone who came to Jesus for healing was healed – even if their faith was little, they used what little they had to go to Him – if they wanted to believe, then He helped their unbelief. even people who technically didn’t come to Him – but rather Jesus came to them – either believed or wanted to believe that Jesus could and would heal them. ;)

    • brandonhutzell says:

      Amber, I’m sorry but your theology does not mesh with clear examples in scripture like the story of Job.

    • chrisvanrooyen says:

      Hi Amber
      It is our lack of faith in what we already have that leads us to believe that sickness could have any power over us when it sees this lack of faith opportunity for oppression is seen.

      • Jennie and Chris, I’m not 100% sure on what you are saying. But I think both of the subjects you talked about are the same things I believe, and that you were saying the same things I was saying. :)
        Brandon, I have enjoyed reading the discussion between you and Paul on here. You have raised a lot of thought provoking points, some of the same questions I’ve had. So I have really appreciated being able to read everyone’s discussions and know I’m not alone in my desire to get answers and ask hard questions. I’m on a mission to figure out the truth according to the Bible. I will read one thing in the Bible and it seems to lead me to believe God wants us well all the time every time. Then about the time I’m firm in that belief, I read something else, and begin to question that theology. That is why I’m here, looking on this site, reading everyone’s thoughts.
        The scripture I quoted (James 5:13-16) is an example of what I’ve read that leads me to the conclusion that God wants us healed always. I don’t see any other way around that one.
        But then I read something like the verse someone quoted out of Ecclesiastes and I question everything again. I have a hard time meshing different scriptures. Some of them I can’t get to harmonize with each other. : / I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be double-minded, tossing back and forth like the waves in the sea (as talked about in scripture). I want to figure out the truth and have it set me free!
        I do agree with Paul and this article. That theology seems to be more in line with the Bible. But I do wish I had answers for some other verses that don’t seem to quite fit that theology (like the one mentioned earlier in Ecclesiastes).
        Paul, maybe you could help? Or anyone else God is leading to respond to my questioning. Thanks. :)

      • pdavis1958 says:

        There is absolutely one model and that is Jesus. He is the only “perfect” new covenant model. No one, not even Paul the apostle “did only what he saw His Father doing” all the time and without fail. He alone is the only one who ever walked in perfect obedience to the father. When we do, we see amazing fruit in our lives and those God has placed in our lives. I totally agree that any power shortage lies on our side and not His. the Job argument, Ecclesiastes etc are not only under the old covenant, but also a very poor view of God at the time written by the authors. It has pretty well been determined that Job didn’t even have an awareness of Satan. I love your passion and you will never go wrong with believing God to heal them all. I believe as we see more and more of a revelation on God’s heart for these things we will see more people healed and men will no longer play the sovereignty card because God will show them what that truly means. I believe that God’s sovereign reign is in partnership with man. He uses men and women to fulfill His purpose. He probably could do so without us, but chose not to. It is part of His covenant.

      • Thank you so much for your reply! And everyone else who replied! :)

      • You are very welcome! This is a very big deal to me. Our daughter has been fighting a battle for her health. I had a blood clot the first of the year and welcome the new year in the hospital. I had only been back a little over a month from Guatemala where I saw God open blind eyes, deaf ears, lame walk, emotional healings etc etc. I could easily play the will of God or sovereignty card, but why would I want to? I have been to Europe and Guatemala on healing ministry trips. We can go places no medical missions teams, construction teams etc can go. We are welcomed and accepted because we go in, heal the sick, train the locals on how to pray for the sick and then go into homes to demonstrate in that way and open the door for when we leave. Jesus came to bring healing. When I present a gospel that (is very well meaning) is intended to bring comfort because someone is not healed or not being healed; then I present a gospel that is not one of hope and is not as the very name implies, “The Good News.” Therefore, though it sounds good and also loving, it is really no gospel at all. It is a message of man that limits the limitless God we serve. Blessings

      • yes amber, i am agreeing with what you said… i just wanted to clarify why it says Jesus “couldn’t” – because the truth is that He can. ;) Jesus is our hope – and hope is a confident and positive expectation of good. hope does not disappoint. when we read something that seems to “dash our hope” or contradict the new covenant message of grace, we only need to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into the Truth who is Christ – who He is and what His finished work accomplished. this is what rightly dividing the word means – paul calls this ‘filtering’ scripture through Jesus’ finished work of the cross. as believers under the new covenant we have something that the old covenant believers didnt have – the Spirit and Life of Christ IN us. the Holy Spirit – our Teacher – loves to answer our questions when we are seeking to know the Truth… because knowing the Truth – aka Jesus – is what sets us free! :)

    • chrisvanrooyen says:

      Hi Amber
      Every verse in the bible is in some way connected to Jesus he should be your filter for everything this would be my advice.When it seems to contradict Jesus in character or otherwise pray for revelation. It is God,s will that you find the truth.
      This site is a valuable resource to learn from, even if you disagree with Paul he is graceful to agree to disagree.

    • chrisvanrooyen says:

      HI Amber
      the book of Ecclesiastes is one of the greatest prophecies of Jesus it perfectly illustrates life without him , He is the perfect answer to the book understanding this and reading the book in this light is uplifting.

      • Pdavis- awesome that you’ve experienced that in Guatemala and other places! I wish there was more of that in the USA! Praying for your daughters health.
        Thank you Chris- I’ve never thought about it that way before. I will try to read it like that. I get depressed tryin to read Ecclesiastes and Job usually.

  102. Just a question Paul, as i wrestle with these things. The scripture says that it is appointed once for man to die, would you say satan appoints that time for us or God? Thanks for your input.

    • Now there’s an intriguing question. I would say neither. If Satan really got to choose when people die, don’t you think he’d kill us all as babies? He’d wipe out the human race as fast as he could. And to say God appoints the time of our death is akin to holding him responsible for murders, road-deaths, and abortions. God is Lord of all but he’s not responsible for all that happens to us. The word “appointed” in Heb 9:27 means “reserved,” as in a reserved dinner booking. The writer is saying we all have a reservation at the table of death and after that we face judgment.

  103. Mike Rosenau says:

    Have you ever considered who…

  104. Mike Rosenau says:

    Oops I should have read the E2R publishing policy first… 3 rules broken:

    Way to long, I continued in several posts and I cut and paste scriptures. . sorry

  105. Hi Paul!

    I just wanted to say you hit it out of the park on the subject of Job! So many read the words of Job 1:21, but never bother to consider the fact that Job was not speaking of events to come. He was speaking of what he had already experienced. In turn this should lead us to reading Job 1:1 through Job 1:20 and seeing for ourselves that God never took a single thing from Job. In fact, after disciplining Job based on his words of error and anger toward God, it was the Lord who actually gave to Job, but He never took a single thing.

    I am believing for many new doors to open for my book to get in front of many people in order that they will be able to see the truth of God’s true nature.

    Thanks again for posting an incredible article of truth!

  106. I have read your article and the comments with great interest. I am having difficultly making the jump to your worldview though and have many questions still. I’m not sure just because something is not found in Heaven means it is not God’s will on earth – this is earth, not Heaven and on earth we grow through pain but in Heaven we won’t need to grow in our character anymore because we’ll be perfect.
    Could God accomplish the good thing – ie. the growing closer than ever to Jesus and finding profound satisfaction in Him, the growth in character, etc. – some other way or is suffering the way to accomplish the greater good….could we draw so close and grow in character without bad things happening, if life was always easy and rosy?
    Did God just passively permit the bad thing and use it for good or did he actively cause the bad thing for good.I think the devil is on God’s leash and whether you say God permitted the devil to do something or whether you say God did it, either way, God could have stopped if He wanted to so He is still on the hook for it but He is happy to be on the hook for it because He has a plan in it all and somehow is amazingly and mysteriously working all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11).

  107. I think the matter of “giving and taking away” can be from God, and not just Satan. God’s goal is for us to have intimacy with Him and joy through Him. I think God does sometimes “take away” those things in our lives that are interfering with our relationship with Him. That is often painful for us, because they are the things that we have built our lives on. So, it’s a matter of perspective. God is taking away, but only from the goal of giving us Himself in replacement for those things.

    Having said that, clearly Satan does come to “steal, kill and destroy”, but not in the way you might think. Satan’s goal is to distract us from God and to distort our beliefs away from the Truth, not to remove our comfort. Our comfort *benefits* Satan.

    If you are suffering, ask yourself if what you’ve lost is really better than Christ.

    • Job said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”. He said so in error (Job 34:35). I have also said things in error, but I hope nobody formed a doctrinal system of beliefs out of my words of error..

      When all was said and done, God never took anything at all from Job. In fact, He only gave to Job. In addition, throughout all of scripture we do not see God taking good things from anyone for any reason.

      Why would we ever believe He does take good things other than ideas coming from circumstantial theology.

      God does not take things from us in order for us to learn. He has given us His written Word and the Holy Spirit to carry the load of our learning (2 Timothy 3:16 with John 14:26, and John 16:13).

      We must also factor in our free will. God does not over ride our choices at any time.

      • “When all was said and done, God never took anything at all from Job.”

        Read Job 1:12. I guess that I could tell my brother to take something precious away from my sister, and if he does it then I’m not responsible.

        Also, you might want to reconsider your Job 34:35 reference, the Lord himself said that Job’s friends didn’t speak of Him right- Job 42:7.

      • The words of Job 1:12 were simply God stating the obvious. Man had already given Satan power over Job’s life. God gave man control over the earth in Genesis 1:26. Man ended up giving that power over to the devil in Genesis chapter three, hence the words of Job 1:12. In addition, Satan had attempted to tempt God to steal from Job in Job 1:11. The words of Job 1:12 were God’s response to Satan.

        IN reference to Job 42:7, Job had come to his senses after God chastised him for his words in Job 13:3, Job 23:3 and his rebellion against God as seen in Job 34:36-37. The words of Job 42:7 came after Job had humbled himself and come to understand that God was not the source of his problems (Job 42:3) which is exactly what we should do.

        If someone is determined to believe God is the source of their problems, that person should never resist an problem they face. Doing such would cause them to resist God.

      • “Man ended up giving that power over to the devil in Genesis chapter three, hence the words of Job 1:12. In addition, Satan had attempted to tempt God to steal from Job in Job 1:11. The words of Job 1:12 were God’s response to Satan.”

        So you’re saying that all the good things Job had before Satan had this meeting with God were good things that came from Satan, since he had power over all this since Genesis chapter 3? This seems like a strange thing for Satan to do, to bless Job in this manner. John 10:10 says that he only came to steal, kill and destroy. The first thought that comes to my mind is why would God create such a being in the first place?

        Who had the power to give Job all those blessings? Who had the power to remove them? Is this the message of Job, that we can only appreciate and understand God, through our sufferings?

      • God blessed Job. The devil took from Job. You missed my point completely. I hope God can open your eyes to truth some day, my friend. Nobody else is going to be able to do so.

        Have a nice day.

      • pdavis1958 says:

        Here’s the bottom line with this topic. If people believe that God takes away they will have things continue to be taken away. They will say it was God but the enemy will be the culprit because they partner with a lie from the enemy and he continues to rob them. People who believe God does not take away will see just the opposite. When the enemy comes to steal, kill or destroy, they will say no way to this destroyer and fight instead of accept which would otherwise be an attack from Slew-foot. He has been given that name for a reason. God gives and blesses. Satan steals and destroys and if possible will even kill. Maybe not always physically, but he kills in a whole lot of other ways. Peace and blessings to all my bro’s and sis’s in Christ.

      • From a human perspective, God *did* take from Job. From a heavenly perspective God was seeking to give Job of Himself. So, it totally depends on your point of view. Strictly speaking, Job is wrong, I guess, but I can’t fault him for thinking from an earthly perspective. The point is: God does seem to take away but only because we miss the point.

  108. humbleheart72 says:

    This is not necessarily to T. Tompkins, but didn’t know where to reply in general.

    One thing I believe is true in all this misunderstanding is that if someone sincerely wants to know and understand, they can go straight to God and ask Him to reveal the truth to them about what He’s written in Scripture. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate teacher and until someone asks God for deeper understanding/revelation knowledge concerning a thing, it will not be known to that person. They can ask and ask and ask a human being all day long for clarity and they will not receive it unless they ask God for it with a humble attitude by faith.

  109. humbleheart72 says:

    “Here’s the bottom line with this topic. If people believe that God takes away they will have things continue to be taken away. They will say it was God but the enemy will be the culprit because they partner with a lie from the enemy and he continues to rob them.”

    That’s so right on pdavis! everything you wrote is so very right on, but that opening statement rocks! Love how you put that. Peace and blessings to you too :)

    • So I guess another way to word it would be God doesn’t take away. Satan, whom God created, takes away.

      • I don’t buy that. God is sovereign. That means that he can stop even Satan’s actions, so in one sense he is allowing things to be “taken away”. The problem is that we view the “taking away” of earthly things as suffering rather than as an opportunity to replace the earthly with the heavenly. God is trying to give us Himself as a replacement for the lost earthly things. We only suffer because we fail to see that.

      • pdavis1958 says:

        Not fair to use the God created Satan card. He created us too, but we have a free will. So did Satan. He didn’t (in the words of Indiana Jones) choose wisely. But here is the heart of all of this to me. I am part of a healing ministry in our local church where almost all people we pray for are healed. The last night of a Guatemala trip last year; everyone who had something they could feel or see (about 100 or so) received a healing touch. My experience has been that people who talk about Job, Paul, Trophemis, man at the pool, Timothy etc rather than the glaring facts about Jesus’ healing ministry, don’t see people healed much if ever. That sounds arrogant Pat. Well, I don’t mean for it to. I simply want people to look at results. People who pray for God’s will, believe He heals some and others are destined to suffer for his glory, just don’t see the number of people healed as those who believe that it is always God’s will to heal and the power lack is on our side. Why do some churches see multitudes of healings and others little or even none? People say that God is sovereign and he chooses, gives, takes away etc. So here is a valid question. If God is not a respecter of persons (or let’s say even churches) why does He seem to “sovereignly” heal in mass in some places and “sovereignly” not heal in others? Answer: It has nothing to do with His sovereignty! He made a healing covenant with man and His sovereignty does not allow Him to break it or fight against what Jesus did on the cross. His sovereignty explodes in us as we partner with Him. We do our part and His sovereignty takes over and exponentially blesses it. He doesn’t do it without us. He could, but chose not too. I hope this makes more sense. So my final question in this response, is are people who believe God gives and takes away: 1) praying for the sick with an expectancy of healing and 2) how many people can you say you know for sure have been healed through your life touching theirs? My point is this. I don’t like to learn about riches from a pauper. I don’t like to get opinion on God’s blessings from people who don’t believe God always wants to bless. I am fortunate to have been a part of a church and mission trips that has witnessed 1000’s of healings including blind eyes, deaf ears, lame walking etc etc. God is good! He always gives and takes away from the enemy and gives some more and some more and NEVER TAKES AWAY!

      • Well Jim, sort of. I don’t believe that satan can come and take anything from me. Not unless I give him legal ground to do so. The only way I can do that is by getting in agreement with any lie he tells me; for example: satan says “God made His Word confusing because He doesn’t really want you to understand it. He’s just messing with everyone’s head.” Now, if I believe that lie, then I’m going to be always lost because I will not take God at His Word and just believe Him. Things are different now than what they were in Job’s days. After Yeshua (Jesus) came here to set us free, every one of us who walk in that freedom have power over ALL the power of the enemy (satan). There is NOTHING satan can do to us that we don’t allow him, knowingly or unknowingly, to do and Yahweh (God) will NEVER do anything bad to us because He loves us. On the other hand, satan hates us because he hates Yahweh. One other thing I’d like to point out here is that none of us have all the answers. We’re all growing and learning. Like I said in my earlier comment, if a person really wants to know the truth about something, go straight to the One Who knows everything. Ask Him to give you discernment. Seriously. Ask Him. He WILL give it to you, if you are His. He delights in giving His children the desires of their heart. If I’m wrong in any of this, Paul, please edit away. Shalom! Jim.

  110. Gordon Halford says:

    Dear Paul, you are mistaken in your comments. They seem to have a ring of truth about them, but the REALITY is that they are plain wrong ! The truth is that by definition God is absolutely sovereign. Anything else means that God is not God ! Because God is absolutely sovereign, the devil can only take away when God allows him to do so. This is made quite clear in the story of Job. He cannot do _anything_ without God’s agreement. So the reality is that Job’s comment is actually true. God did give, and God did take away, even if it was by the Devil’s hand. God uses EVERYTHING for HIs own purposes ! Assyrian and Babylonian kings included. The cross is the ultimate example of this truth. There is a lesson here, and it relates to Paul’s comment in Ephesians 3… “I want to know Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, so that by whatever means necessary, I might attain to the resurrection out from among the dead ones”.
    You need to get a hold of the truth of “sharing in Christ’s sufferings”, and understanding what it means to “come out from among the dead ones”.
    I trust that Father will reveal to you by the Spirit what this means.
    Blessings in Christ, Gordon H.

    • If I am mistaken, so is the Bible for 1 John 5:19 says God is not in control – he is not responsible for everything that happens. Fatalism preaches God is responsible for everything but the gospel declares God works for the good of those who love him.

      Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Why would we need to pray that if God’s will were already being done?

    • i guess it depends on what you believe “sharing in Christ’s sufferings” means… the apostle paul was being persecuted for the name of Christ and was saying that He was willing to be persecuted unto a similar death on a cross if need be. suffering persecution on account of Christ’s name is the only kind of suffering we are called to share with Him.

  111. Thanks for the answers i was seeking.

  112. Two Scriptures I read recently reminded me of this debate, so I post them here; Ezekial 14:20 (NIV) “as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness”. Repeated twice v.14 & 20 – Job was one of the ‘Big 3′ in the Lord’s eyes as the Message version says it so well. I suggest we need to be more careful what we declare as wrong in Job’s reaction to his loss. Then I read Ezekial 24:15-16 “The word of the LORD came to me: (16) “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears”. Does God take away? Yes, He does.

  113. Ottanwa Gabby says:

    Good theological clearification there. More grace to ur spirit n ministry.

  114. Didn’t God allow the devil to do these things to Job? Doesn’t it say so in the bible? Check out the book of Job, chapter 2, verse 6. It says, “and the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” (KJV) No THING can happen without God knowing of it or even allowing it to happen. God also knew that Job was his faithful servant. Read the book of Job, chapter 2, verse 2. It says, “and the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth. a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” (KJV) God knows the heart. God knew the heart of Job was faithful–albeit imperfect. Job was tested. Job, as would any human, reacted to the pain of his loss as humans do. In the final analysis, Job remained faithful to God–however clumsily, he remained faithful.

  115. Nisschala Evangeline Choppala says:

    wonderful truth – Thank you so much for sharing with us your thoughts – God bless your ministry !!

  116. Really? Did you read the Bible correctly? God gave his permission for the Devil to do what he did. Therefore, God is just as guility in all that happended to Job. (Everyone skips over this little fact). So God did “GIVE and TAKE away.” Job was correct in this thought.

    • It’s frightening that you’d reject the words of Jesus and embrace those of a superstitious man on the back of one poorly translated verse. It’s doubly frightening that you think God is complicit in the devil’s work. For more on Job 1:8, I recommend this post entitled “Understanding the Book of Job.”

  117. stefanie oehrke says:

    I totally believe gods heart is for all to be healed restored . Saved means sozo which means fully healed fully restored mind body and soul. I believe dieease is noy from god and dewth isnt either. Its from sin in the world. So i do agree with you. But i do have a question can yiu help me understand exodus when god killed the first born and sent plagues on pharioe and his people . Also ejst about book of revelation with the wrath of god. And jesus coming on a white hprse to slader all who took thmark along with all the demons and ones who didnt pick him. Rev 19:11-21. I just lost a friend this week to a bike accident. She . was a lover of god and only 24. Over 5 ,000 people were fighing in prayer for her life. God took her home. Would u say the emeny stole her life when we all were weeping in intercession for her life. And her life was in god.

  118. I totally believe that God does not cause us pain and suffering but I’m struggling to explain this to my 25 year old daughter who is suffering from alopecia. While this is not a fatal disease, it is nonetheless devastating to a young woman to have to live with the possibility of losing all her hair. My difficulty with Job isn’t what he said or did. It is the conversations between God and Satan that led to God giving permission to Satan to afflict Job. How do you explain that? The way Job is written, it seemed that God allowed Job to go through extreme suffering on a wager with Satan.

    • Yes, it does seem that way. But appearances can be deceiving. Satan most definitely did not ask, and does not need to ask, for God’s permission to steal from us. If he had permission, he wouldn’t be a thief now would he? More here.

  119. It is funny how so many believe God “gives and takes away” based on the words of Job. Yet Job spoke without knowledge and his words were without wisdom (Job 34:35-37 with Job 38:2). In addition, Jesus did not back up these words. He spoke of giving but not taking (John 10:10). Job eventually humbled himself and stopped blaming God (Job 42:3). Many Christians should follow this path as well.

  120. Is God omnipotent or not? If not, then we should be worshipping Satan because he’s more powerful than the god portrayed in this article! It’s very clear throughout the book of Job that God has all authority and calls all the shots. Satan had to seek permission to afflict Job. Yes, Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He would’ve killed Job if he could’ve but God said NO. Also, God rewarded Job for speaking of Him correctly (“he gives and takes away”) Job 42:7 “It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.”

    • Molly, Satan didn’t ask permission (as explained in this post). God is omnipotent but not sovereign in the sense that word is usually interpreted. In other words, and as the Bible clearly states, he is not in control of all that happens to us. (More in this post.) God’s comments about the rightness of Job’s words follow Job saying “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand… I despise myself and repent.” It’s because Job spoke so wrongly at the beginning of the book that he sent Elihu and then, when Job still wouldn’t shut up with the self-pitying, death wishes, and whining, God came himself. Then, and only then, did Job begin to speak rightly.

      It is a catastrophic mistake for a believer to think that Job at the beginning of the book is a good example for us to follow. He was a fear-filled, self-righteous, superstitious man who whined a lot and wished he was dead.

      • Thanks for your reply. I see what you’re saying. And I think that the book of Job is actually a good example of whom to blame – Satan. Job wasn’t given the luxury of knowing how his struggle came about, and God never explained it to him. I’m pretty sure that you used the words “Ultimate Causes”, though to explain God’s omnipotence in another post. (Notice I didn’t say sovereign! :) ) And whether or not we believe God is in control of everything that happens, it’s never an excuse to roll over and play dead.

  121. dwayne says:

    To everyone that has tried to adress pauls doctrinal,theological, interpretational error, i can sum it up with two words. FAITH HEALER!! ive tried to get my brothers and sisters for years to c their error but its tough. I consider paul a brother and i agree with him on some of his theology theology. But not this one.

    • Dwayne man, how can you possibly object to these statements?

      • Hey lewis. I object because this theology is very damaging to the church AND to those who are not saved. it can leave them very confused about gods PERFECT will and sovereignty. Godly people full of faith hav went home by the millions by way of sickness. And many many! Family members hav been saved BECAUSE OF IT!!! tell me lewis was that the devils will???? One went to heaven and he lost more souls in the process… Hallelujah!! Thank u jesus!! it was GODS perfect will.. U c faith healers cant say that. They teach cofusion and false hope!! I hav much more to say i will address later. Got to go to work. God bless

  122. dwayne says:

    I hav a question mayby someone can help me with. Where in sripture does it say that it is gods will to heal all that are sick?

    • There are several in the gospels (eg: Mat 8:16) which indicate that Jesus healed ALL who came to him – he never left anyone unhealed, never said “God is using this sickness to teach you stuff.” Acts 10:38 tells us sickness is the devil’s doing and 1 John 3:8 says Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work. God is not willing that any perish (2 Pet 3:9), and sickness is death in small bites. I could go on.

  123. dwayne says:

    Hey paul thanks for the response. I would like to address matt 8 and 2 peter 3:9 so i can keep it short. Scripture says and jesus healed all that were sick? Why?? Vs 17. To fullfil isaiah 53 to let the JEWS know that this is the messiah isaiah told us about. To fullfill scripture PERIOD. the context does not support that jesus is obligated to heal YOU. that is my interpretatio. /2 peter 3:9 the lord is not willing that any should PERISH. I think u interpret perish as meaning physical sickness and death. The context supports spiritual death. HELL!!. how do i know that? READ ON..But that all should come to REPENTANCE!!!! SALVATION!! TO BE BORN AGAIN. REGENERATION. SAVING FAITH!! PERIOD!!! Context does not support physical death or sickness. Also the vs By his stripes we are healed. What is healed? Thanks bro gimme ur thoughts wheen u get a chance.

    • Yes Dwayne, if COMPASSION is the way and the only motivation of Jesus to fulfill scriptures, it’s not about convincing the Jews or any body (the devils knew Jesus was the Messiah, and…?). God is love and His heart in fulfilling scripture is compassion. Healing from compassion is always God’s will.
      Healing is not a big deal, it is seeing a person within the finished work of the cross, fully restored as a son – as God sees. We can’t even say “it is God’s will to heal”, it’s the only way God sees us now: healed, delivered, prosperous as His glorious children, one with Him and co-participant of Divine Nature.
      My, what an unfathomable GIFT!
      Blessings brother!

      • dwayne says:

        Hey claude. I think i understand ur post. Are u saying ( God wants usHOLY more than he wants us WHOLLY??

    • Dwayne Hi,
      Jesus said go heal the sick.
      It is therefore His WILL and WE are to do it.
      We can make our theology fit our experience or we can believe- it’s up to us.

      • Hey lewis. If WE are to do it then please take me with u to the nearest hospital and make me a believer that that gift is for today. Will u raise one dead person for me. Just one. I hope im not askin for to much. That is what jesus did and his disciples. Why??? So people would believe!! The jews seeked a sign and they got it. Thru miracles signs and wonders. We dont c that today. Why?? We hav gods holy word complete.. Question.. If u lay hands on someone and their not healed whose at fault? Is it due to a lack of faith? Jesus nvr misfired!! Not trying to b smart. Bless u brother..

    • Hi Dwayne,
      Can I retract that last comment as the command was given to the disciples and not necessarily to us today.
      I want to believe all sickness can be overcome and will believe for it.
      Salvation encompasses physical & emotional wellness as well as spiritual.
      I believe this but I won’t expect others to believe it.
      Thank you for your thoughts.
      Grace & peace brother.

      • dwayne says:

        Lewis brother im with u!! I want to believe god will heone fthe sick but if he doesnt is it because of a lack of faith? Pls answer this question.. Brother i know u believe this wholeheartedly but u and others preach a confusing message to lost people. U hav a lot to defend the faith.. I know im tagged as a fatalist or faith killer but please let me giv u very common analogy ti c who is the real faith killer.. Lets say my kids are not saved and i preach to them that it is gods will always to heal the sick. I get diagnosed with terminal cancer and i preach to them GOD WILL HEAL ME!!! they watch me die a slow painful death.. What is my wife gonna tell them why god didnt heal their saved godly obedient faithfilled daddy??? Now who is the faith killer?? That could wreck any child of having any belief of a loving god..think about it.. Lewis, we still live in a sin cursed world. Our bodies get old and we are going to die!! If it is gods WILL to always heal sick people EVERY TIME then why arent people lving to b as old as Methuselah!! U c my point?? When we pray for that saved sick loved one for god to heal them and they die then u got ur prayer answered!!! COMPLETE HEALING IN THE ARMS OF JESUS AND WE CAN ALL SING “THE LORD GIVETH AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY, BLESSED B THE NAME OF THE LORD!!! AMEN.. LEWUS I LUV YA BRO.

    • jennie says:

      dwayne, salvation doesn’t only mean saved from eternal death… it also means delivered, made whole, healed, and prospered ;)
      if you believe that the spiritual gift of healing was only for the apostles to bring the jews to salvation… well, they haven’t all been saved yet, have they?

  124. dwayne says:

    jennie. If salvation includes being made whole physicaly then tell that to all the SAVED handicaped, blind ,lame,sick , godly people full of saving faith. Ur theology makes them question their salvation!!! Ur belief just begs the question…. Well god? I know im saved but im not healed physically so am i really saved? Now of course i believe god still heals!! But that is based on HIS PERFECT WILL!! AND HE WILL USE SICKNESS PAIN AND SUFFERING TO BRING LOST SOULS TO HIM. Now to address ur last question. No. The jews havent all been saved..why???? Because they REJECT THE GOSPEL!! Jesus fullfilled all old testament prophecy concerning his coming that involved miracles, signs, and wonders and they reject it!!!2 tim 3:16-and we hav gods holy and perfect word that records it all!! 2 peter 3:9 not wiiling that any should perish(hellbound) but that all should come to repentance. (Heavenbound ) god wants u HOLY (saved)more than he wants us WHOLLY!! (Physicaly healed)

    • jennie says:

      healing is included in salvation. communion represents this perfectly: His body the bread for our healing, His blood as the wine for the forgiveness of our sins. 2 elements – one complete transaction. Jesus was beaten physically so that we could be healed physically – while His life blood was poured out for our forgiveness.
      yes, it is better that a person is saved and sick than not saved… but even better still is a saved and healed person who is a testimony to the abundant and victorious life that only Jesus can give… one that can be seen in the physical and will draw people to Christ for salvation… including the jewish people! :)

  125. dwayne says:

    Paul,lewis,jennie i love you all as brothers and sisters in christ. If u preach phsical healing as part of the gospel then u hav watered down the gospel!! We should nvr use health, wealth, and prosperity as bait to evangelize!! The gospel is that we are sinners seperated from god and we are hellbound unless we respond to that convicting spirirt when god draws us and we say YES!! BY REPENTANCE AND FAITH!! JOHN 3:36 he who does not do this THE WRATH OF GOD ABIDES ON HIM!! if we get away from that message then we will fill the churchs full of FALSE CONVERTS!! (GOATS,TARES, BAD FISH, WAYSIDE HEARERS, THORNY GROUND, STONEY GROUND!! AMEN?? If phycisal healing is part of the gospel then why are the first couple rows of people at a benny hinn concert who by the way nvr get to go on stage are they NOT HEALED because their not saved? Or is it because they LACK FAITH?? What is your answer?? If u had enough faith to be saved then how much does it take to get healed?? Please answer. I know this sounds harsh but yall preach a confusing gospel.We dont need to escape from biblical reality!! Sorry paul no punt intended.. I love you all as brothers and sisters

    • Brother, you just are not sharing the gospel that Jesus preached. He healed then dealt with their soul constantly. We go on mission trips and watch God heal in mass and then we share the salvation message. You see the gospel and healing as two separate things. Psalm 103 makes it clear they are not. Who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. You have a lot of questions and I sense anger sometimes too, probably an offense for those you know who have lost loved ones to illness etc. The response from Jesus was basically, which is easier to do, say you are forgiven or healed. When we place the “perfect will” on God’s shoulders, we remove all responsibility of our own. One last thing. I always find this no matter where I go. People who preach that God always wants to heal witness tons more healings than those who don’t! Period! In fact, many people are the victim of a theology that leaves it up to God to decide on a case by case basis. We have to have experience and the Word not just one or the other. Jesus is the only perfect model of healing.

    • pdavis1958 says:

      Brother, you just are not sharing the gospel that Jesus preached. He healed first then dealt with their soul constantly. We go on mission trips and watch God heal in mass and then we share the salvation message. You see the gospel and healing as two separate things. Psalm 103 makes it clear they are not. Who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. You have a lot of questions and I sense anger sometimes too, probably an offense for those you know who have lost loved ones to illness etc. The response from Jesus was basically, which is easier to do, say you are forgiven or healed. When we place the “perfect will” on God’s shoulders, we remove all responsibility of our own. I always find this no matter where I go. People who preach that God always wants to heal witness tons more healings than those who don’t! Period! In fact, many people are the victim of a theology that leaves it up to God to decide on a case by case basis. One last thing. If it is always up to God to decide, then why does He tell us to raise the dead? That would be working against His will because apparently His will was for them to die. We have to have experience and the Word not just one or the other. Jesus is the only perfect model of healing.

      • dwayne says:

        Afternoon sister. I promise there is no anger here. I hav lost saved loved ones due to illness but they didnt go home due to a lack of faith!! If i believed what u teach then i would hav every right to b angry. Im glad u reference psalm 103 who by the way the author lost his firstborn child to SICKNESS BY THE WILL OF GOD TO BRING HIM TO REPENTANCE. Can god heal all sickness? Absolutely! Will he use sickness to discipline his children? Obviously.. King david prayed feverishly but i guess he didnt hav enough faith…yes pdavis i do hav a lot of questions that u cant answer but i can say ALL things(circumstances) work togerther for good to those who LOVE God. Rom 8:28 AMEN?? Just curious. How many dead people hav u raised and if they didnt come back to life then whose lack of faith was at fault then? Not his!! I knowthe sarcasm sounds thick but sister if ur gonna preach that gospel u hav some defending to do. Also Matt 10:8 u referenced heal the sick and raise the dead etc.. Ànd what else does the text say? Freely you hav received freely give. Vs 9 TAKE NO MONEY!! i suppose many filthy rich faithhealers sharpie that vs out of their bible. YES GOD CAN STILL HEAL!! U say for us not to raise the dead works against his will since were commanded to do it?? Guess what?? Were still gonna die physically and i dont care how much faith u hav it s not gonna change gods will!! The numbers are clear. 10 out of 10 die.. Excluding enoch and elijah. By the way if u hav enough fIth to bring me back from the dead i will not be a happy camper sister because ive been washed ive been justified ive been sanctified and i am a child of the living KING!! TILL HE RETURNS OR CALLS ME HOME HERE IN POWER OF CHRIST I WILL STAND!! I hope u sense im not an angry man. Luv ya sister..

      • pdavis1958 says:

        1st, I’m a man. Second, you are proving my thoughts perfectly by going back to the Old Testament for all your examples and not citing Jesus. He is the only perfect model of healing. Also, David lost the child because of judgment. Again, Old Covenant. The fact remains as I stated, that people who look for loopholes in healing because we haven’t arrived so to speak, will always see many people fall prey as victims to that theology. Trying to sort out every situation if God wills or doesn’t is a formula for disaster and we are playing with people’s lives. All the shortage of power faith lying on our side frees God from being the one who doesn’t wish to heal.

      • Hi pdavis,
        I think Dwayne was addressing Jennie as sister before he addressed you.
        Hi Dwayne,
        It is totally understandable when people hardly ever and some never see any healings or miracles to believe (if I can assume that you believe they do still occur today) that it is just God’s will ONLY WHEN they happen. But I agree with pdavis that where they are believed for they are seen more frequently.This takes some explanation.and I think the fact that their is a need for a lack of doubt on our part does this better than God’s sovereign will.
        I also understand your concern that lack of positive result could result in people,born again and not yet born again, becoming disenchanted.
        However we must make it clear to all that God doesn’t love them any less if they don’t get healed we just haven’t found the right way to work with God and we might not ever do in this life.
        Jesus said you will do the same and greater things than He did – while we can argue that He meant something other than the supernatural things I think this is contextually wrong aswell as not true to His heart.
        I don’t want to argue with a fellow brother unecessarily I just want to encourage people to keep an open mind despite the lack of evidence often seen.
        All God’s blessings brother.

  126. We are all healed of every sickness in Jesus, and have inherited eveything, it is irrelevant if you see it, feel it, or experience it,do you believe it. Even if you do not believe it it still remains true. So if you get a chance to see it , fell it , experience it, it is good, but nothing has changed. Why be fascinated by a drop of water when there is an ocean out there.

  127. dwayne says:

    Im so sorry MR. pdavis i did getconfused with who im responding to.. Forgive me. I dont want to b argumentative. I know i come off that way but i hav nothing but love for all. This is a very healthy debate over two biblical worldviews. Someone said david lost his child due to judgement? By whose hand exercised that judgement? GODS!! why did he exercise that judgement? His SIN!! what was the result of the judgement on him and his child?? Psalm 51!! N also someone interprets the vs greater things we shall do means quality and not quanity?? what hav u done that is greater than rasing a dead person?? I think the context supports quantity..due to the vs becUse i go to the father. Again we hav two different views of context and interpretation. But i know as brothers and sister n christ that were all going to die physically even if a healing Does occur in someones life. What matters is hav we been BORN AGAIN!! Praise god if he heals a loved one with terminal illness but it is appointed unto man to die once but after that the judgement heb:9. Can someone send me a link or information where here in america the dead are raised, paraplegics walk, official blind from birth see, amputees grow limbs back from laying of hands. Not arthritis, back pain,half blind, etc.. Im serious.. Im not mocking anyone.. Why js it almost always other countries these greater things We shall do(miracles,signs,wonders) and not here in america?? Educate me.. Pretend im not saved and im searching for answers.. lets say i just lost a saved loved one due to cancer claiming god was gonna heal him or her. Someone on here share the gospel with me and tell me why they died. Remember.. My hard heart is in your hands. Im waiting……..

    • pdavis1958 says:

      Myself and others I minister with have witnessed over 135 cancers healed, many with no treatment and several given short times to live, blind eyes, Alzheimer, lyme disease and many others. Why does it have to be in America? I have personally witnessed bones being reset, blind eyes opened, deaf ears opened, surgeries that were scheduled for knees etc canceled due to healings and multitudes others. Just myself and a friend (mainly him) have witnessed thousands of healings in several countries. You keep going back to David and I stress again, that is judgment in the Old Covenant that we no longer face as believers in the New. You are asking for people to give you answers that can’t be answered. But, teaching that God wants to heal all is what Jesus did, what we do and always will. Many times people die because people quit fighting for them and often the person them self quits because of the grief of families. I have seen that at times. But, the model for healing is clear to me and I never change that standard based on who does or does not get healed. God is the healer and we lack in understanding and walking in that. However, more and more people are becoming beneficiaries of the growth in understanding healing.

  128. dwayne says:

    Hi pdavis. Im not going to dispute the healings u witnessed. Im not going to dispute gods CHARACTER from old testament to new. I want to focus on what u would tell a grieving unsaved person who lost a saved faithfilled loved one who claimed on his deathbed that itis gods will to heal them.

    • pdavis1958 says:

      You are still going after the situation that HAS TO have a faith address it that God wants to heal and is going to. The end result is we have had countless families and many unbelievers included in that who are still alive because we fought for them. If you are going to focus on the few then you miss the target which is to go after all. I don’t credit God for His wisdom not to heal. I apologize to the family the same way I would if I don’t have the power to see them set free from something in their life. Everyone who came to Jesus for healing was healed and those who were in bondage were ALL set free. He is my only model and as I grow in knowledge of Him and His works, I see more people win these battles.

  129. Mrs. Godfearing Saved by Grace says:

    Yes, God always has our Best interest in mind and that is to Know HIM. Not simply know about HIM. Come what may by His Grace = His own Shed Blood I will praise the Lord! In Jesus Holy Blood Love amen!


  130. The realist says:

    This lesson is laughable! To say that God only does the good and none of the bad? Please. Supposedly, everything goes through Him! That is a ludacris statement. God is vindictive, vengeful, and jealous just like humans. It’s ridiculous to say he isn’t.

  131. Job is not saying that everything good that God gives HE will will take away, Job is saying that God gave all of the things that I lost to me and He allowed them to be taken away. Job realized what most of us do not, everything we have, is not ours. Its literally all God’s. He made it all, He just lets us be stewards of the things we have. So when Job said this, he’s saying: God wanted to me to be the steward of all this stuff, now he doesn’t, and I will continue to praise Him because I am still saved. If we believe the logic that you are saying most people believe in, then God takes away the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us that He would send another Comforter and that He would be with us always, even unto the ends of the earth, so if God takes this away, then He is lying. It is physically impossible for God to lie and from the logic that you present, God is lying. And that’s not possible. So Job isn’t saying God WILL take away all good things, he is saying He CAN take away all good things.

    • There are many instances in the old testament where the spirit was taken away, but none after the ressurection.

  132. The concept suggested that God takes away impurity is like the concept that he takes away what is missing. You cannot take something from nothing. I was wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. And the LORD gave me comfort, peace, provision for all my need, opened my eyes to see him and clothed me. You don’t take away darkness with a vacuum or a broom you add LIGHT. As Albert Einstein said, “Darkness does not exist. Darkness is merely the absence of LIGHT.” More goodness is the answer to everything missing, lacking in our experience.

  133. lemosam827 says:

    I understand Paul Ellis’ point regarding the truth that can be found in the gospel of John where Jesus gives life and it is the thief (understood as Satan and/or those influenced by him) who steals and kills, etc. The over arching theme of the Bible is God providing a way for man to be reconciled back to God. Thank God!

    I am sincerely sorry if I missed Paul’s adequate response to some people who included discussing another perspective in response to Paul Ellis’ title “Does God Give And Take Away?” They believe God is capable of of “taking away” or removing something from some one or some group. I understand their point as well. For example, Rev. 2:5 says, ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lamp stand out of its place—unless you repent.” Clearly God is capable of removing (or “taking away”) something for His purpose of discipline, maturity, devotion, worship, (etc.) in regard to our relationship to Him. The couple of Paul Ellis’ responses I found seemed to minimize this other aspect where God can “take away” or remove something.

    We should give each other grace realizing that it is difficult to write a completely exhaustive systematic theology covering every aspect relating to whether God can “take away” or remove something. There are valid points in this blog that are worth acknowledging courteously and adequately.

  134. lemosam827 says:

    I just re-read Paul Ellis’ title of this blog and recognize that there are several ways to interpret the theme. It appears that his thesis may be “If God gives a person something God will not take that ‘something’ away from that person. If that ‘something’ is taken away from that person then someone or something else (demonic related) is responsible for taking it away. In this case God can not and should not be blamed.” If this is Mr. Ellis’ message then he has presented provocative points. Are there exceptions? maybe. We might get every question answered in heaven. Until then may we continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (2 Pet. 3:18).” I like what the German Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century, Rupertus Meldenius, wrote: In essentials unity (Eph. 4:3), in non-essentials liberty (Rom. 14), in all things charity (“caritas” (Latin) = “Christian love; or charity” (English)) (Col. 3:14).

  135. Why did Aaron & Moses didn’t physically touch the promise land ? Why did Israelites still doubted God even when they have Seen His power & sovereignty for 40 years ? .Mankind has a moral responsibility too.Who has to rebuke you then when you don’t listen ?

    Luke 22:31-33 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

    It is not blind fate,unbridled evil,man or devil,but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world,ruling it according to his own good pleasure and for his own eternal glory.

    It helps to ask for clarity in prayer as some things are a mystery that we are not able to understand.

    The God of Abraham,Isaac,Jacob is eternally in control & mankind have a moral responsibility which is to fix their eyes onto Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  136. Having had to experience parting with my precious son at a young age, who I believe GOD CHOSE to take to be with Him in Heaven, if you go down the route that the devil takes away our loved ones, then you totally deny God’s Sovereignty. NOTHING can happen in this world without God’s permission – even satan has no power without God allowing him. God chooses to ALLOW suffering, death and pain to come into our lives, as Christians, so that we may come to know Him more fully – sharing in the suffering of His dear son at Calvary.
    Stop giving satan credence! We have a power greater than the power that is in the world.
    God is eternally in control – He has not promised us a life without suffering (John 16:33) and even when we don’t understand what HE has ALLOWED to happen, then He simply says “Trust me” – only until that day when the great plan will be revealed and then our suffering will have been worth it all – when we see the One who suffered unbearably for our sin and guilt.

    The prosperity gospel is NOT the gospel of Scripture. Give unto God the honour, power, worship and authority which He is due.
    God can use our pain to His glory.

    • There should be no pain after the death of a child, on the loss or knowing your child will or is dying all you experience is grief for your temperal loss, for God there is no loss here.Being good is no issue for a small child being loved is everything and this saves a child, read Mark10:14-23 our riches become pur behavior , our behavior is important but it should not be out riches.

    • Tompsy, I’m very sorry for your loss and yes, God is a redemptive and loving Father who can turn our pain into good.

      However, if God’s sovereignty” means that God is responsible for all the suffering and death in the world, then this definition is at odds with scripture. The Bible never says God is in control, in this sense. In fact, it says the exact opposite.

      • Hey paul.. Was it gods will that 11 of the 12 apostles suffered a painful death for the sake of the gospel? If it wasnt then whos was it and what could they have done to change it?

      • It is not God’s will that any perish, yet people perish – including the apostles. If you ask me who’s will it was that they were persecuted and tortured – it was not their heavenly Father’s! More here and here.

  137. Yes brother paul it is not gods will that people should perish( hell) but that all should come to repentance (salvation). Are u sayin the apostles r in hell according to ur interpretation of 2peter 3:9? If perish means physical death then how do u interpret john 3:16( that whosoever belevith shall not PERISH but hav eternal life? Im confused on ur definition of perish in the text. Also if it wasnt gods will for them to die a marytrs death then why did he allow it to happen? Did it not bring him glory? Thanx for ur previous response..

    • No, I don’t think the apostles are in hell. God can take all the evils inflicted by men and redeem them for his glorious purposes (Rom 8:28), but that is not the same as saying it’s his will for men to be evil and to inflict evil upon others.

    • Hi Dwayne, the problem is we do not believe what we believe or speak, a man who has eternal life cannot die or get sick, this is just a part of the lie that still remains, it is an illusion, that deceives those that do not believe what they believe.We overcomplicate and spiritualize everything God says, when even he says that his words are plain and easy to those that believe.

  138. I agree with wholeheartedly with what u just said and i know u dont believe the apostles r in hell but do u understand why i made that statement when u referencened apostles perishing with 2 peter 3:9? U might b wondering what does this hav to do with does the lord taketh away.. My point is when we misinterpret scriture or read scripture out of context we can hav a false biblical worldview and i know u get that. I consider u to b a man of much wisdom and i respect ur convictions. Im just a firm believer thru scripture that health,wealth,prosperity adding physical healing with the gospel is false hope for christians.

  139. God giveth everything and then takes it away
    Humbug Scrub resident Alex Demchenko, whose home was destroyed in the fire

    Sunday Mail 4 January 2015

  140. Acts 9:16 says, ” For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

    The above verse seems to indicate that the suffering Paul experienced was a result of God’s will. Any comments please??

    • God wanted Paul to know that he was chosen, hand-picked by God, to be his witness “to Gentiles and kings and to the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15). But God also wanted to know that this wasn’t going to be a cushy assignment – there would be suffering involved, partly because of people like himself! In 2 Corinthians Paul details some of the hardships he faced as he traveled the Mediterranean.

      “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Cor 11:23-27)

      Paul suffered much for preaching the gospel of God’s grace, but this suffering wasn’t brought about by the will of God. It was the will of wicked men. Jesus spoke much about this here.

      • The suffering may not have been brought about by god but the will of wicked men is governed by a sovereign god. Who then is ultimately responsible?

      • The people who did it are responsible, but if you must place further blame – and I see no point – then blame Adam who opened the door to sin, or the serpent who tempted him to do so.

      • Satan was created to fulfill the purposes of God. This did not change because he rebelled. what changed was his purpose to worship changed to stark comparison to God’s Love.

      • Why is there a Devil if God is responsible for everything then, including the will of Man? How would God not have more of a governing force on Angels then as well? If that’s the case then Lucifer would never have been able to use his will to go against God, including the angels that went with him (Lucifer). Why would not Satan have more of a Governing will on evil men, then a Good and Loving God?

      • I think josephs life clarifys that his struggles were not just from adams sin or satan. Sure- his brothers meant it for evil but the text doesnt say thatsatan meant it for good. God meant(purposed,willed,foreknew,predestined) it for good and its all to bring him glory. 1peter3:17 For it is better, if the will of god be so,that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

  141. woow…. thank you alot, i real use to think that Gods take but after reading that post… o wow i now know that suffering is from the devil and we have to fight in the name of jesus. may God bless you.

  142. In response to the comments about the apostles having died horrible deaths: This is church lore generated by an organization that ruled through fear tactics for over a thousand years, kept the Bible to themselves and away from the general public, used torture, and ushered in the Dark Ages. Besides what happened to James at the hands of Herod, which is recorded in the scriptures, how do we really know what happened to them? How do we know that they, or at least some of them, did not accomplish the dematerialization and spiritualization of thought necessary to follow their Lord through ascension?

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