Where was God when...? - 5 - Tough love

Ever wonder where God was when...?  Ever had a need that God didn't seem to meet?  Ever think that God just didn't care about you in your circumstance?

Below is an article written by John Piper to an eleven year old boy named "Tommy" about these very questions. Take time to think through and investigate these thoughts and compare them against what God's Word says. Because of the articles length, it has been broken up into 7 parts. 



TOUGH LOVE

I understand, Tommy, if you say, “It doesn’t feel like love.” No, it doesn’t. But think about this with me. When a doctor puts stitches in your chin, because you cut it open, it hurts. But he’s loving you. When a shepherd pulls a sheep out of a thorn bush, it hurts the sheep. But the shepherd is caring for the sheep. When a fireman tosses you from a burning window to the fireman’s arms below, the fall hurts you. But they are saving you. And if your Daddy ever spanks you, you can be sure, he does it only because he loves you, and wants you to be strong and good and happy forever.

I call this tough love. It hurts. Why does Jesus sometimes love us this way? Why does he let us go hungry? The Bible tells us some of the reasons he loves with this kind of tough love.

For example, it says that he wants us to love him more than we love food — or anything else, even more than we love our mother and father. Jesus said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). Jesus wants us to trust him, and love him, and want him, more than we want food or parents or clothing or even life.

So sometimes he takes away what we want, in order to test us, and to help us trust in him more than anything. One time Paul was suffering so much he thought he was going to die. But he knew God’s purpose was good. God was loving Paul with tough love. So Paul said, “That suffering was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). God’s good purpose in Paul’s pain was to help him trust in God, rather than health and life.

Article Source: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/letter-to-a-teenager-in-need