Does God Ever Send Adversity?

Andrew Wilson | January 7, 2016

A woman wrote to me recently expressing concern, and astonishment, that I could believe God sends adversity to people. It came up, ironically, because of a sermon I gave on God as our loving Father, which is usually the doctrine that people who object to God sending adversity—and there are more and more of them around these days—are eager to preserve. As I concluded my message, I encouraged the church to read Answer 26 of the Heidelberg Catechism:

I trust him so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and he will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this sad world. He is able to do this because he is almighty God; he desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.

That, for me, is a stunning affirmation of the fatherly care of God in the midst of trials, and God’s sovereignty, even over suffering, has been an enormous comfort to me personally in the past. But this lady’s objection, quite simply, was: if you think Jesus is the exact representation of God, and if there are no examples in the Gospels of Jesus bringing…

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