The problem of evil/suffering

Hello!

I have this Christian friend of 8 years. More than anything else in the world, she longs for a healthy relationship with her mother.

From I understand, her mother has treated her unfairly from childhood, sees her as a failure, sometimes doesn’t seem to care how she’s doing. She has shed tears, she doesn’t even value relationships for fear her mother will ruin them. She’s prayed and prayed, but it seems to make matters worse. My recent conversations with her trouble me: “I’m beginning to doubt God exists”, “I’m slowly dying”, “I’m depressed”, “I’m homeless”.

What advise can I give her as a Christian friend?

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@oryn_yong So sorry to hear that your friend is suffering in this way… Praying for wisdom as you minister to her and that the Lord give her wisdom / encouragement :slight_smile: As a friend, I think there are a few things that make sense to me to do:

  • let her know how much she is loved by you and by Jesus
  • let her know that even if her situation does not change, it does not mean Jesus does not love her. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “In this world you will suffer, but fear not, for I have conquered the world.” This life is not the end of the story. God wins! One day death will die and all tears will be wiped away. I love reading Revelation 20-22 about the New Heavens and New Earth as a reminder of this truth
  • Prayer is not a guarantee that our situation will change, but instead a way in which God walks with us through every situation - God does not force people to change because of our prayers, but that does not mean that He does not hear us
  • It sounds to me like your friend has a boundary issue with their mother - they do not have healthy boundaries. If they are still living with their parent, I recognize it could be hard to establish healthy boundaries. But it may be worth giving Henry Cloud’s book a read

Also, here is a thread on prayer

May the Lord Jesus encourage her heart and protect her from further harm :slight_smile:

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@oryn_yong @SeanO has already given you excellent advice and I cannot add to it, but I would like to encourage you to intercede in prayer for your friend.

A number of years ago I went through a lengthy period of discouragement. I didn’t see changes I thought should be happening and entertained thoughts like your friend’s.
I doubted myself and God and considered many times giving up on Christianity even though I was in ministry.

I am convinced that intercession helped to get me through. Despite the depth of my despair, there were times I could feel my spirits lift even though I couldn’t find it in myself to pray. The small group of elderly for whom I conducted worship services every other Sunday told me from time to time they prayed for me, even though I hadn’t asked them to. The times my spirits improved, they had been praying for me.

Through intercession, God allows us to stand in the place of the one who cannot. It seems that you are in that place for your friend at the moment. I encourage you to pray not only for her, but also on her behalf, and I think you will see God work in ways you can’t imagine.

May the Lord give you wisdom and strength as you help your friend endure.

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@oryn_yong I am truly sorry for what your friend is going through. I have somewhat a similar situation with my father. What immensely helps me is to remember that I have my Heavenly Father, who never stops loving me and caring for me, even when my earthly father does. I encourage you to be there for your friend, pray with her and remind her of the love of God poured out so lavishly on the cross for us.

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Thank you @SeanO
That has been helpful

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Thank you @dennis.gladden
Will definitely intercede for her.

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