God leading us into and through pain does not mean it is His doing or His desire. Our broken world and the mess of sin in our lives has provided a stage for redemption–in a grand sense, but also down to the details of our individual stories. Yes, He has all-knowledge about what we will face, but that doesn’t make Him the one who causes tragedy. Instead of assigning torment and suffering to God falsely like Job, we should have a Jesus-centered perspective that provides us with a real understanding of our difficulties, but also offers an actual answer.
Jesus acknowledged the presence of pain that we would experience, yet never gave pain to people as a lesson or claimed that the Father was the Author of it. Jesus did, in fact, come to reveal that the Father’s heart was to alleviate what sin caused: suffering, sickness, and death (Is 61). He replaced the fatalistic sound of defeat with the promise of a secure triumph: “I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).
And…just because God knows what we will face doesn’t mean it was “His will” that you would go through it. To assert something so bold is to argue it was His will for Adam and Eve to sin in the first place.
Does God use the awful things that we go through to shape us? Of course! It’s in His very nature to redeem everything–look at the cross! God’s will is that His glory would be displayed through your suffering, which is His skillful ability to turn wrong things right (Rom 8:28). He takes tragedy after tragedy and turns it into a triumphant picture of His love.
If your view of god more closely mirrors a harsh dictator who is punishing you with sickness, challenges, weakness, and difficulty just to form some character in you or “teach you a lesson,” then maybe it’s time to clean the lenses you’ve been looking through. Jesus is not the thief or the killer or the destroyer–He’s the Giver of abundant life (Jn 10:10)! Dig deep into the Gospels and see Jesus, who shows us what God is really like (Heb 1:3). He’s good–always.