Is All Difficulty in Life a Sign of Sin?

There is a mistaken notion that difficulty (or the lack of prosperity) in life is necessarily a direct result of our sin (either inwardly or outwardly). And, it is because of this sin that God withholds His blessing from us. The converse notion is also faulty, that prosperity is necessarily a sign of God’s favor or approval.

In the Book of Job, Job’s so-called friends criticize him because of the difficulties he experiences. It is often cited as evidence that the Jews in biblical times held these views regarding calamity and/or prosperity. But this is faulty thinking. In Jewish religious thought, Job’s “friends” are an example of people who were essentially unmerciful, judgmental and tended to project their own woes and opinions upon their suffering friend.

But, the best evidence that suffering is not always because of sin is expressed by Yeshua himself when he healed the blind man. He said that this man was not blind because of sin, but in order to glorify God (John 9:3). And, there are other examples too.

Certainly suffering can be caused by sin, but often God uses difficulty simply to “test” us in the sense of “to strengthen us.” It is like when a tree is buffeted by the wind. If a young tree is “staked” too firmly, its roots will be weak. But, if it’s allowed to sway a little (not too much of course), then the roots of the trunk get strong

Also, the assumption that prosperity is a sign of God’s favor is false. Even a superficial reading of the Psalms (Psa 145:9) and the words of Yeshua  continually remind us that God “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Mat 5:45). “All things,” Paul tells us, are given to us through the “gracious” hand of God (Rom 8:32). He has a purpose for our lives and even in difficulty we can be greatly encouraged and can take comfort in the understanding that He is with us.

Scroll to Top