Q. Do you think God puts difficult people in our lives for a purpose? Do you think God wants us to spend more time with difficult people and let friendly people out of our lives? Do you think He puts them there to shape us, to mold us, to change our hearts, and to helps us grow to become more Christ-like (i.e conforming to the image of His Son-which is spiritual growth)?
A. I know the Bible shows us how to deal with difficult people, but I have trouble believing it’s because God deliberately puts difficult people in our lives to help us grow to become more Christ-like. I don’t understand what His point would be in doing so, since He’s going to instantaneously perfect us in the rapture. That’s when we’ll conformed to the image of His son. In the mean time He has already chosen to see us as thought we’re perfect (Hebrews 10:12-14), holy and blameless (Ephes. 5:27), a new creation (2 cor. 5:17).
I think Satan is the one who brings difficult people into a believer’s life, as a way of tormenting us. He does this because he’s trying to take away our joy and destroy our Christian witness in the world. The best way to combat this kind of attack is to apply the principles Jesus, Paul and others taught us. When Satan sees his methods aren’t working he will leave us alone (James 4:7-8).
In my opinion, all the talk about God doing this or that to His children (illness, strife, persecution, etc.) for some noble purpose is man’s way of denying the reality that Satan is in control of this world (1 John 5:19) and he’s the real culprit.