How Can I Comfort Her?

Q. How do you comfort someone and reassure her that God loves her after she was raped and beaten? She is 21 years old and was overpowered by an intruder in her home. She barely survived the ordeal. I know to tell her that it is Satan and not God that brings these things across our path but that would mean that she probably had unconfessed sins which broke the fellowship and allowed the devil to get a hold on her. But how do you tell someone that it is her own fault that something so horrific happened to her.

A. I would never suggest that an attack such as you mentioned was the victim’s fault or that God allowed it. First, you have no way of knowing the circumstances of another person’s relationship with the Lord, or even if there is one. Second, this world is not governed by a fair cause and effect relationship between behavior and outcome. If it was there would be no innocent children starving or being mistreated in other ways. In Job’s case God specifically authorized Satan to afflict him because of his unconfessed sin. But terrible, outrageous things happen to people without God’s permission and for no apparent reason because like it or not Satan’s in charge here, at least for now (1 John 5:19).

If you believe God is calling you to comfort this person tell her that. If she’s a believer tell her that God is angry about what happened to her and has promised to be her avenger (Hebrews 10:30). Tell her that He’s given her the strength to get past this (Phil. 4:13). Tell her He loves her with all His heart and one day soon she will be with Him forever in a place where nothing like this can ever happen again.

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