Does God test us with bad things?
Too often we'll hear someone say (after going through a horrific ordeal): "Well, I guess the Lord was testing me." The more sensitive types will respond, "There's no way God would want you to go through (fill in the blank: bankruptcy, rape, divorce, disease). Doesn't James say God doesn't tempt anyone with evil?" Then the God-is-sovereign types will speak of Job and the Akedah (Gen. 22) and then say, "God doesn't cause evil. But He certainly allows it."
Of course, I'm not expecting us to solve the problem of evil and suffering, but I would like to change the way we talk about it. Shouldn't our theology of the cross help us make sense of this dilemma? Should we blame God for "allowing" evil things to happen to us? How do you talk about God's role in the testing of our faith?