Christianity is in no way a stoic faith. It fundamentally rejects the “stiff upper lip” school of thought. Unfortunately, some Christians are guilty of throwing out an equivalent sentiment when they play the “God is sovereign” card as a way to trump every evil that comes your way.
“Sure, trouble will come, but don’t cry,” says the Sovereignty Card Stoic. “Don’t allow yourself to feel deep, painful emotions. After all, God is in complete control. If you show lack of self-control, you must not be living in faith.”
The less traditional version of this religious stoicism is what is known as the prosperity gospel. Taken to the extreme, the prosperity worldview essentially makes the experience of brokenness and pain the fault of the sufferer because of the inability to muster enough personal faith. I’ve actually heard people say that we tie God’s hands when we don’t simply reach out in faith and take what He promised. Whether it’s money, health, or success, we suffer in life because we haven’t exercised our faith.
If you have heard—or are hearing—these kinds of things, someone is lying to you. Such responses to pain and suffering are utter folly. This is not a biblically faithful way to respond to suffering, and neither does God treat it that way. According to Romans 8, the fallenness of humankind has cosmic ramifications. We live amid devastating brokenness, and the cure for this is nothing less than Jesus dying on the cross for sinners like you and me.
Tullian Tchividjian, Glorious Ruin