Sunday, July 28, 2013

Why Pain and Suffering? Guest Post by Bill Davis

"Why would a just and loving God allow us to go through such things as the loss of a spouse or other loved one?" It is a very fair question. As Christians, we must stand firm in our belief that God works all things to our good.

Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV); "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

We must have faith that our trials and tribulations have a divine purpose. Is God responsible for human suffering? Is God cruel and vindictive? If God truly is all loving and powerful, then how can He let someone He loves suffer? Are these unfair questions for Christians to ask? Our usual response to tragedy is to blame God. Those who don't believe in God seem to be the first to blame the God they don't believe in. God created a perfect earth and mankind and women-hood through Adam and Eve. He put them in a perfect place but due to our greed and desire for self will, sin came into the world.

Genesis 1:1 & 26-27 Selected; New International Version (NIV); "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image.' So God created mankind in His own image."

God never meant for us to suffer, but we chose to "do it our way". Something really must have happened to change God's design and intention of creation—that something was free will and sin. God's ultimate desire was for us to be more Christ-like. I like the fact that Jesus did not hesitate to say that we would surely experience pain and suffering.

John 16:33 New International Version (NIV); “I (JESUS) have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We look at all things from an earthly state while God looks and directs all from a Divine state. It is His Word that leads and comforts us.  

1 Peter 1:6-9 New International Version (NIV); " In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

I have personally struggled with an answer to the question of why God allows suffering. Once, as I was talking with a strong and somewhat well-known follower of God's word; I asked him that question. After several moments of complete silence, he simple said: "I do not know". He went on to say; "I don’t have God’s mind. I don’t see with God’s eyes." Profound? Yes. 

1 Corinthians 13:12 New International Version (NIV); "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

"So when you ask about specific individual events and want to know why this particular thing happened, we won’t get the full answer in this world. Someday we’ll see with clarity, but for now things are foggy. We can’t understand everything from our finite perspective."

Romans 8:22 New International Version (NIV); "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

Trials develop Godly character, and that enables us to lead others to Him. Sure, it is hard to understand and often does not even seem fair; but it is the orchestration of God.

Romans 5:3-5 New International Version (NIV); "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

Bill Davis serves through Lighthouse Ministries, speaking in churches across Anderson Country, South Carolina. He is also the Executive Pastor of The Bridge Church, an outreach of Anderson University.

No comments:

Post a Comment