Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hope Amidst Suffering

WHY GOD? Why do You allow the suffering of innocence? Why do You seem to turn away from thousands who perish? Why the earthquakes? Why the death? Why the famine? Why the wars? Why the sorrow? Why the sickness? Why the pain? Why the fear? Why the hatred? WHY GOD?


Does questioning God make you feel uncomfortable? Do you recoil at the thought of questioning God; fearing that in His thirst for vengeance He may take umbrage and retaliate? Is THIS the God we worship?

Some would question whether God exists. They angrily conclude that if there was a “loving God” such calamities would never take place. To those I would inquire, “with whom then are you angry?”

We tend to be influenced by today’s headline news and our personal afflictions. Have you ever considered despair’s history?

The enormity of despair in the coffers of time overflows. There have been unimaginable tragedies since the very beginning of recorded history. Some are the result of natural disaster; others come by the very hand of mankind. The suffering of innocence, the indiscriminant peril by earthquake, weather, famine and sickness befalls every generation. Mankind’s sadistic thirst for power has resulted in fear, hatred and death since the beginning of time. It is easy to forget the trials of life in ages past. There are no emotional scars left from the plagues of the Middle Age; no fear from the torturous Inquisitions. Conquest, pillage, unimaginably brutality are no longer common place. The common cold is no longer a death warrant and obituaries are no longer filled with names of those dying from natural causes at 36.

The world’s saga of pain is not uncommon. It is a story repeated since the fall of man. It is a story authored by the great deceiver himself. It is vile; it is relentless, seeking to devour every vestige of hope. No one escapes its touch. Sadness and death passes upon all mankind.

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
– Romans 8:20-22

This present world system is not as God originally intended. When it becomes clear to us that except for His grace and mercy intervening throughout history mankind would already have faced cruel annihilation, when we acknowledge His provision of HOPE during history’s darkest moments - THEN we more accurately recognize God’s wondrous unmerited love.

God continues to make provision for a world desperately in need. John 3:16 states clearly:

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!”

And God provides this message of love through His children. This fact alters the responsibility.

“Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” - 2 Corinthians 5:20

It is so easy to judge. It is convenient to conclude that individuals suffering are experiencing the judgement of God. I would submit that this is not always so.

“And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither had this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” – John 9:1-3

Yes, God has provided for a world desperately in need and He continues to provide love and service through His ambassadors. What is He calling you to do – TODAY?

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