I was asked a question about God yesterday: “Why does God allow little children to suffer terrible illnesses?” It is the age-old issue of God, evil and suffer. How do they coexist if indeed God is a loving God. I don’t like watching little children suffer. I don’t like watching footage of earthquake and tsunami damage. But suffering is part of life…but why?
My first response was that God created this world perfect but sin messed it up…and God was grieved (to put it mildly). But the suffering we experience in this world is not the end for God has overcome the world. God overcame the world through the death and resurrection of Jesus. As I sat and pondered this issue some more I was drawn to John 16 where Jesus is comforting his disciples. Jesus closes that chapter by saying “I 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.“ Praise be to God!
I still don’t like suffering. I still grieve when little children suffer terrible illnesses and when I see reports of natural disasters. And…I still ask that age-old question from time to time: Why God, why? But each time God comes through with words of reassurance and hope; strengthening my faith through reminding me of his love. And through this faith strengthening I am reminded that this is not the end. My faith tells me that when I am going through hard times that God is right there with me. My faith tells me that in the midst of suffering God is right there whispering those words of Jesus in my ear and in my heart. My faith tells me that when Satan takes his best shot to drive me to despair I can respond by saying, “You have already lost! My God has defeated you and has given me the victory through Jesus Christ so go away!”
Evil and suffering are here to stay…for the time being…but take heart…Jesus has overcome the world FOR YOU and FOR ME.
Praise be to God!
3 thoughts on “Overcome”
Good stuff! I’m glad you are blogging again 🙂
I have two answers I give when someone asks me about the problem of evil and suffering. First, I say, “God could ask you the same question. Why do *you* allow evil and suffering in the world?” My pastor teaches that God created us to be the solution (through Him) for every problem in the world. Is someone hungry? Then why isn’t someone feeding him? Is someone sick? Then do as James instructed (James 5) and lay hands on her, anoint her with oil and pray that she be healed! The second answer I give is, I suppose, cheating a bit, but I like it 🙂 The unbeliever frequently asks, “If God is real, why is there suffering in the world?” But, isn’t it equally valid to ask, “If God is *not* real, why is there *GOOD* in the world?” I mean, if you are going to deny God when there is suffering, then shouldn’t we acknowledge Him when things are going swimmingly?
Very good points. When I talk about the 4th petition of the Lord’s Prayer (Give us this day our daily bread), I talk with the students about being the solution; that world hunger is not God dropping the ball but humanity.
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