Friday, April 9, 2010

He Groans With Us

Many people are challenged and want to know why God would allow pointless evil and suffering to exist; who are angry and distrusting in Him, because they have experienced heartache, tragedy, and illness. And I see for many of them, this destroys their faith, and they reject God because of the cruelty, sorrow, and pain they have endured. They groan through all of the turmoil they have encountered, and are pessimistic of the days to come. But when life is going our way, and when it is carefree and great, we often forget about God which is not pleasing to Him! He wants us to worship Him, with thanksgiving, in the good times and the bad. When we suffer is when we should turn to Him and trust faithfully. 

"Jesus promised His followers that another being would come to be with them in their struggles-a comforter, a teacher, and advocate. He promised His Holy Spirit. Not only does the spirit convict us of sin and teach truth, He endures our suffering with us. He has been "called alongside" to help us endure." (Swindoll)
"I believe that all suffering is at least potential good; an opportunity for good. It's up to our free will to actualize that potential. Not all of us benefit from suffering and learn from it because that's up to us; it's up to our free will. And not only can we make the decision about how we are going to react to the suffering but God says I will help you in the process." (Unknown)

We have probably all felt that God has let us down at one time or another, but I don't believe that God rejoices about the bad things that have happened. It becomes much too easy to blame and abandon God during these times of conflict. However, with every disappointment, give it time and trust that God will sanctify you in your deepest distress. God disciplines us just as we discipline our own children (for our own good!), so that we might learn and take the right path in life, and place our trust and faith in Him.

"In short, the problem of tragedy, suffering, and injustice is a problem for everyone. It is at least as big a problem for non-belief in God as for belief. It is therefore a mistake, though an understandable one, to think that if you abandon belief it somehow makes the problem of evil easier to handle." (Keller) 

Nothing we suffer can compare to the great price that Jesus paid to save us. I trust He has a plan for each and every one of us, and that we can't possibly come up with a better idea than the one already conceived in God's heart and mind! His plan may take more time than we expect...we need to have confidence in God's perfect timing and wisdom. I look forward to and wait for God to free the world from evil, sickness, and suffering to the new heaven and earth that God has promised. There is hope for future glory!

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. In the same way the spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." (Romans 8:18,26)

"God can use pain and suffering to attract us to the greatest joy in life, which is an intimate relationship with God that will continue in heaven where we'll spend eternity with Him. And the truth is, it's worth any price if it means coming to know God in that way. (Strobel) 

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