Yesterday we answered the question “Is it God’s will for Christians to suffer?”
Today we will be taking on question #2:
What do we make of suffering caused by human pain and evil in general?
So in keeping with the thought that God doesn’t desire suffering, what should our response be about the problems of human pain and evil? Cancer, AIDS, war, human trafficking and other notorious evils and results of sin are all so horrific and backwards from the promise that Jesus gives of being and giving life (John 10:10; 14:6). We learn from David that God is “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5). We also know that he is gracious and compassionate. All of these are character traits we should desire to possess in order to bring the peace of Christ into the world’s suffering and broken situations. I believe that God often allows events such as the earthquake in Japan (http://wp.me/p1oVBU-22 and http://wp.me/p1oVBU-1y) to catch people’s attention of his love, power and sovereignty.
Isaiah 26:9 says, “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.”
In closing, when having this discussion it is important to engage people in a loving way when we encounter questions about suffering. Never blame it on God, always refer to it as one of the effects of the Fall, and share what God’s ultimate plan of restoration is for those who call on His name. Don’t question people’s spirituality or faith if they are or are not suffering. God, in His sovereignty, will take us through anything we are meant to go through and is faithfully there with us through it all.
If you missed Theology of Suffering Part 1 here’s the link: http://wp.me/p1oVBU-8u