Sunday Worship Service 5 pm

Monday, October 10, 2011

How can one believe in God when he allows so much suffering ?

Isn´t this the single biggest challenge to the Christian faith, when God is supposed to be a God of love, and a God of justice?

We live in a world full of war, cruelty, atrocities, hunger, sexual abuse of little children, greed, selfishness and broken hearts wherever you look around !

If God is good, then why does he allow evil ? If God is almighty, why doesn´t he make people behave ? 

So, is he cruel, indifferent, impotent, or just non-existent ?

We know that there can not be true love where there is no free will and a choice. In view of the Creator, this includes the possibility to choose something else than the good God intended for man. And there will be consequences where choices are made.

Should God eliminate our free will in order to prevent evil ? Or should he only eliminate the effects of our bad choices ?

Both would turn out to be a chess game. God doesn´t play chess with us. No, he doesn´t. He is too serious about His free choice to love us, inspite of all our self-determined God-less ways.

But what, then, is this all about ? Suffering and evil is so meaningless !

WHERE IS GOD when there is immense pain ???

Reading the book, "The Case For Faith" by journalist Lee Strobel, I found this passage a key response - not answer ! - when you find suffering, pain and injustice overwhelming:

"I could never myself believe in God if it were not for the cross..."

> Why is he saying that ??? <

"In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it ?

“I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world.

"But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me !

"God laid aside his immunity to pain.

“He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us.
“Our sufferings become more manageable in light of His.

"There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross which symbolizes divine suffering.

"The cross of Christ is God´s only self-justification in such a world as ours."

(Citing John R.W. Stott)

I find immense comfort in the hope that suffering, agony, sorrow and even tragic death is not the end of anybody´s story. God will end all war, injustice, tears and sorrow when he comes back to be the righteous King of this world.

All our questions will be answered then. All our suffering will be fully and more than enough compensated for. Every evil will be forgotten forever. 

This world as it is right now is not the end of the story.

For now, God wants us to know: He is willing to do and to give everything to mend this broken world. In fact, He already did. He could not have given any more. And the immeasurable sacrifice of His own heartblood will not be in vain.

God will write the last chapter of history. And it will end even better than when it began.

This is a very realistic hope.

What other answer could you offer ? None. Or do you ?

Jasna Beocanin

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