Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Faithfulness in Good Times & Bad

"His wife said, 'Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!'

He told her, 'You're talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?'

Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God."
Job 2:9-10 (The Message)

With all this sadness that is happening in the world lately, do you wonder, like some, how can a God that is so loving, allow this to happen? The answer is simple—nobody knows yet. Anybody who claims to know is only offering a best guess. When I get to Heaven that is one of the first questions I will ask God.

I wonder all the time about this because I see so many victims of suffering, grief and abuse. Just watch the news, read your local newspaper, listen to the radio. Some even say that it is because these people have "sinned". That they are getting their just rewards. But who are we to make that judgment? Only our Heavenly Father can make such a judgment.

Why did God let His own Son, Jesus, to suffer enormous physical, emotional and spiritual pain, even including death on the cross? It wasn't because of any sin Jesus committed, but was to pay for the sins of the world. God also allowed the Apostle Paul to be shipwrecked a couple times, stoned almost to death a few times, to go hungry sometimes, and to die in prison. God allowed an innocent Job to suffer horrible skin diseases, almost to his death, and suffer the death of his children, livestock and the loss of all his barns, which represented all his wealth.

We see every day how sin in people's lives brings all sorts of suffering, not only to them, but also to the innocent people around them. Just because sin often brings suffering, it would be foolish for us to assume that all suffering is the result of sin because of the examples of Jesus, Paul, Job and others in the Bible who suffered horribly in spite of being innocent.

I can only encourage you to accept not knowing why; trust that there must be some reason why God allows it and even predicts that it will get worse and worse until He comes back to earth Himself to bring everlasting peace.

What is the best thing you can do? Pray. Pray for the Lord's love, peace and wisdom to fill these people of Japan and anywhere else that there is turmoil. This may sound harsh, but you know that old saying, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." Well, sometimes, it takes the worst of times to bring people that would otherwise be too busy or too proud or too self sufficient, to their knees, crying out to a Heavenly Father that has been longing to have them come running into His loving arms, calling "Abba, Abba."

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