Sunday, September 11, 2011

Biblical Suffering

I plan to post later a recap of yesterdays triathlon.. wow what an experience, but I felt like in honor of Today's 10th anniversary of 9-11-01 I would pass along a few encouraging words for those who are still dealing with this loss or with suffering of any kind. These are notes from our  pastor's sermon this morning that I felt like need to share. 

There are Christians who will claim that because we are Christians we shouldn't know suffering. They will claim we should never question where God is in our suffering, that we should simply blindly accept whatever he sends our way. There is even one particular famous preacher I can think of who claims that if we are good enough Christians we will have everything we ever wanted and will never suffer financially, emotionally, or even physically.

I simply don't believe this is Biblical.  The bible is full of Godly men and women and their suffering.  The entire book of Job is about God allowing troubles, and suffering to test Job's character. in the end Job finally cries out to God and begins to ask the questions on his heart about why He was going through all the torment. 

David, known in the Bible as a man after God's own heart, questioned God after he lost his firstborn son.

Psalm 13[a]    For the director of music. A psalm of David.
 1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
   How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
   and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
   How long will my enemy triumph over me?
 3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
   Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
   and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
 5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
   my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise,
   for he has been good to m

In Matthew 27 we see the story of Jesus' friend Lazarus and how he died, then we see how even though they were believers his sisters boldly questioned Jesus about why they were suffering. 

Jesus himself suffered more than we can ever understand. He was turned on by his friends,he was denied by his closest comrades, he was brutally beaten and forced to endure pain beyond which we can imagine. One of his last statements he asked "My God My God Why Have you forsaken me?"

Suffering is an unfortunate part of the human condition and right now millions of people around the world are suffering for one reason or another. Some have seen marriages fall apart, others have lost a loved one, others are just overwhelmed by the enormity of life. As we are going through this suffering it is only natural to question "Where is God?" Why is God allowing this to happen?" "Does God exist?" Asking the questions of God is a part of dealing with the suffering.

I can't answer these questions in your time of suffering or in mine, but I can share this analogy that my preacher shared this morning. If you have a child who is very young and you have to take them to the doctor for a very painful procedure that will help them later, how can you possibly explain that to the child. You can't. The child doesn't have the ability to understand, you can only hope they will trust in you to do what is best for them.

I believe God is the same as a loving parent. We can't always understand why he causes or allows bad things to happen. Even if he tried to explain his cosmic plan we don't have the ability to understand it. Even though we can't understand it we must, like a child believe that our Heavenly Father will only allow us to go through things that will somehow bring about his will for us. 

We also have hope in the end:

Revelation 21:3-4

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

In the end there will be no more suffering and there will be no more pain. Until that time comes none of us will be without hardship, it is during these times that God is pulling us closer to him if we will let him. I send prayers out now to anyone who is suffering the loss of a loved one whether from 9/11, or from any other reason. I pray that you boldly go to God and don't be afraid to ask him the questions that are on your heart. I pray that you wait for him to respond  and trust in his divine goodness that we will never fully understand. 

1 comment:

  1. I love you! And I thank God all the time for bringing such a wonderful and faithful man into my life. I am so incredibly thankful to see God working so wonderfully in our lives, even though I am scared to death of what it may bring. And I pray if the day comes that we must endure a situation bringing about suffering that we will keep this mind.