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We live in a world that is broken.
There are constant reminders all around us. Humanity is plagued by sickness, disease, disappointment and death on a consistent basis.
These things lead to suffering, sickness, sadness and pain. We really shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus told us it would be like this. In fact, on one occasion, he said, “Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows.” (John 16: 33)
Trials and sorrows are a reality in all of our lives. But don’t forget that Jesus went on to say, “But take heart because I have overcome the world.”
If you are like me, when you hear Jesus’ statement, the natural question that comes to my mind is why. Why does it have to be like this? Why does God allow all of this suffering?
That is a question that has been asked over and over through the centuries. Why does God allow so much chaos and hardship in the world? Why doesn’t he do something about it? Why do bad things happen to good people?
These are questions we have all wanted to have answered at some point. We all want to know why, but we are sometimes reluctant to ask. Maybe it seems irreverent to think like this, but sometimes, life just doesn’t seem fair.
I suppose most of us have asked the why question, especially when suffering impacts our personal lives or the life of someone we love. I am not going to pretend to be able to adequately answer the “why” question, but I do believe we can find some clarity as we turn our attention to the Word of God.
After more than 35 years of pastoral ministry, I have witnessed many personal stories of tragedy, loss and sorrow. Pain and suffering are real. None of us are exempt. We cannot ignore it.
Suffering is everywhere, and it affects us all at some point and on some level. I believe it is wise for us to listen for God’s voice whenever we are confronted by suffering or pain.
Over the next few weeks, we will dig deep for answers to one of the most difficult and most challenging questions we will ever face. I will readily admit I do not have the answer, but I believe I know the one who does.
We will look to the Word of God for answers. There is a purpose in our suffering. Sometimes, God uses suffering to get our attention. And believe it or not, God’s will can be accomplished, and his purpose can be achieved through suffering. We’ll pick up there next time.
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