It’s difficult to know how to respond to the all too frequent news of suffering that we see as we turn on our televisions and social media news feeds. As Christians, we can take comfort in the fact that God is not surprised by suffering and offers hope and rescue in the midst of it. Below is a short response. In this brief space, we can never say enough but might be a helpful starting point in thinking and praying through the suffering that we ourselves encounter and see unfolding before us.
God created a perfect world where there was no sin, suffering, sickness, separation or death. But when humans rebelled against God, this was all turned upside down. Men and women were separated from God. God did not intend the world to be as it is, but all that He made was marred. Sin ‘put a spanner in the works’!
God wants us to turn from what is wrong, and ask the once crucified, but now risen Jesus to forgive us, and live within us as Lord and Saviour. He promises that He will take us through life, through death and then to be with Him forever in heaven. Heaven is not a reward; it is a gift for those who will receive Jesus into their lives.
To trust Jesus like this does not mean that there will be no more suffering. Christians find that they are swimming against the tide of the world’s thinking, and that can be hard. Nor does it mean that every question will be answered. Christians are always trying to find out more about the God they love because He first loved them and gave Himself for them. However, it does mean that we have a new relationship with the true and living God.
We can rest in the certainty that He knows what He is doing even if we don’t always understand why.
Christ’s suffering on the cross was also the result of sin – but not His own. Through Christ’s death, God is able to forgive and change all those who come to Him.
God sometimes takes terrible circumstances and uses them for good. Often it is when people are at their lowest that they begin to realise how empty life is without God.
The Bible says…
“Even, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”
This is a very short excerpt from Grill a Christian – which tackles 65 questions about God, the Bible and the word.