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Friday, February 26, 2016

A Post About Suffering.

Why do bad things happen to good people? (from a partial post by Todd Pylant)

This question plagues the souls of believers and unbelievers alike, and while there will never seem to be an answer that will soothe the soul, there are answers. Plural.

There are many reasons why bad things happen. Sometimes, bad things happen as a consequence of our own sinful choices. At other times, bad things happen as a result of the sinful choices of someone else. Sometimes, bad things happen because all of creation is broken and fallen due to the sinful choices of humanity as a whole. At other times, bad things happen because the spiritual forces of darkness seek to devour and destroy. Sometimes bad things happen because we are being tested and prepared so that we will be more mature for good works. And sometimes bad things happen to us because we are being disciplined or punished by a Heavenly Father who loves us and by the Moral Ruler of the Universe.

The challenge in asking the question lies really in identifying which answer applies to our specific situation. In other words, we know the answers (plural) but we often don’t know the answer (singular).

How does Lamentations 3.32 influence this conversation? New International Version (NIV)

32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.

It simply states that God does cause grief.

When we struggle to reconcile the love and mercy of God and the brokenness of this world, we are tempted at times to summarize it with the simplistic saying that God allows evil and suffering but He never causes it. After all, a loving God would never cause suffering.

But Lamentations 3.32 clearly says the He does. God causes grief.

Lest we dismiss this as an unacceptable, bad idea, let us remember that we want and need the justice of God to punish the wrong doer and to bring justice into the world. We like it when God causes grief to the evil doer. What disturbs us is the idea that God might cause grief upon the righteous.

In suffering there is grief. But I find great comfort in knowing that God is sovereign over all aspects of creation, even over suffering.

It is a peace producing verse, Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose."

Footnotes:

Romans 8:28 Or that all things work together for good to those who love God, who; or that in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good—with those who
New International Version (NIV)

Being others minded is important and suffering can cause us to be a comfort to those who similiarly suffer: II Cor. 1:3-7

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves

receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your

comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Jesus said, The rain falls on the just and unjust. He also said, "Except you repent, you will all likewise perish. He was speaking of the tower of Siloam that fell on some people, and the blood of some Herod had mized with

their (Hebrew) sacrifices. Sometimes God causes earthquakes to speak to the sin of some.

IF we endure to the end we will be saved.
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