Thoughts

Why does God allow suffering?

Lately, I have been pondering over a thought. Why does God allow “Bad” things to happen. Where IS He, when these things happen? Is it Him that allows them to happen? Does he orchestrate chaos?

It seems so over done, over said.  Over…asked.  “If God is so perfect and holy, then why would he allow children to starve?”  Its the most common argument, and the most answered question.  The one that Im sure everyone asks, at one point or another. 

For a while, I tried to accept that in some small way, He enjoyed seeing His people, suffer. But after not being able to accept that, I chocked it up to, perhaps, I wasn’t saved. If God really was allowing these things happen, maybe He was trying to lead me to Him. For a few weeks, I was really tore up about this. Confused, frustrated, and not able to find any real hope. Anywhere.

Lately, however. Ive been seeing things differently.

First off…What I see as bad, might not really BE bad. What I consider to be tragic might not be. I don’t see the whole picture, I don’t understand everything. Who am I, to really question Gods sovereignty?

Secondly…He is there. Through thick and thin. When I go down, He is there. When I come up. Hes still there. When He seems far, He is still there. Its not HIM who has “Wandered” away. Its me.

Third…(my personal favorite) God allows everything to happen. Nothing happens outside of His will. Or without His knowledge. He knows, and allows everything to happen. I should be able to rest knowing that what is happening, is happening with Gods knowledge.

But because He is God, and He cannot stand sin, He doesn’t orchestra sin.  So then, whats up?

Let me see if I can explain some of this.

When God created the world, He created it perfect. He created a perfectly sinless world. Where His children could live a sin free, and therefore, pain free, life. He also created people. He gave us a free will to choose. He didn’t want to create robots who would serve Him because He made them. He wanted us to choose…and ultimately He knew that sin would enter the world.

Here is the kicker. He allowed Satan to tempt Eve, knowing full well that she would fall, and that would be the end of the perfect sinless world. He didn’t say “Uh oh!” when Eve accepted the fruit. He didn’t go out in the garden that evening calling for Adam, because He didn’t know where he was, He didn’t ask Adam what he had done, because He didn’t know. He called, and asked, because He knew. He had given Satan the free will to tempt, knowing full well that they would fall…and that ultimately, He would have to send His son, to save the rotten, sinful, world.

Now days are no different. God knows what we can and cannot take. He knows our strengths, our weakness‘. He knows when we will fall, and for how long. He knows we will accept temptation. He allows Satan to tempt us, knowing full well that we will fail, time and time again. He allows difficulties, temptations, hardships. The important key here, I think, is that He ALLOWS.

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:13-15

He doesn’t orchestrate them, He allows them. He knows about them. He allows Satan to go so far, for so long, with so much. This doesn’t mean that God allows Satan off the leash to torment us relentlessly. This means that God is there, standing right beside us. Giving us the higher road, the hope, the salvation that we need.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:14-15

“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29

It goes, almost without saying, but it is too important not to mention that God does discipline those He loves.  No matter what, it is always a part of Gods will.  To glorify Him.  He sometimes uses hard times to grow us closer to Him, to show us more of His soverity.  To make us realize our own weakness.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:5-6

So to answer all those questions, where is God? Hes right there. Standing beside us. Helping us through whatever trials have come our way. He may be growing us, teaching us, disciplining us, but He is ALWAYS there. Always. God never leaves us. Never. God allows things that we deem tragic, to happen. But He doesn’t construct them. He loves us, and would never hurt us intentionally, but He allows things, to happen. To strengthen us, to grow us, to shape us. But no matter what. He IS always there. Right beside us. All the way.

Nothing ever takes place without Him knowing, His acknowledging it.  Nothing ever happens without it being in perfect accordance of His will.  It might not make sense, it might be hard.  Trajic.  It might not make any sense.  But one thing I know, is that God knows.  He has allowed it to happen, and although I might, it is not up to me, to question. 

“You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…” John 19:11

“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:8-10

Tom

Odo

Octoberwalk 008

“When Satan reminds us of our past, we should remind him of his future”

Octoberwalk 017

“Do we believe what we live, or live what we believe?”

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