I am so troubled by the many responses I read today over an article about a teacher in OK praying over her students as a tornado destroyed their building and for some, took their lives. Many people have said “if there was a God then this wouldn’t happen”. People have made God into a magic genie who answers all their wishes and prayers. A god who has said he will make your life easy and successful, with no pain until you die in your bed at age 100 alongside your whole family and all your riches. People are hurting and because the weather has no feelings, they blame God or the lack of God.
As a Christian, I do not expect to be exempt from suffering. I do not expect God to answer every prayer with a YES. In fact, I believe suffering is to be expected and if possible, endured by the grace of God. In the holy bible, my basis for my faith, it states in book of Genesis that we have been separated from God by sin, and we will suffer here, we will struggle until the seed of a women comes to crush the head of the serpant (Satan). The seed is Jesus Christ, in whom we live and breathe. And because of Him and if we believe in Him, we can have hope in a future past this earthly existence. In John we hear the principle of the whole bible. Chapter 3 verse 16. “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life” That is the promise. That means, that on earth which 1 John 2:17 says “is passing away”, we will struggle, we may get sick, we will die, but we can have hope, we can cheer, we can celebrate, because it gets so much better than this!!!!
James, Chapter 1, verse 2, ” Consider it all joy, brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your fatith produces steadfastness (endurance). And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”. This verse has helped me so many times. Because, as I have gone through trials (who hasn’t!), I have been able to see glimpses of what God says He will do for those who have faith in Him. In the book of Romans (which the first chapter alone speaks volumes about suffering, so give it a good read) it is said in Chapter 8 verse 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
So when the news is hard to understand, to stomach to grasp, I pray for Philippians 4:7, “That the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. It may not all make sense now, it may really hurt, but tell Him about it, ask Him into your life, ask for wisdom and peace, and wait expectantly for His glory to be revealed to you. What do you have to lose?