by Mark G. Holbrook
The existence of evil and suffering are, without question, the most common reason people claim not to believe in God, or at least in a loving, just, and personal God. As one commentator says, “It is not merely a problem, it is the problem.” And John Stott reported, “The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith…”
We sure see enough evil and suffering. Tornadoes, floods and fires in recent weeks alone have caused—and are still causing—untold grief and misery. And we all know someone, perhaps it’s even you, whose personal world is broken, shattered.
How we view God, especially in times of great trials and disappointment, is central to our faith and enables our endurance. It is our view of God that determines how we respond to suffering. Do we believe He is loving, just, faithful, merciful, caring, engaged, and in control? Most importantly, does He really work all things for good?
So, how do we walk worthy when our world is broken?
- It’s okay to cry out to the Lord. The psalmist says in Psalm 10:1 “Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
- We can still choose to trust Him. Even in the worst of suffering Job could say, “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him.” As her dear husband was losing his battle with cancer, my sister Ginny would whisper to him, “Remember, we are broken, God is not.”
- Choose to believe God; He works all things for good. Genesis 50:20 says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”
My encouragement to you today: Whatever your circumstances, fix your eyes on Him. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (fixed) on thee.” (Isaiah 26:3 NASB)