I am 21
and love Jesus
Hello, I’m Tc.
Hello, what’s up? I am back! I have learned a lot these past few months and I admit that I have fallen. My flesh is speaking louder and I have succumb to the temptation of sin. I have lost touch with the people close to me and even moved once again. Now I find myslef in a new place. A new beginning. But I need help. I have lost my connection, my faith. Please, send some prayers.
This is one of the most difficult questions in all of theology. God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Why should human beings (not eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent) expect to be able to fully understand God’s ways? The book of Job deals with this issue. God had allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to Job except kill him. What was Job’s reaction? “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). Job did not understand why God had allowed the things He did, but he knew God was good and therefore continued to trust in Him. Ultimately, that should be our reaction as well.
Why do bad things happen to good people? The biblical answer is there are no “good” people. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that all of us are tainted by and infected with sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). Romans 3:10-18 could not be clearer about the non-existence of “good” people: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Every human being on this planet deserves to be thrown into hell at this very moment. Every second we spend alive is only by the grace and mercy of God. Even the most terrible misery we could experience on this planet is merciful compared to what we deserve, eternal hell in the lake of fire.
A better question would be “Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?”Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Despite the evil, wicked, sinful nature of the people of this world, God still loves us. He loved us enough to die to take the penalty for our sins (Romans 6:23). If we receive Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16; Romans 10:9), we will be forgiven and promised an eternal home in heaven (Romans 8:1). What we deserve is hell. What we are given is eternal life in heaven if we come to Christ in faith.
Yes, sometimes bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. But God allows things to happen for His reasons, whether or not we understand them. Above all, however, we must remember that God is good, just, loving, and merciful. Often things happen to us that we simply cannot understand. However, instead of doubting God’s goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. ”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Of all the challenges thrown at Christianity in modern times, perhaps the most sinister is explaining the problem of suffering. How can a loving God allow suffering to continue to occur in the world which He created? For those who have endured massive suffering themselves, this is much more than a philosophical issue, but often becomes a very deep-seated personal and emotional issue. How does the Bible attempt to address this issue? Does the Bible give us any examples of suffering and some indicators on how to deal with it?
The Bible is startlingly realistic when it comes to the problem of endured suffering. For one thing, the Bible devotes an entire book to dealing with the problem. This book concerns a man named Job. It begins with a scene in heaven which provides the reader with the background to Job’s suffering. Job suffers because God contested with Satan. As far as we know, this was never known by Job, nor by any of his friends. It is therefore not surprising that they all struggle to explain Job’s suffering from the perspective of their ignorance, until Job finally rests in nothing but the faithfulness of God and the hope of His redemption. Neither Job nor his friends understood at the time the reasons for his suffering. In fact, when Job is finally confronted by the Lord, Job is silent. Job’s silent response does not in any way trivialise the intense pain and loss he had so patiently endured. Rather, it underscores the importance of trusting God’s purposes in the midst of suffering, even when we don’t know that those purposes are. Suffering, like all other human experiences, is directed by the sovereign wisdom of God. In the end, we learn the lesson that we may never know the specific reason for our suffering, but we must trust in our sovereign God. That is the real answer to suffering.
Another example of suffering in the Bible is Joseph in the book of Genesis. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, where he was ultimately indicted on false charges and thereby thrown into prison. As a result of Joseph’s suffering and endurance, by God’s grace and power, he is later promoted to governor of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself, where he finds himself in a position to make provision to the nations of the world during a time of famine, including his own family and the brothers who sold him into slavery! The message of this story is summarized in Joseph’s address to his brothers inGenesis 50:19-21: “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”
Romans 8:28 contains some comforting words for those enduring hardship and suffering: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” In His providence, God orchestrates every event in our lives—even suffering, temptation and sin—to accomplish both our temporal and eternal benefit.
The psalmist David endured much suffering in his time, and this is reflected in many of his poems collected in the book of Psalms. In Psalm 22, we hear the sound of David’s anguish: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? Oh my God, I cry out by day but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: ‘He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.’”
It remains an unfathomable mystery to David why God does not intervene in the midst of his suffering and pain. He sees God as the one who is enthroned as the Holy One, the praise of Israel. After all, doesn’t God lead a pretty sheltered life? Isn’t God lucky to live in heaven where all is sweetness and light, where there is no weeping or fear, no hunger or hatred? What does God know of all that humans go through? David goes on to complain that “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
Did God ever answer David? Sure enough, many centuries later, David received his answer. Roughly one millennium later, a descendent of David named Christ Jesus was killed on a hill called Calvary. On the cross, God endured the suffering and shame of his forefather. Christ’s hands and feet were pierced. Christ’s garments were divided among his enemies. Christ was stared at and gloated over and derided. In fact, Christ uttered the words with which David opens this Psalm, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” thus identifying himself with the suffering of his forefather.
Because Christ, the eternal Son of God in whom the fullness of God dwells, has lived on earth as a human being and has endured hunger, thirst, temptation, shame, persecution, nakedness, bereavement, betrayal, mockery, injustice and death, He is in a position to fulfil the longing of Job, “If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot” (Job 9:33).
Christian theism is, in fact, the only worldview which can consistently make sense of the problem of evil and suffering. Apart from the fact that Christians serve a God who has lived on this earth and been through trauma, temptation, bereavement, torture, hunger, thirst, persecution and even execution, the cross of Christ can be regarded as the ultimate manifestation of God’s justice. When asked how much God cares about the problem of evil and suffering, the Christian God is the only God who can point to the cross, and say “that much.” Christ experienced rejection from God, saying, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He experienced just the same suffering as many people do in many parts of the world today who are feeling isolated from God’s favor and love.
The Christian worldview is thus the only worldview which even makes an attempt at addressing this paradox. How can God be just and still forgive wicked men such as ourselves? The answer lies in the cross of Christ and that alone.