>Hope in a Dark World

>One of the toughest questions that many people often ask religious folks is “How can there be a God that would allow so much suffering to go on in this world?” While I have never doubted that God exists, I have often asked lots of questions about what He’s like and why He would allow certain things to happen. Is He really a loving and personal God or does He take a hands off approach to our lives? The Bible portrays Him as both loving and wrathful, both merciful and just. It can be pretty confusing. I personally have come to see that there is both happiness and hardship in life and in the whole world around me. It’s not always where you expect it either, often times there is great sadness and pain in homes or even nations that appear to have it all, and there is definitely great joy and peace in some people that have had to endure unfathomable difficulty.

The answers aren’t easy to find or easy to accept but through a lot of reading and prayer I have found some that satisfy me about the nature of God. The idea of a completely sovereign God gives me incredible peace even in hard circumstances. The idea of an eternal hope in Jesus Christ gives me unspeakable joy. This joy and peace are something I wish I could instantly transfer into people around me who I see suffering every day. So this leads me to a conversation I had with my 90 year old, brilliant grandfather the other night.

Me and my grandad, 30 years ago

We were talking about his neighbor having traveled to New Guinea, and he stated that he didn’t think he’d ever have any interest in going there. This is from a guy that loves to travel and has seen a lot more of the world that most people. I said without hesitation that I would, and there I couldn’t think of any place in this world I wouldn’t want to see someday. I have a HUGE travel bug. He said, “But there is so much trouble in the world, in places all over. How would you keep that from making you really depressed?”

I thought about that. In reality, there is trouble right here at home in the U.S. But we do have it easy compared to say, people born in Kenya where our Compassion child, Mbeyu, is from. But I have seen through Kristen’s blog that the children in the desolate slums of Kenya are joyful, especially those who have been told about Jesus. I have read in David Platt’s book about Chinese Christians meeting in secret house churches to worship and devour the Bible, only to be thrown in jail and tortured for it. But they have hope, peace, and joy too.

So I told my granddad that I have an eternal hope in Jesus, I know that God is in every hard situation and is in complete control, and that I refuse to let circumstances dictate my emotional state. He said that was good, but he didn’t think God wanted us to leave people in suffering, to not feel empathy for them. I agreed that He does not want us to never be concerned, but to have compassion and do everything we can to help, but without letting it make us overly anxious or fearful. We have to bring these problems to Him, in prayer, do what He wants us to do, but trust Him to take care of it. That may not mean the end of suffering in this life, but there will be an end to the pain for those who know Him someday. That’s eternal hope.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. >It's hard for us to remember sometimes that God is sovereign over all things when we have to endure a hard providence. At church this past Sunday, we sang one of my favorite hymns which puts this into perspective:God moves in a mystrious way, His wonders to perform.He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill,He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.His purposes shall ripen fast, unfolding every hour.The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace.Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan his work in vain.God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain.

    Reply

  2. >Thank you so much for this comment…beautiful lyrics.

    Reply

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