Archive for the ‘Suffering’ category

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

July 28, 2018

The first point to note is that God is definitely powerful. In fact, he has all power. So don’t let anyone tell you that God simply isn’t able to stop the suffering in the world. who does god allow suffering

The second point to note is that when people ask this question, they usually include pain, suffering caused by people to other people, and all kinds of “natural” disasters – the whole works. That’s the assumption we’ll make here.

This begs the question: “if God is able to stop suffering, does that mean he doesn’t want to?” Not at all. In fact, there will come a time when God puts a stop to all evil. Obviously, that time has not yet come. In that case, the even bigger question is this: “why hasn’t God put a stop to suffering and evil yet? What is he waiting for?”

And the answer: He’s waiting for as long as possible, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to make their peace with him. To put it another way:

“God is not slow about his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wanting anyone to perish, but wanting everyone to come to repentance”

That’s the bottom line. God could quite easily put an end to all suffering and evil now. Instead, he’s waiting to give all of us an opportunity to respond to him. In any case, what if God decided to stop all evil at 5 pm today. How many people would be left living at 5.01 pm?

What Would God Have To Do?

Just think for a moment what God would have to do to get rid of the painful consequences of human choices:

Every time someone used a weapon for violence, God would have to make the weapon harmless. He would have to turn bullets into paper, knives into plastic, and grenades into polystyrene beads.

Every time someone drove a car out of control, God would have to intervene, somehow interrupting the laws of nature to protect that person.

Every time a parent yelled at a child in anger, God would have to mute the sounds, and somehow turn the expression on the parent’s face to an expression of care and love.

How Did It Start?

Evil and suffering made their appearance when the first humans, Adam and Eve, chose to disobey God. In a garden of every imaginable delight, they ate the one and only piece of fruit that God had told them not to. That was the first human sin. Since that time, the world has seen a lot of pain and suffering, but it was never God’s preferred option. Natural disasters are all part of the suffering caused by sin.

Sure, God could have removed the option of choosing to disobey him, but he wanted people who chose to love him. Love is never forced. And so, God put in place a plan to rescue humans from their own self-destructive ways.

Here’s a story to make the point:

A vicar and an atheist barber were walking through the seedy part of their city. As they saw the suffering around them, the barber said “This is why I could never believe in a God of love. If he is as kind as they say, why doesn’t he do something about all this crime, disease, poverty, drug-dealing and vandalism?”

The vicar said nothing until they came across an unkempt and filthy man with hair down his back and far too much stubble on his face. The vicar said to the atheist: “You can’t be a very good barber, or you wouldn’t let people live around here without a haircut and a shave.”

More than a little offended, the barber answered: “Why blame me for that man’s condition? I can’t help it if he’s like that! He’s never given me a chance! If he’d only come to my shop, I could fix him up and make him look respectable.”

The vicar replied: “Then don’t blame God for the condition of these people. They’ve never given God a chance. If they would only come to him, he would fix them up and turn their lives around.”

Even though God is completely powerful, he has not yet removed suffering and evil from the picture. He’s waiting…waiting for as long as possible, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to make their peace with him.

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If You Interrupt Me I’ll Punch You In The Face!

May 22, 2016

image of a woman  Met a woman I knew some years back on the street as an addict.  She still had a can in her hand, but she certainly needed it. Several days previously both her parents were killed as a result of a car crash. Dad died first, them Mum 24 hours later. She wasn’t sure how they’d pay for the funeral, but an uncle could probably help. Poor woman, I really felt for her! We shared with each other news of some other street folk we both knew who had died from drink or drugs this year.

Next day I was in the town centre with our inter-church Healing Team. At one point this short stocky man of around 60 came up to us and started slagging off Christianity, Jesus and the Virgin Birth. We hadn’t even said anything to him!! He then, believe it or not, said: “If either of you interrupt me I’ll punch you in the face!” We let him rant on angry manabout how nonsensical the Christian faith was, then I finally said:”when do we get a chance to reply?” He then looked at my team leader and said:”you’re a disgrace; you’re unshaven and you have dandruff on your coat!” He turned to me and said:”you’re not too bad, but I’m older than both of you!” I replied: “I doubt it, I’m 71″ That surprised him, as he then said:”ok, I’m not older than you” He then ranted to us that there were Jehovah’s Witnesses along the road and we should be going to talk to them. In the end I simply walked away, annoyed he was wasting time we could be using productively to reach out to other people.

Does God Answer Prayer?

November 26, 2013

Was heading into town to do my volunteer duty at the Food Bank. As I walked down the road I was asking God to really use me in loving others. Two minutes later, as I passed a man sitting on a low wall, I felt God say “stop and talk to him”. By this time I had gone past him, so I doubled back and sat down beside him for a chat. To cut a long story short, he was suffering all sorts of rejection by family members after the death of his mother, whom he’d looked after 24/7 for a long time. He also suffered several illnesses, plus a withered left hand that he had covered in a glove, “because people make fun of it”. He was a very sad man. He shared how he’d tried to end his life  before. He confided that some days he even sat out in the rain in shorts to try and catch pneumonia so that he would die!

I offered to pray for him and he accepted. I prayed, but was conscious of my inadequacy and of having to leave him to get in to do my shift. I offered him a good news booklet, but he said he couldn’t read.  I tried to encourage him as best I could, then went on my way. It’s so hard seeing the world’s misery in human terms! It makes you wonder how badly God feels about it, knowing an answer exists that so many find hard to grasp hold of, for whatever reason.  words god is love written on wristband

An Addict Touched by God

October 23, 2011

photo of an addict A recovering addict who is temporarily working as a volunteer with us was suffering pain from his leg. Sometime back he had a motor bike accident and has various pins and plates in the leg. I offered to pray for the pain and he readily agreed, although he’s not a Christian.

We sat down and I laid hands on the leg and prayed and also commanded healing for the leg. After a few moments I could sense the Holy Spirit’s power coming through me. I looked at him and he had his eyes closed. After a few moments he opened his eyes and I said: “something has happened, hasn’t it?”. He replied:” Yes, it has”. Suddenly the door behind me opened and a client came in. After that, I didn’t have a chance to speak to him on his own before he went off duty. God at work, again.

Healing On The Streets Today

May 21, 2011

healing on the streets logo Was out on the streets with our Healing On The Streets Team today for around three hours. Had a great time!

Prayed with a heroin addict who had attended a Christian school when younger. Told him the story of the Prodigal Son. When we ministered to him he received a high from “The Most High”. Second time I’ve seen that happen recently to a drug addict.

One elderly lady suffered from bad knees, so we spoke to them. She stood up to try them out and said:”no pain”. Others received the lovely presence and peace of the Lord as we prayed for them.

Why Is There Suffering?

April 4, 2011

A guy came in for food for his step-daughter and in the course of our chat he raised the question of suffering and said there was no God. why does god allow suffering

I wasn’t going to let God be slandered over his faulty understanding, so I gave him the whole story, starting from the Garden of Eden, and explaining about Satan and how Jesus came to destroy his works. He wasn’t convinced, then went off at a tangent, asking how the problems from interbreeding (incest) didn’t arise straight away from Adam and Eve onwards. I explained that God would have allowed for a strong gene pool at the outset, but he wasn’t convinced about that either.

On the positive side, he said he’d enjoyed that chat and might come back again for another.