Posted tagged ‘suffering’

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.

Advertisements

Not Sure If You Are A Christian?

April 9, 2018

 male icon imageimage of a woman     If you want to test yourself to see whether you are a Christian, ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:

1. Do I believe that Jesus Christ came from Heaven for the express purpose of reconciling mankind to God the Father?

2. Do I acknowledge that the fallen human nature is predisposed to sin, and that only Jesus can redeem my life from sin and make me acceptable to a holy God?

3. Do I believe Jesus died on a cross, that God raised him from the dead and that he is now alive for evermore?

4. Do I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for my sins?

5. Have I ever acknowledged to God that I am a sinner, in need of God’s forgiveness?

6. Did I ever pray to Jesus to become a Christian? If so, was I sincere in my heart about what I was asking?

7. If someone asked me, could I give examples of some sins that God has forgiven me for?

8. Do I believe that I can talk to Jesus in prayer and he will answer?

9. Do I believe Jesus is able to forgive ALL my sins and make me a brand new person?

10. Do I accept Jesus as my Lord, in charge of my whole life from now on, putting him first instead of myself?

11. Am I doing my best nowadays, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to live a changed life that will please Jesus my Lord?

12. Do I want to forgive others in the present – and also from the past – for what they did to me?

13. Do I have a desire to read the Bible regularly?

14. Do I pray regularly, not just asking for “things”, but to cultivate a personal relationship with God?

15. Do I want to meet regularly with other Christians, to encourage and be encouraged by them?

16. Do other people see genuine evidence in my life of a love for God and my neighbour, as Jesus commanded?

17. In what ways do I lay down my life for my fellow man?

18. Do I know what it is to experience persecution for my faith in Jesus Christ?

19. Do I have stories to tell of how God has worked through me to bless others?

20. Are any of your family/close friends Christians? If not, have you ever witnessed to them about the importance of your own faith?

If you want to know WHY you should become a Christian after reading this, see  this page

 

I Asked God To Use Me – And He Did

November 20, 2015

God Please Use Me  On the way into work I again asked God to use me, that it might be His Spirit at work – “thy will be done” – and not me striving in my own strength to accomplish things.

During my volunteer duty, in the background I heard a client say they had a leg problem. It turned out to be a lad of about 18, who had suffered problems with his left knee for about 4 years. The medics had not been able to cure his condition to date. I told him I’d seen lots of knee problems healed, and asked if he wanted me to pray for him. He was happy to give it a go, so I told him Jesus was the one who healed. I asked if he knew about Jesus of the Bible. He said he had been a Christian when younger, but had drifted away.

I laid hands on the knee, saying:”Father I thank you for Jesus. Jesus I thank you that you are the one who heals, and that you love this man and are drawing him back to yourself.” I spoke out healing, commanding the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and nerves to be healed in Jesus’ name. I spoke life and strength to the knee in Jesus’ name. Afterwards I asked him how the knee was. He checked it out and reported: “No change, it’s exactly the same.”

From experience I’ve learned that you keep on pressing in until results start coming. This of course is dependent on the person being agreeable to you continuing. I illustrated this to the guy: “suppose you had an infection, went to the doctor and he gave you tablets to take, two a day for fourteen days. If you took two the first day and threw the rest away, that would be silly, wouldn’t it?” He agreed that would be pointless. I said: “praying for healing is similar; you keep on going with the treatment then you will see results”.

I prayed again, in a similar vein as before. This time I was aware of the Holy Spirit flowing in me in a fairly powerful way. I mention this because many times I pray and see people healed but feel nothing myself while it’s going on. I asked him for an update. He said he could feel something moving down his leg, plus a tingling feeling. I told him that was God at work. I could feel the power flowing for a couple of minutes and he could too. I then asked him to check it out. He walked up and down and reported a significant improvement. I laid hands on him one more time. He reckoned the leg was a good 40% better at the end.

lost sheep found by Jesus  I then told him the parable of Jesus where the shepherd left the 99 sheep on the hillside to go after the one that was lost. I said: “you’re the lost sheep, and God knew you’d be coming here today, so he planned this encounter to draw you back to Himself” He agreed that seemed quite a likely possibility. I gave him my card and asked him to let me know how he got on. I also gave him the gospel tract “No Satisfaction”.

 

Christmas is a Time For Giving – and Receiving

December 20, 2013

One woman came through the door saying:”you prayed for me last time I was here!” I said: “I pray for lots of people; can you remind me?” It gradually dawned on me who she was. She had been running away from an abusive partner that day and knew no-one in our town. She was so grateful for what she received last time that she asked today for more prayer. We held hands and she got a friend with her to join with us. She said afterwards her new male friend was looking out for her, but he had his own problems. The other day he said to her “cuddle me”. She did, and he explained afterwards that he wanted to be held because he’d been hearing voices in his head telling him to kill her.

boxed christmas present We gave out many food parcels to hungry clients today, enough to feed 74 people for three days. In addition to normal food, we added bags of Christmas food as a Christmas bonus. People were thrilled.

One woman was gently trembling and told us she was suffering from various injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder following a car accident. Her car had been stationary when she was hit from behind by a car travelling at 40 mph. I offered healing prayer to her, which in reality turned out to be me just holding her hands while I shared other healings I’d seen Jesus do. She was grateful. I suggested she come back again if she wanted a top-up.

What a privilege and honour God has given me to minister to people in various states of distress and suffering!

A young woman with a 7 week old baby told me she was looking forward to marrying her partner soon. They’d been sweethearts since she was 14. She needed to save up the £145 or so to get married. She really touched my heart! I asked for her address – which she gave me – as I said I’d drop her a card.

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