Apr 28, 2020 • Written by Judy Episcopo
Surprised by Suffering
Isaiah 37:26- “Long ago I ordained it. In the days of old I planned it.”
This verse speaks to the truth that whatever comes to pass has been determined by a sovereign God- even the pandemic. The big question in the minds of many is “why?”
Times like these bring about hard questions about a good God who says He is sovereign but allows suffering. Humanity has been wrestling with this dilemma since the time of Job.
Jon Bloom coined a phrase I love that says,“God makes sin (evil) a slave to His Grace.”
Think about that for a minute. This means that God can take the most evil, tragic circumstance and redeem it into something holy and redemptive. God can prove Himself greater than any evil. There are examples throughout the Bible, but the crucifixion and the cross speak the loudest to this truth.
The crucifixion was diabolical. Satan determined to use the cruelest methods to torture and destroy, but God proved Himself greater than the greatest evil and used the crucifixion in eternal, redemptive, and righteous ways. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives God the victory, and God graciously shares His victory with us in personal ways as believers.
Satan’s motive for suffering is hopelessness and destruction. God’s motive is restoration, refinement, and justice.
I am not sure if we will fully understand evil. Or good. Isn't that what Eve wanted to know when she ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil? To know what God knows about evil and good? In our finite limited minds, we cannot comprehend the depths of evil or the heights of love. We will just have to trust God with the ultimate answers...
And like Job, we may never be given all the answers to our questions. But God will give us what we truly need in times of suffering- the gift of Himself, IMMANUEL, God with us. Be assured, God can use the ugly and tragic in your life in redemptive ways. Are you willing to let Him be with you through the process?