Better than Answers

  Today, I spied a little booklet in a stack of materials I needed to go through in preparation for moving to a new office. The title caught my eye, Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering?* As I skimmed through it I was intrigued that the author did not offer “the answer”. He suggested four possible partial answers, all of which had some merit: to alert us, to direct us, to shape us and to unite us.  But as I often do in picking up a new book, I found myself flipping to the end of the book to find some “conclusions” under the heading, “Better Than Answers”.

Since our daughter, Crystal, died from leukemia nearly nine years ago I have read quite a few books on the above subject. I found this little booklet, especially the last page quoted below, to be one of the most helpful to me. I hope you might find it helpful too.

We cry out for complete answers. God offers Himself instead. And that’s enough. If we know that we can trust Him, we don’t need full explanations. It’s enough to know that our pain and suffering are not meaningless. It’s enough to know that God still rules the universe and that He really does care about us as individuals.

The greatest evidence of God’s concern for us can be found by looking at Jesus Christ. God loved our suffering world so much that He sent His Son to agonize and die for us, to free us from being sentenced to eternal sorrow (John 3:16-18).  Because of Jesus, we can avoid the worst of all pain, the pain of separation from God – forever.  And because of Christ, we can endure even the worst of tragedies now because of the strength He puts within us and the hope He sets before us.

The first step in coping realistically with the problem of suffering is to recognize its roots in the universal problem of sin. Have you recognized how much Jesus suffered on the cross for you to free you from the penalty of sin? Put your trust in Him. Receive His free gift of forgiveness. Only in Him will you find a lasting solution of the problem of pain in your life and in the world.”

 *”Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering”, Discovery Series, 1999 RBC Ministries, Grand