Been reading Timothy Keller's "The Reason for God" again. People question the goodness or even the existence of God based on the suffering in the world. How could a good God allow all this suffering. In preparing to speak at IV tonight and reading both Keller and the Bible, I am excited to further and deeper appreciate God's solution to suffering. When people encounter suffering, they often try to make it meaningful. Someone is killed and the family tries to bring meaning by launching a crusade for safety or justice. They say they don't want their loved one to have "died for nothing." They are still suffering, but they find meaning in the suffering. Now if people can do that, why do we feel like God can't or isn't supposed to? All suffering, in God's hand, is given purpose and meaning. And since this is God we are talking about, it is given GREAT purpose and meaning. In God's hand there is no such thing as pointless suffering. Furthermore, suffering, in God's hand, is a very temporary thing. Jesus suffered, but only for a little while. Then he was resurrected and exalted. The Bible clearly teaches that resurrection also awaits us if we have been forgiven by Christ. Resurrection, and the life to come, don't merely replace suffering, they redeem it. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. All things. When you embrace God, you will one day look back at your whole life, all events, and see every thing as a piece of heaven. Joseph, after years of suffering, looks at his life as God's journey for him. God doesn't simply say, "I will one day take your suffering away and give you a consolation prize." No, He doesn't "make up" for the suffering, He redeems and resurrects! The suffering itself becomes part of heaven. Suffering, therefore, is not a reason to question or abandon God. It becomes a huge reason to embrace and accept God's love. Consider this quote from C.S. Lewis in the Great Divorce â€œâ€¦mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering â€œNo future bliss can make up for itâ€ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.â€ Are you suffering? God will one day wipe those tears away, but He will do more than bring you out of your suffering, He will make your suffering have great meaning and value.
I don't agree with all of this; it is obviously still from a world perspective, but I think it is a great article and a step in the right direction. When Divorce Isnâ€™t the Only Choice
I have friends who are Catholic. I know some wonderful people in the church. This scandal hurts all who name the name of Christ. It is terrible that those who are supposed to be shepherds would instead abuse those they should be caring for. I'm not going to make a lot of comments of my own today, preferring to let Scripture speak for itself. The quotes below are taking from on MSNBC.com
"I know they're supposed to be infallible, but I'd say most Catholics today would accept that nobody's perfect â€” not even the pope."
(Romans 3:10) as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
(Romans 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Isaiah 53:6) All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
(1 John 1:8) If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
"[A]56-year-old nurse, who recently moved to the U.S. from the Philippines, said she has stopped confessing her sins to priests, and is turning to God directly. "I don't believe in confession to the priest because I don't know if that priest is more of a sinner than I am,".
1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
Hebrews 7:28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
The kids are tired today. Sunday has a tendency to wear them out. Bedtime is always later on Sunday as we get home from church well after 7 and then still need to do bedtime. So the kids are tired today. Tired kids are delicate kids. They have been more easily frustrated with each other or just any circumstances. They have been fussier and less accommodating. Fortunately, Daddy knows a treatment. A lap. There has been several times today when frustrations or behavior reached a breaking point. Sometime there has been poor behavior choices. The best solution has been to take the offender, or all three, and sit down on the couch for a few minutes of cuddle and talking. A couple times we read a book or three together. It is amazing how much of a difference some love and attention makes. While I write this post, the three are quietly playing play-dough together at the kitchen table. Dispositions are improved after an afternoon on the couch reading some Thorton W. Burgess. Our world today is full of pharmaceuticals aimed at improving child behavior. No doubt there are some conditions that require such things. But we have found early bedtimes, the occasional nap, and a good lap, are marvelous treatments that can yield much better behavior.