Asking the Wrong Question

"If there's a God, then why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?" I hear that question in one form or another almost daily. People reason that if there's a God, and He is good and loving, then there shouldn't be any pain or suffering. I say we're asking the wrong question. The better question is "Since there is a God, why isn't there more pain and suffering?" There is a God and He is holy, perfect, just and righteous. We sinned against Him; We committed treason against His authority; We attempted to overthrow His government in favor of our own! So, why isn't there more sickness, disease, pain and suffering? Why doesn't a holy, righteous God exercise His right to judge us and allow the evil we brought into this world through our sin to ravage us and destroy us? Are we innocent..... absolutely not! Do we not deserve the death penalty..... Of course we do! So why are things not worse than they are? Because God is a God of love, forgiveness and patience. He has every right to convict us and pronounce judgment upon us. He has every right to turn away from us and let this evil we brought about overwhelm us and destroy us. And yet... He saw fit, in mercy and grace, to make a way of redemption; A way to turn from our sin and be forgiven and cleansed from unrighteousness. The fact that there is no more sickness, disease and suffering than there is is proof positive that God exists. There is a God who is intervening in human affairs and holding back evil so that it can't flourish as it would. God's hand stays back the evil and keeps us from being as bad as we could be. God is patiently enduring our rebellion, waiting for those who would to come back to Him. But, it won't be that way forever..... time is running out.



I look the part
blend in with the rest of the church crowd
I know the routine
I could list all the bible studies in town
watch christian TV
I know all the preachers...their cliches
been born again, without a doubt I know I'm saved
But sometimes I hurt and sometimes I cry
sometimes I can't get it right
no matter how hard I try
sometimes I fall down
stumble over my own disguise
I try to look strong
as the whole world looks on
but sometimes alone I cry.

"Sometimes I Cry" - Jason Crabb 

The words to that song really speak to me. I've been there. You walk through the world with a smile on your face and a "Thank you, Jesus!" on your lips, but behind the mask there are tears. You know that people are watching and you always want to shine a light in the darkness. You want everyone to see Jesus in you. You want them to be encouraged. 
But sometimes, at home, all alone and behind closed doors, the mask comes off and the tears are pouring down. It's not that the Christian life is too hard or too strict and we're certainly not trying to be fakes. It's just that, sometimes we are trying so very hard to be like Jesus and failing so miserably. It seems like the closer you get to Jesus, the more you notice you're not very much like Him.
I know I'm saved through Jesus' blood and I know that He lives in me and loves me. But I want so desperately to reflect perfectly His character and love to the whole world and sometimes I notice that I'm not doing it very well at all. The tears are not tears of sadness or of pain, but of frustration.  I know that if they see the real Jesus, they'll love Him. But the only way they'll ever see Him is in His people.
There is no plan "B".... God has ordained that salvation comes through the "foolishness" of preaching. Men and women preaching Jesus, not just with their words, but with their lives. We want to make sure we do it right. Eternity is at stake.


My Life is His Life

My life belongs to God. He gave it to me and He keeps it going. It is not mine to do with as I please and it is not the devil's to steal away from me. God gives life and everyone who lives owes gratitude to God.
Someday my life will be over. It is at God's discretion as to when that will be. When He decides it is time, it will be time.... and that's alright. The devil can't scare me with threats of death because I know he can't take my life; God is the one who "gives and takes away". And I know that God's will is perfect and everything He does is just what's good for me.
I hope to live a good long time yet and I have every reason to believe I will, but God knows what's best and I defer to His judgment completely. He says in Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That's good enough for me.