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God’s Word and the Universal Problem of Suffering

At times, each of us must snuggle into our Father’s arms, like children, and there receive the comfort we need. In When God Weeps, Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes write,

God, like a father, doesn’t just give advice. He gives himself. He becomes the husband to the grieving widow (Isaiah 54:5). He becomes the comforter to the barren woman (Isaiah 54:1). He becomes the father of the orphaned (Psalm 10:14). He becomes the bridegroom to the single person (Isaiah 62:5). He is the healer to the sick (Exodus 15:26). He is the wonderful counselor to the confused and depressed (Isaiah 9:6).

The Faith That Can’t Be Shaken Is the Faith That Has Been Shaken.

God tells us that trials in which evil and suffering come upon us “have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7).

In her book “Treasures for Women Who Hope,” Alice Gray writes of sitting at a restaurant, talking with a friend about painful challenges in their lives. They frequently mentioned the Lord.

Alice noticed a young woman at the next table with a radiant, joyful face. The young woman smiled and said she’d overheard their conversation. Speaking softly, she encouraged Alice and Marlene that God understood and cared about their heartaches, and nothing could separate them from God’s love.

Alice continued talking with Marlene but realized something was different. The young woman’s words had refreshed them. When the smiling woman got up to leave, Alice saw that she wore bulky shoes, carried a walking stick, and moved with a severe limp.

The waitress told Alice this woman had been in a near-fatal automobile accident the year before. She’d been in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation. Her husband divorced her, their home had been sold, and she’d just moved into her own apartment. She used public transportation because she couldn’t drive. She’d been unable to find a job.

Alice sat stunned. She said, “This young woman’s conversation had been filled with delights of the Lord. There had been no weariness about her. She had encouraged us with words of praise and promise. Meeting her that day, we never would have suspected that storms were raging in her life. Even as she stepped outside into the cold winter wind, she seemed to carry God’s warm shelter of hope with her.”

In times of crisis we try to make sense of life. We crave perspective for our minds and relief for our hearts. We need our worldview realigned by God’s inspired Word: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). God promises that His Word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). God never makes such a promise about my words or your words.

So, regardless of the difficulties you face, God’s Word offers profound, moving, and surprising insights that can feed your mind, warm your heart, and give you the strength to face a world that is not what it once was, while we all await what it one day will be.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.