[Just for You]

If Your Faith in God Has Wavered

Have you prayed and God didn't answer?

Is a close friend suffering or dying, and you find no response from God?

Do you sometimes wonder if God enjoys seeing people miserable? Or do you sometimes think He has poor ways of handling people?

I am not able to answer all questions about God and His purposes for you, but I would like to consider several things about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus which relate to the suffering of mankind and the character of God.

We are in the season when people all over the country remember Jesus' death and resurrection. But we are in a country where few seem to ponder the significance of those few days so long ago.

First of all, from the events surrounding Jesus' death, we can see that things are not always as they appear to be. What looked like the end on the day of Jesus' crucifixion was only the beginning. What looked like defeat was actually victory.

In fact, if there ever was a day when the obvious facts hid the real truth, it was the day of Jesus' death.

Secondly, Jesus' death also assures us God is entirely trustworthy. He is not playing games with us, never teasing, never laughing at our trouble. God is serious.

The third thing we observe if we contemplate Jesus' death and resurrection is that we are in a predicament. Sin has made it so. Sin has brought a curse on the earth. Sin has brought a curse on mankind. Because of sin, we have sickness, death, and troubles innumerable.

"Wherefore . . . sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also . . . even we ourselves groan within ourselves" (Romans 8:22, 23).

But don't take me wrong. This does not necessarily mean that when a person suffers, he has done something wrong and his suffering is punishment.

That is possible. But what I am saying is that mankind is in a terrible predicament because of sin; that the presence of suffering, death, and trouble are part of that predicament; and further, that this suffering, death, and trouble sometimes make earthly existence seem absurd.

That's why we so often ask why. Things don't seem right. And they aren't.

In the shadows of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed desperately for deliverance. On the cross, He asked, Why? He saw the predicament of earth and mankind in a way that no man ever has. Does it seem right that the Son of God should be spit upon, mocked, beaten, nailed naked on a cross?

But Jesus entrusted His life with its pain, its death, its absurdity into the hands of His Father.

Therefore, by the death and resurrection of Jesus we observe one thing more: There is deliverance from our predicament. Jesus entered human life with its suffering, its trouble, and its death for the purpose of leading us to a better life.

Jesus did not change the curse of sin. The earth is still groaning. People are still suffering and dying. Absurdity is still with us.

But Jesus offers to give us life which the curse cannot touch. "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

Those who believe in Jesus receive eternal life. They will live through the suffering and death of this life. They will be delivered from the curse into eternity with God.

And those who believe not will receive the curse in full. The present suffering is but a foretaste. They will fall into eternity without God, without friends, without everything . . . except hell.

If you question how God could send people to hell, I will ask you a greater question. How could God send His Son to earth to die for us?

We are not in a position to question God's integrity. We are in a predicament, a terrible predicament. God has given us a Saviour. And He is not playing games.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

If Your Faith in God Has Wavered

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33).

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

"Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.

"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. . . .

"For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:5-7, 9).

"The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness" (Psalm 111:7, 8).


TURN from your old ways!
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19).

"Put off the old man with his deeds; and . . . put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Colossians 3:9, 10).

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

RECEIVE JESUS as your Lord and Saviour!
"As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

FOLLOW JESUS as your Master!
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).

JOIN a spiritual fellowship of believers!
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41).

© Copyright, Christian Light Publications

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