Suffering and Response

healing_of_the_blind_man 29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up.The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Mark 1:29-34

One of the great theological/philosophical questions is: what is the meaning of suffering. I have wrestled with this question for many years. Why does a child born in Somalia suffer so much without adequate food or medical care, while an infant born in the U.S. benefits from all that wealth and science can offer. What is the determining factor in who gets cancer? Why does one soldier step on a IED and another come home physically unscathed?

The answer? I do not have an answer. This brings me to a principle that has helped me live out my faith in the real world: God is sovereign and perfect understanding is not required to trust Him and move forward. I do not have to know where Cain got his wife to keep walking with Christ. I do not have to understand why a Tsunami devastated an already suffering island nation.

What I do know is that wherever Jesus encountered suffering, He brought compassion and healing. Another great question regards whether or not God is still in the healing business. Some say that the miracles in the Bible served a limited purpose for a certain time period, but have ceased. Others claim that Jesus does miracles around the clock and if you send them a hundred dollars they will reserve one for you. I disagree with both positions. I believe that Jesus, within the parameters of His will and plan, heals people. This is consistent with my previously mentioned principle. Whenever someone dies, it may have simply been God’s time for them to die and no amount of prayer would have changed things. We do not have perfect knowledge. We do not see the future or what God has planned. We should continue to pray for healing, but we should also trust God, regardless of the outcome.

April 17th, 2015 by

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