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Monday, October 13, 2008

The Problem of Pain

Bad things happen. People we love suffer, we experience difficulty and trial, wars rage on...

Why? If God loves us, why does awful stuff happen? In the light of our little time frame it seems horrible. But that doesn't make it so, Skipper. Follow me for a moment...

God gives each of us what we want - Either eternal life with Him or eternal life without Him. (You'll often hear - "I don't want anything to do with a God who would send people to Hell" but really, that's what they're asking for, isn't it? Nothing to do with God, and so he grants it).

The stakes are pretty high. Heaven or Hell? The entry ticket to Heaven is simply acknowledging our need for Him and accepting His provision in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is being ultimately fair to let us know of our need. He's told us in the Bible, but being a merciful God of great blessing, there is a problem.

In our plenty, with all our resources, it's difficult to really KNOW we need God. We need Him physically, emotionally, and spiritually, yet in our society all of that seems taken care of.

The solution is reduction. God reveals our need for Him throughout our life by stripping away our earthly provision and leaving us only our exposed need for Him. In that moment, we can turn to Him in humility or rage against him in pride. Pain and suffering point us to Heaven.

A further thought and a corollary of sorts: Those people who point at others in tragedy and disaster do so from a lack of perspective. God's provision is individual as well as corporate. The Indonesian with so much life and possession swept away by typhoons and waves receives personal provision in little ways that we can't see from our viewpoint. The Indonesian can if he looks with humility. A thousand kindnesses individualized for each of us. We'll point at the tragedy-stricken and say "Hey!" but do we ask them where they see God?

8 comments:

LeeMac said...

I think there might just be a little bit more to it. But you hit the point when you said we need to acknowledge that we do need him.

LeeMac said...

I think there might just be a little bit more to it. But you hit the point when you said we need to acknowledge that we do need him.

Sherlock said...

really really good post. maybe your best.

I'm always challenged with how insignificant my trials really are, yet how big I percieve them.

mac:aka whale boy... said...

Good Point...

sherlock said...

I seriously want your green lanter ring now. :-D

mac said...

hahaha

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Swanson. This is really random, but Cartoon Network is doing a series that is basically an throwback to dc days of yore. Thought if might give you a laugh, as it did me.

Link
http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/batmanbb/index.html

Rob said...

Kewl!