How to respond to the question of why there is suffering in this world?

The answer to this question will not satisfy. It just won’t. Ultimately, we don’t really want the answer.  We want hope, peace and comfort.

It is what makes this reality so beautiful: God’s ultimate answer is not an explanation, but the incarnation.  Suffering is a personal problem; it demands a personal response. And God isn’t some distant, detached, and disinterested deity. Jesus is the answer.

And it’s not just that God knows and sympathizes with you in your troubles. After all, any close friend can do that. Any close friend can sit beside you and comfort you and empathize with you. No, Jesus is much closer than your closest friend. Because if you’ve put your trust in Him, then He is in you. And, therefore, your sufferings are His sufferings; your sorrow is His sorrow.  

If you don’t know who Corrie ten Boom is, google her. And be amazed at her story.  From the darkest corners of a Nazi concentration camp, she said this…“No matter how deep our darkness, He is deeper still.”

 Jesus entered into our world and personally experienced our pain. Out of a DEEP love for you and me, Jesus is there in the lowest places of our lives.  Are you broken? He was broken for us. Are you despised? He was despised and rejected of men. Do you cry out that you can’t take any more? He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Did someone betray you? He was sold out. Are your most tender relationships broken? He loved and He was rejected. Did people turn from you? They hid their faces from Him as if He were a leper.

He took every sin, every pain, every hurt, every suffering we endure and it was nailed to the cross with Him. And in His suffering, He was not consoled. He didn’t have a Life Group bring Him meals or send Him encouraging text messages with Scripture. He was mocked. He was spit upon. He was insulted. And in a moment, God the Father had to turn His face away. Could He have done something about it? Could He have made it stop? You better believe it! And Jesus knew it! And in that moment…even the Son of God cried out! “WHY?!?!? Why have you forsaken me?”

In complete brokenness and suffering, the Father said… You may not see it now my son, but I love you. And the people I love need this. I want them back. This is necessary and the eternal reward is worth it.

Life’s not fair. Jesus would be the first to tell you.  Fairness ended in the Garden of Eden.  Through His own suffering and death, He has deprived this world of its ultimate power over you. Suffering doesn’t have the last word anymore. Death doesn’t have the last word anymore. God has the last word!

Do not give up. Don’t look to what is seen, but to what is unseen. For the sorrows we face today are not even worthy to be compared to the eternal weight in glory of seeing Jesus face to face.

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