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Saturday, February 29, 2020

If God Is Love



     Have you ever had someone ask the question, “If God is love, why does he allow suffering in the world?” Of course, you have because this is the classic question non-Christians pose to the true believer.

     When this happened to me recently, I thought I had a good answer with something I heard on Moody Radio, “God doesn’t cause suffering. People make people suffer.” The statement made sense on the radio program, but that day it sounded weak. Thankfully, the person seemed satisfied, and the conversation ended. Later, I thought of the many things I could have said.

     About a month later, a close family member shared an article on Facebook; The American Life is Killing You by Erik Rittenberry.[1] Because I love the sharer, I read the article. It was gloomy, and in the reading, I could feel despair, hopelessness, and suffering.

     The writer began with a quote from new-agey-type author, Graham Hancock, and then spoke about consumerism, how we strive all our lives pursuing the American Dream. We live paycheck to paycheck, over-stressed and rushed, unrewarding job, mortgaged to the hilt with gadgets, toys, and maybe a few prescription drugs to take the edge off, mellow us, and keep us occupied through the insanity. To prove his point, he quoted some “great minds” such as Sigmund Freud and ended with his solution.

     My heart broke. What I desired for the person who shared the article, stating it encapsulated everything he’s felt and thought about our culture, was the same thing I wanted to say to the person who posed the question at the beginning of this newsletter, but didn’t.

     The sin-cursed world we live in is, at the moment, run by Satan, a vile spiritual prince[2] who has blinded the eyes of many.[3] If you do not understand this TRUTH, you cannot see life in this world correctly.

     Sin has corrupted everything. And because of sin, people are just naturally selfish and self-absorbed. We’ll do anything to make a buck, not caring who we hurt in the process, in our constant striving to please self.

     The prince of this world is trying to keep us from learning this TRUTH:  The One True and Living God exists. And according to His pre-creation plan, He has provided salvation and freedom—a way for us to escape the clutches of the evil ruler.[4]

     However, the Bible, God’s Holy Word, is our source of information. Satan, on the other hand, is doing everything within his power to discredit it and stop seekers from believing.

     To thwart the enemy, God has given us the witness of the heavens and creation. They declare the glory of God. In them, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, even His eternal power and Godhead, leaving unbelievers without excuse.[5]

     But the evil ruler has spewed his lies.[6] He’s clouded human minds touting science and evolutionary theories as the answer to our human existence. Many then conclude suffering, in all its forms, is evidence God does not exist, or, if He does live, He doesn’t really care.

But I tell you, the LOVE of God knows no bounds.
God IS love.[7] He died that you might live.[8]

     Do you want to be free of constant striving in life? The solution isn’t what Rittenberry says, “Simplify, simplify, simplify, and become one with yourself.”

     Seriously? “Self” got us into this predicament in the first place. It was Eve’s, then Adam’s lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.[9] Sin, then, spread to all mankind.[10]

     Turning inward to self is never the answer. The eyes of man are never satisfied, just as hell and destruction are never full.[11]

     The solution? See life through God’s eyes and the lens of Scripture. Yielding to our Holy God will allow the Son to set us free.[12] His Holy Spirit, in turn, helps us to understand life, and why man acts the way he does. At once, our LORD severs the snare and delivers us.[13]

     Remember, God knows the way that we take. When He has tested us, we shall come forth as gold.[14]



[2] John 16:11; Ephesians 2:2
[3] John 12:40; II Corinthians 4:3-4
[4] II Timothy 2:26; Hebrews 2:3
[5] Psalm 19:1-3; Romans 1:20-21
[6] John 8:44
[7] I John 4:8
[8] I Peter 2:24
[9] Genesis 3:6; I John 2:15-17
[10] Romans 5:12
[11] Proverbs 27:20
[12] John 8:36
[13] Psalm 91:3; II Timothy 2:26
[14] Job 23:10

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