A tragic car accident stealing the life of a child, loss of a husband to cancer, discovery of a baby’s disability, difficult marriages, miscarriage, church homes that lose their unity and split, children who wander away from the faith, being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, depression, rape, violent crime, job loss, unfair lawsuits…..I have girlfriends who have experienced these things. I can claim a couple of the painful situations for myself. Here are some thoughts on the meaning of evil and suffering that I noted from reading 90 Days of God’s Goodness, by Randy Alcorn:
· A world of freedom must have cause and effect, and freedom must include consequential choices.
· Suffering WILL come. Trusting God does not mean evil and suffering will be held at bay. However, they do have a purpose and they do not happen by accident.
· God has authority over Satan, who inflicts evil in the world. Satan is not his opposite. If God were a heavy-weight champion, Satan would be like a whiney 3-year-old in comparison.
· Good Friday is not Bad Friday because what was temporarily bad became what is eternally good.
· The heart of the problem of evil and suffering was addressed in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.
· No affliction ever finds you without first being filtered through God’s hands.
· God uses evil and suffering to accomplish immeasurable good. Even when we can’t see any redemptive meaning in it on this side of heaven, we can trust that God CAN see it.
· We must trust that we are just too small to see God’s big picture.
· What Satan intends for evil to destroy our faith, God intends for good to invite us to draw nearer to Him.
· God does not wait until we die to snap His fingers and transform us into what He wants us to be. He begins transforming us now and uses suffering to help us grow into Christlikeness, preparing us for the next world.
· “For Christians, this present life is the closest they will come to Hell. For unbelievers, it is the closest they will come to Heaven.” –Randy Alcorn
· By God’s grace, we can have a happy ending no matter what, and that ending is not the end.