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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pain & Suffering...His plan? Part 1

I am beginning a multi-part posting today on a topic that I have been working through for quite a while.  Not sure when I will post the additional parts or how many parts there will be.

Pain and suffering is a topic that many of us try to avoid until we or someone we love are forced to face it. This is one of those things that my mind tends to play with from time to time as I watch those around me deal with it. Rarely, have I had to deal with, what I would call, pain and suffering.  Many books have been written about why good people suffer bad things and many conversations, of believers and non-believers alike, revolve around why would a "good" God allow pain and suffering.

Obviously, as usual, our opinions and musings about a topic, as such, can easily be influenced by what "we think" is right or wrong and not necessary what God has established as right and wrong. Trying to mold our skewed thinking to align with the righteousness of God's thinking is a life-long challenge for the follower of Jesus Christ. The only way this can be done is by becoming immersed in scripture and then allowing it to permeate our thinking and by obeying the command "to take every thought captive to become obedient to Christ".  Obviously, God knew our thinking would not align with His, naturally, but would have to be trained to do so.

Do we really have to have an answer for everything? Or in this religion of Christianity, which is supposed to be faith-based, can we not simply accept some things at face value trusting in God's sovereignty, because of His character and His plan? After all, He is the creator of all and we are simply one of His trillion plus creations. 

I am convinced our humanness is the reason for our relentless pursuit in wanting an answer or reason for everything. We want to explain away any mysterious misunderstandings about our God, so we can present Him to others, and ourselves, as completely rational--humanly speaking--in all His actions.

I don't know about you, but I certainly do not want God, the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient--the  infinite Holy God over all creation--to fit into my human thinking which is sinful, self-centered, finite, and focused, almost solely, on the here and now.  Will we EVER get that God is so much bigger than we can EVER comprehend?  I don't know about you, but the more I think I learn about our God, the bigger He gets and I begin to realize just how very little I truly know about Him and understand Him and His ways.

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“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.
                  Isaiah 55:8-9

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.   Ephesians 3:20-21

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”   Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.   Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”   As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.  If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.  James 4:13-17

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