August 2008

Why does God allow suffering?

Story of the day:  Why does God allow suffering?

     On one of our many trips this summer, Jeff and I were asked the following question:  “Why does God allow suffering?”  This isn’t the first time that we have been asked this question.  Billy Graham writes that “it isn’t an easy issue, because it goes to the heart of our deepest questions about God.  After all, (the argument runs), how could a loving and gracious God allow suffering?  To put it another way, if God lets us suffer, He must not love us–and the proof is the suffering He allowed His Son to endure on the Cross. 

     So what then is the answer to this age-old question?”  The following answer comes from a “Christian man who has been an invalid all his life, one of those lonely and obscure people who live in constant pain, who do not know what it means to be able to use their physical body in any way without pain and suffering.

     “Lonliness is not a thing of itself, not an evil sent to rob us of the joys of life.  Loneliness, loss, pain, sorrow, suffering, these are disicplines, God’s gifts to drive us to His very heart, to increase our capacity for Him, to sharpen our sensitivities and understanding, to temper our spirtitual lives so that they may become channels of His mercy to others and to bear fruit for His Kingdom.  But these disciplines must be seized upon and used, not thwarted or opposed.  They must not be seen as excuses for living in the shadow of half-lives, but as messengers, however painful, to bring our souls into vital contact with the living God, that our lives may be filled to overflowing with Himself in ways that may, perhaps, be impossible who know less of life’s darkness.”

Quote of the day:  Yiddish proverb

“He who can’t endure the bad will not live to see the good.”

Bible verse of the day:  Job 37:1

“At this also my heart trembles, and my heart leaps from its place.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We all have questions, and as much as my little mind can’t understand things sometimes, it is very clear to me from Your Word that just as You laid the foundations of the earth, I wasn’t there helping You plan things!  I wasn’t there helping You determine the earth’s measurements or where to place it.  Father, I pray to not be conformed to this world.  I pray to see beyond this world and that the things that I am doing while here on earth on done with an eternal mindset.  Thank You for all the safe travels that You have given to me and my family over this summer.  Thank You for opening many doors and showing us Your steps and guidance throughout this move.  Father, as we continue forward with Your plans, may we not get distracted by lures that can quickly throw us off course.  May we continue individually and as family to bring our prayers to Your feet that they may be heard.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

March 2008

He will keep on doing good!

j04231031.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                    Story of the day:  He will keep on doing good!

    Has the question, “Why do bad things happen to people?”, ever come to mind?   John Piper said it best like this, “Don’t run your eyes over the promises of God like the wrong pages in a phone book.  God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, said, “I will not turn away from doing good to them…I will rejoice in doing them good…with all my heart and soul.”  Let all three promises sink in.

    God will not turn away from doing you good.  He will keep on doing good.  He doesn’t do good to his children sometimes and bad to them other times.  He keeps on doing good and he never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages.  When things are going “bad” that does not mean God has stopped doing good.  It means He is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving Him.  He works all things together for good “for those who love Him.”

Quote of the day:  Brother Lawrence

“Let us think often that our only business in this life is to please God.”

Bible verse of the day:  Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank You that the weather is much better today than this past weekend.  Lord, as we were all stranded in our homes, I was able to reflect on the things that You have blessed me with.  God, we truly had a weekend to just rest.  Rest our minds, our spirits, and our bodies.  We started to prepare for the upcoming move to Dallas and with just 4 months to go, there is much preparation in moving our family from the top of the country to the bottom.  I pray that You continue to direct my path, manage my time, and place in my heart the things that You would like for me to write about.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen