Monday, January 30, 2017

Couldn't God Have Done This Without Us Suffering?

Today rehab starts in earnest for my mom following her hip and elbow fracture. Meanwhile, the low temperatures here in the frozen tundra that some people consider a suitable place to live will be in the SINGLE DIGITS.
So both Mom and I face a challenge. Mom's day is probably more worrisome than mine, but frostbite is not to be trifled with. Another friend on Facebook had the "end of life" speech by her doctor. (Please pray for my friend who has cancer.)

In summary, life for all of us is often filled with challenges, both large and small. Can we conclude in the midst of these terrible circumstances that God does not notice? Does He not care that we are suffering?

In my daily Bible study the past few days I have been reading the story of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery, and tricked their aged father, Jacob, into believing Joseph had been mauled by wild animals and killed. What horrific intensity of grief poor Jacob must have suffered! There is nothing worse than a parent burying his child. How could God have allowed Jacob to suffer such senseless trauma, and such deception from his own children?

In the end, Joseph was blessed by God and so faithful in His walk with God that he rose out of slavery, out of jail, and into a position of prominence second only to the Pharaoh of Egypt. Through his powerful and wise leadership, Joseph ultimately saved not only Egypt, but the entire Hebrew nation from starvation and eradication.

Wonderful, happy ending. Still... couldn't God have accomplished this without causing such pain to poor Jacob?

Certainly He could have, but He didn't. He used what Joseph's brothers meant for evil and transformed it to good.

Why? Why allow evil to reign even for a short period that cause so much despair???

We live in a fallen world. It takes little brains to notice that evil is prevalent everywhere we look. Sin reeks havoc in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. But God's message through the story of Joseph is clear. What feels like, and indeed is, unbearable suffering in this world can always be used by God to bring about His greater purpose. God never desired that we should turn from Him, reject Him, and defy Him...but every human since Adam and Eve have done so. How merciful of God to transform us and the world when every intent of our heart has been to elevate ourselves above our Creator.

In the end, Jacob saw his son again and was comforted. We may not see earthly comfort, but God is very clear that those who trust Him and persevere to the end will see heavenly comfort. Perfect communion and joy in who we are before God will be restored. All will be made right. Tears will dry.
Broken hips and elbows and frostbite will never again mar the beauty of creation as we will be made new. Trust and ask Him into your heart. Soon. Now.

Genesis 50: 19-21

19But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? 20"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. 21"So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.…

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