Lately more and more days go by that I am simply saddened by the world around me. As I watch people live lifestyles that can only lead to hopelessness and self-destruction, hear horrifying news stories of senseless violence, see the sick and helpless get abandoned and forgotten, and learn of deep personal tragedies in the lives of loved ones, my heart aches and longs for an answer. I want to know why there is poverty in our world, why the helpless get oppressed, why people die of starvation, why the elderly get forgotten or taken advantage of, why people self-destruct, why innocent people are killed for no reason, why families get destroyed, why people are hurting, lonely, and lost,
why all the injustice
and how long will it go on?
Some days the world around me looks so desperate and hopeless that all I want to do is sit down and sob for every broken heart, every torn relationship, every lost, hungry, and oppressed soul. And I want answers. I want to know why God allowed this, that, or the other, where God was when so-and-so prayed for this, and what is being accomplished through all of this?
I don’t have an answer. I could eloquently state some good theological concepts about suffering or talk about how we live in a fallen world and therefore injustice exists or say something about how it’s all for a reason. But at the end of the day, even though these things are true, that’s not what anyone wants to hear. The bottom line is that I don’t know why injustice and suffering happen and I don’t know how long it will continue.
But I know my Redeemer.
I know that the God I serve has promised that one day he will undo all of the wrongs, all of the suffering, and all of the injustice. I know that my Savior chose the path of suffering for himself, and if he was willing to enter into our world and experience pain and suffering then he must have a good reason for allowing it to exist. And I know that my God is able to do all that he has promised.
I have hope, comfort, peace, and joy, even in the midst of a badly broken world. I don’t need to have all the answers and I don’t need to explain it all away. I know that my God is able and will redeem this world and that here and now he walks with us in our pain and our suffering. He chose to suffer himself and he chooses to come alongside us in every hardship, every trial, every tragedy. While it would be nice to have neat, tidy answers to all of these difficult questions, I have the only answer I need in the hope that God is working redemption in this world. I have his promises of present comfort and grace to walk with him through any circumstance and future redemption of all pain, suffering, and injustice. And I have the hope that in the light of the future glory that awaits us, even the most horrible pain and suffering imaginable will seem small. Take heart. We serve a great Redeemer.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
[soli deo gloria]