Jesus was not a tourist

Ed Mathews uses John 9.3 and the story of the blind man as a wonderful explanation of evil in the world. Here’s how he starts:

While in Jerusalem, Jesus saw a blind man, John 9:1. As a visitor in the capital city, one might assume the Lord would be enamored with the beautiful buildings. His disciples were, Matthew 24:1. But Jesus was not a tourist. He came to rescue the perishing.

Focus question: Does the pain and suffering in the world make me question God or glorify him?

Find meaning in pain

Pain is a part of life. Most everyone deals with it, in one form or another, most every day. Physical pain tends to be more obvious than other forms. Sickness, disease, accidents, harm caused by others, are some sources of physical pain. Then there is mental and emotional pain. People suffer in so many ways. Bad, unhealthy, or difficult relationships bring some of the deepest pain. Then, there is good pain, from growth, from serving, from dying to self. Learn to deal with each type of pain, O Soul, that you might live with joy and peace. Run to the Lord with your pain. He will teach you. Show others how to find meaning in their pain. And, in the end, God will bring you to that place where pain is not.

Comfort in pain

“Contrary to what a lot of people believe (or hope), comfort doesn’t take the pain away. Comfort slides in beside the pain, pulling up a chair so that we have something more than sorrow in our hearts. Comfort gently expands our spirits so that we can breathe again. Comfort opens our eyes so that we can see possibility again. And on those days, whether it is the next day or five years removed, on that day when grief rears its dark head again, comfort helps us remember that pain is not all there is.” —Peggy Haymes