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?
Using Eccl 8.15 as the surprising text on the subject, Ed M. writes today about the mysteries of life and deferred judgment.
Because of the inequities in life, men rush to conclusions that cannot be sustained. They deny divine providence. They suppose God is indifferent to moral distinctions. They decide that piety has no purpose. The presence of such perplexing phenomena is painful. No arguments can solve them. No exercise of faith can charm them away. Many desire to see and hear the deeper things of God but are denied such privileged information, Luke 10:24.
We need these reminders often, since the evil one would persuade us that God is not good.
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.
The waves toss wildly. The winds tear at our clothes and bring tears to our eyes. The fury of the storm causes us despair. The low, dark clouds oppress with their heavy burden. The screeching and banging deafens our ears. O Soul, prove your faith by trusting in the Lord in the midst of the tempest. Trials will end and suffering will cease, but God’s love is everlasting. His calm is in the eye of the storm.