Many people question why God allows evil and suffering, especially considering recent world events. But if we take God out of the equation, evil and suffering still exist - all you do is remove hope. This observation was inspired by a talk by Dan Paterson that I heard recently. He pointed out that if you assume that there is no God, we are still left with the problem of evil and suffering. I believe that evil is a result of the fact that we live in a fallen, broken world. Jesus died and rose again to forgive our sins but according to the Bible, the complete annihilation of evil and suffering won't happen until he comes again. Revelation 21:4 says, He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
I don't believe that God inflicts us with suffering but he allows it for our growth and maturity. If you ask any successful person in the world if the road to success was easy, almost all of them would agree that success came after a lot of pain, difficulty and suffering. God can redeem any situation. Romans 8:28 says, 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.
Three things to remember when you are suffering:
No matter what you have done, if you are a Christian and have asked God to forgive your sins, they are forgiven. Full stop. End of story. When I was a teenager, I knew this to be true but I kept getting stuck in guilt and shame. I battled thoughts like:
I'm not good enough
If I'm a 'real' Christian I shouldn't keep committing the same sins
I might as well give up.
But 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And even more that that, Hebrews 8:12 says that God forgets our sin. And I will forgive the wrongs they have done, and I will not remember their sins.
God is not sitting in heaven wagging his finger at you and shaking his head in disgust. The minute you ask for forgiveness he has forgiven and forgotten your sin. So don't let the lies of Satan keep you stuck in a cycle of guilt and shame. Hold your head up because YOU ARE FORGIVEN!
CHALLENGE: Are there some sins that you need to confess to God? James 5:16 says, Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other. There is great freedom when you confess your sins to someone else too - it's like the power of that sin over you is released. It's not easy, but it's Biblical.
I know that kids who have been adopted have a pretty hard time dealing with the fact that their birth parents didn't want them. But I think it's pretty amazing that someone else would want you in their family so much that they would go to all the time and effort and cost of adopting you. That's exactly what God did for us - he paid the price of sacrificing his only son so that he could adopt us into his family.
It might be pretty awesome to have rich or famous parents, but I am a child of the God who made the universe, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is better than any celebrity or superhero. And my inheritance is eternal life in heaven!!!
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.