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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

God's glory revealed

Why is there suffering if God is a God of love? 

That must be the most frequently asked theological question, and the one which most stubbornly resists any completely satisfying answer. I do adhere to probably the most widely voiced answer given by believers, that because God created us to have free will and not be robots programmed to love him, we had the capacity right from the beginning to choose to follow him or reject him. As soon as we chose to reject his law, we invited in the darkness which seems to prevail in our world today.

Suffering is a product of that darkness. It was never God’s intention to have us suffering or even dying, but our choices led to such consequences.

I have been working on John 9 today, reading about the healing of the man born blind. Jesus tells his disciples, who erroneously thought that suffering was the result of particular sins in an individual’s life or that of his parents, that some suffering is allowed by God so that his glory can be more clearly revealed.

I have been watching open-mouthed as someone close to me has suffered, because I have seen God’s glory clearly revealed in her. As she and her husband have steadfastly held on to God through this time of trial, continuing to ask him for his blessing of healing and trusting him whether or not it was apparent, God’s glory has been revealed.

It reminds me of the story of the friends of Daniel who were thrown into the blazing furnace. Before they were forced into the furnace, they testified to their belief in the greatness and love of God and their conviction that he would save them from the fire, but that even if he didn’t, they still clung to him as a God of love.

I’ve just had word that the surgery which was to take place in a fortnight has been moved forward to tomorrow and will be less invasive than originally planned. I believe that God’s grace and favour is on this young woman as she heads into this frightening time, continuing to lean on the Lord who she knows and loves.

I wrote above that the darkness seems to prevail in our world today. Many times it ‘seems’ to prevail, but in fact John writes in his first chapter that the light is in the world, and the darkness hasn’t understood nor overcome it. 

The light of the world stepped down into darkness and he continues to shine out through beacons such as this young woman and her husband. Praise God.

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