A few years ago, I did do a debate on the Problem of Evil and while I do believe I won that debate, I came to realize more about evil and came to realize the Christian answer more. We have to confess that we do not know the reason behind several events of suffering. I don’t think we’re supposed to. It’s hard to say why God allows some things to happen and many of us wonder this ourselves. The Bible is full of people who wondered the same thing.
I remember my own experiences of suffering. I remember having anxiety attacks and crying for some sort of deliverance. I remember those times when I’d feel the fear rise up within me and I’d feel my pulse quicken. I describe the two great fears to my friends that entered my mind then and I’ve found this to be common with people who suffer anxiety disorders.
#1-I’m going to die.
#2-I’m not going to die.
At this point, I wasn’t familiar with apologetics and as one without much content to my faith, I was floundering. I believe apologetics was a lifesaver and slowly, my calmness began returning and I found I was a different person with more confidence than I had had before. This was a first for me in this debate though and the answer is amazing to me.
God doesn’t promise us answers. He just promises to be with us. The problem is, we’re not usually aware that he is. We expect grand lights and the heavens to open and miracles to take place. We expect to hear his voice or have warm fuzzies or something of that sort. I don’t think it’s usually meant to be like that. I say again, the problem is not him but us.
I had an awareness of this a few months ago at the beach. As I was heading towards a little shop on the ocean walking through the sand I thought about my faith and the thought hit me. “God is here.” Unfortunately for me, I didn’t really linger on that. I don’t know if you have that problem but I do. It’s hard to focus on your faith at times and a thought that should be wowing just isn’t. I think it’s a sad reality if you grow up in a country where the gospel is treated as common knowledge.
That is his promise. He will be with us. Many of us I think wouldn’t mind suffering if we knew God was with us. He is! The problem is we don’t believe he is. We expect we’ll feel something if he is or he’ll make himself known in an obvious way. How often does God do that though? Scripture records the rare events after all. It doesn’t record the common.
In fact, most of the gospel message should excite us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. When I was in Bible College and did my senior sermon before my student body, this was what I preached on. We live in an age where wonder is dead and if we don’t have any wonder in the message of the gospel, then we won’t appreciate it and trust it.
Even as I write this, I feel that excitement of wonder but then wonder how long it will last.
Suffering friend. Keep this in mind. Scripture tells you that God is there. You don’t have to feel it for him to be there. Heaven doesn’t have to open. He is there. He is omnipresent. You cannot escape him. He is always there and he does always care about what is going on in your life. You may not know the reason, but he has not promised you a reason yet. He has only promised you himself.