It’s been a whirlwind this seven months of living in Virginia. Oh, how I love waking up every day to the sweet mountain air I remember from my childhood just a few hours south in Tennessee. As I write, RJ is outside tending to the plants and shrubs, with their beautiful colors. God is good.
Far away on another continent, people are digging out from under mountains of rubble, hoping to save as many lives as they can….praying for just a few more miracles. Is God still good? How many times have we heard this question, as individuals attempt to discount the idea of a God who allows terrible things to happen?
We know that it’s a fallen world, wrought with pain and evil and terrible suffering. The Bible tells us that it wasn’t always this way. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And everything he created was good. We are told that Adam and Eve were given one boundary that they should not cross or else all this death which now surrounds us would come into existence. Listening to the lies of the enemy, they chose death, forever changing the landscape and experience of our planet.
But have you noticed this? When terrible things occur, we cry out to God for help and mercy. We plead for someone who is greater than our suffering. Somehow in our heart of hearts we know that there is one who can comfort us in our pain. That “one” isn’t some obscure beam of energy and light, he is Jesus. When Jesus came to earth, he may easily have chosen to forego suffering. Instead he endured horrific suffering, even unto death. Evil happened precisely because there IS a God. In Hebrews 12:2, Scripture tells us that “for the joy set before him,” Jesus endured the Cross. What was that joy? It was our redemption–our reconciliation with God in spite of our participation in sinful rebellion that dates all the way back to Adam an Eve.
And here’s the good news: Jesus didn’t stay dead, and we don’t have to, either. Jesus rose from the grave, paving the way for every single believer to do the same. Our lives don’t have to end in tragedy. No servant is greater than his master (John 13:16), so we as Christ followers should expect to experience suffering at different times of our lives. Through faith in Christ, though, we are given the same victory over sin, suffering, and even the grave that he achieved over 2,000 years ago.
Whether we are in a season of enjoying sunshine and roses or are in a time of devastating crisis, God is one and the same. If we are believers, we can trust in Him. He is good and faithful. He will comfort. He will redeem.