It’s an honor to welcome Lucy to the blog today! Lucy blogs about resting in the truth that God is enough at SatisfiedbyGrace.com. When she emailed me about sharing a post with you, it didn’t take long for me to say ‘yes.’ Her writing is Biblically-grounded and absolutely captivating. Today, she walks us through the tender journey of Why Does God Allow Suffering. I pray it blesses you as much as it did me!
“Lazarus is dead.”
Do you think that the news came like a slap in the face to the disciples?
Just two days before, Jesus had comforted them about Lazarus. He had spoken words of assurance: “This illness does not lead to death.”
But then they found themselves face to face with raw reality – their friend was dead and buried. We can only imagine how betrayed they felt, how confused.
They followed their Master to the grieving sisters and the sealed grave. It certainly didn’t look like it was going to be the site of a miracle. It was a place of darkness – of endings, not beginnings. A place of hopelessness and hurt.
But it was there that Christ looked death in the face and spoke the resounding words of life that called Lazarus out of the grave. And as the disciples stood stunned and welling with joy, I wonder if it all became clear to them in that one moment.
Christ had promised that the illness would not lead to death.
He never said that it would not lead through death.
The disciples didn’t realize that God’s plan would be worked out through a process – a process that, for Lazarus, meant dying.
The road was hard. Hard for everyone, even Jesus. He stood at the grave and wept over the bitterness of death, the brokenness that sin had brought into His creation. But the pain of the process only made the end of the story that much more beautiful.
Each one of us is like Lazarus.
We have to die before we experience resurrection. We have to be broken before we’re restored.As Christians, we are on a journey through death that leads to glorious life.… Click To Tweet
Have you ever looked around at your circumstances and thought, “I didn’t sign up for this?”
We’re destined for immortality, but to be honest, it doesn’t always feel like it. Day by day, we’re surrounded by the tough and the mundane and the messy. We face loss and disappointment. We have to give up things that are precious to us. Sometimes, we’re hurting so deeply that the pain seems to block out everything else. All we can think is, “Why?”
Why Does God Allow Suffering
“Why, God? Didn’t you send your Son so that we could have life, and have it abundantly? Where is my abundant life right now, God?”
And if we listen, we can hear our loving Father reminding us again what kind of a journey this is.
We have the most beautiful destination that could be imagined. Life – overflowing life – forever. Love – an eternal romance with the Creator of the Universe. Pleasure beyond what we can imagine on earth.
But we haven’t reached the end of the road yet. And this path, though it does not lead to death, most certainly leads through death.
Death in the Christian Life
Christ warned us that to follow Him, we have to shoulder a cross. We have to die to ourselves – our pride, our desires, the selfish dreams that somehow become so dear to us.
And we have to die to sin.
Sin is a part of our nature as humans. It’s hopelessly entwined in our motives, our thoughts and our actions. Even as Christians, with renewed hearts and desires, we are in a constant battle with this old enemy. And it hurts to kill our sin. Sometimes it feels like we’re choking a part of ourselves.
And finally, we have to face physical death as well. Sometimes it’s indirectly, like reading in the news about tragedies around the world. Sometimes it hits closer to home, when we have to deal with the death of someone dear to us.
Unless Christ returns soon, the time will come when each of us will have to experience the pain of physical death for ourselves.
The road seems dark, doesn’t it?
That’s why we have to keep our focus right.
To persevere through all of this, we have to keep our eyes on the joy that is set before us, like Jesus did. And, even more importantly, we have to keep our eyes on the Savior that walked through death for us.
Remember, Christ’s journey wasn’t easy either. He, too, passed through death. By choice. He chose to experience the sting of sin and death so that He could bring the hope of eternity to His cursed, torn creation.
If you’re going through tough times, it’s easy to feel like life is too much for you. It’s easy to feel bitterness toward God. I understand. I’ve been there.Remember, the pain doesn't last forever. #joyoftheLord #faith Click To Tweet
Paul says it better than I ever could. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” [Romans 8:18]
Death isn’t your destination. Heaven is.
The suffering is just a part of the process that God has ordained. And He is with you even in the valley of the shadow of death, bringing you through the darkness into His eternal light.
Lucy is a freelance writer and Christian blogger with a heart for helping others see the beauty of God. She is passionate about language, music, and art. Check out her articles at satisfiedbygrace.com and follow her on Pinterest!