Making Sense of Suffering ... Part B
5 EVIL REASONS FOR SUFFERING
The impotence, the injustice and the surrounding ignorance to suffering assail all alike.
Finding reason in the unreasonable, depth in the disaster or simply quality to a life 'snatched away' is just so dis-satisfyingly unfathomable.
That which eludes the mind of man, will never elude the mind of God. His infallible Word reveals at least 24 reasons for suffering.
May this second instalment on suffering brings answers to your soul, relief to your spirit and refreshment for your body.
Please note there is no sequencing at all to the order of these reasons. They are in categories for ease of reference and understanding.
BEFORE READING FURTHER PLEASE LEARN THIS VERSE because it is not God's desire to ever harm anyone. His core is always to care.
For he (God) does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men. Lamentations 3:33
It is God's eternal desire to repair and not wreck.
The idea of a personal, cosmic and supernatural enemy has wrestled many a mind and spirit since Adam and Eve. All manner of conclusions have been drawn from full disbelief in satan (remember he is the great deceiver Rev 12:9) to complete acquiesence under His control (remember he wants our worship.)
The Bible is clear about the existence of the evil one. He was in Heaven. He was expelled to earth (EZ 28:16-17, Lk 10:18, Rev 12:7-9). He successfully tempted and then claimed both Adam and Eve. They too were removed from God's presence (Gen 3:23-24). Jesus saw satan expelled from heaven (God's presence) to earth. (Lk 10:18) Jesus was tempted by satan on earth (Matt 4:1-11). Jesus was removed from God's presence and suffered the death that Adam did (Matt 27:46,50). Ever since landing on earth satan has been active (Rev 12:9). There is copious evidence of his abundant activity across this earth. (Just watch the News on TV each night, also Ez 28:18)
Satan is intent on harming all, keeping their worship and attacking violently and relentlessly those who would bend the knee to the name of Jesus. Satan's desire is to keep ALL from God and claim back believers in Jesus (Rev 12:17).
His very desire is to be vengeful to God. He knows he can hurt God when he hurts God's creation, His people. He knows God neither desires that there be suffering and is hurt when His people die.(Ps 116:15, Lam 3:33).
Remember satan is no longer able to cause trouble in heaven, so the only manner left for him to cause trouble for heaven is to assail/assault those who actually belong to heaven. His deliberate offense then is to have Christians blame their loving Father for the malevolence and suffering they endure.
THE 5 EVIL REASONS FOR SUFFERING
- Satan's authority and activity Satan is active against people who hear about Jesus, he steals this information away (Mt 13:19). He can do this because he is now on earth (Ez 28:16-17, Lk 10:18, Rev 12:7-17). Satan's activity on earth includes giving people physical pain (Lk 13:10-16). Please understand that this is a spiritual cause for physical pain. Satan is at war particularly against Christians (Rev 12:17). He rules the air and exercises his rule malevolently (Eph 2:2). The universe flows in authority, satan only ever exercises his authority destructively. Christians MUST understand too that our sin can give satan authority in our lives which he WILL use to hurt us. I MUST not underestimate the significance of giving him rights in my life. (Eph 4:27) NB ... It is my REPENTANCE that removes satan's authority, the rights that my sin gives him to hurt to me!
- Live in a world that hates us A world under the rule of evil is going hate those who stand for righteousness. This Jesus explains and felt. A follower of Jesus does not belong in this world (Prov 29:10 & 27, Jn 15:18ff). A follower of Jesus will receive suffering as Jesus did (Roms 8:17).
- Cursings upon our lives We may live under a curse that we are not even aware of. Curses are transmitted though generations and can stay in family lines until removed or expired (Ex 20:5, also Deut 27/28). Curses can bring all kinds of evils to life. Premature deaths, sicknesses, poverty, relational ill health and breakdowns are just some. Masonry is built upon self cursing of its members as they pass through the various degrees. Please realise that a curse may not rest where it has no legitimate authority to be (Prov 26:2). Remember: the universe flows in authority.
- Caught in another's sin Sin is never conducted in a vacuum! Suffering may simply come from being caught in the circumstance of another's sin. Tennis star Arthur Ashe died prematurely and very unfairly because he received blood infected with AIDS. The sin that caused the AIDS virus passed to him, although he had committed no sin to gain the virus. A drunk driver who knocks over a pedestrian is another such instance. (Jn 9:2)
- Geographical vulnerability I can simply be in a place under the rule of a power and principality that does evil to the place I am in at that time. Why do different localities experience different problems? It is because they are under a different malevolent rule/authority. (Dan 10:12-14 / Eph 2:2, 6:12) Remember - the universe flows in authority.
REMEMBER ... evil is not to be feared by Christians: "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world". 1 John 4:4