Sam's crankiness, Jack's poolside throwing up all make sense now. Someone invited the flu to our house without my permission. Probably the same someone who always spills ice on the floor in front of the fridge. The upside is I am showing videos in the middle of the day with absolutely no guilt, which means I have time to sit at my computer unmolested. I thought I'd transcribe another section of my Mom's old talks about suffering.
Remember that I am transcribing lecture notes as they were written, and Mom probably expounded on certain areas. Some of this section seems a bit abrupt when typed but try to imagine a sweet voice and an incongruously loud laugh.
Why is Suffering In The World?
Years ago when we lived in Boston, my friend, Peggy Holley won a radio contest in my name with the following ditty:
God made a beautiful beginning,
But Man spoiled his chances by sinning.
We hope that this story will end in God's Glory,
but at the present, the other side is winning.
We live in a world where there is sin. When we put on our Lord as our savior, we don't get plucked up and moved to a perfect place. He leaves us here to contend.
We are told that Satan is a fallen angel.
2 Peter 2:4 "For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them in to hell..."
Jude 6 "And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgement of the great day"
We know that Satan has powers. He tempted Jesus when Jesus was lead into the wilderness. He had to have had the power to fulfill these temptations.
Jesus himself, called him the Prince of this world.
1) John 12:31...now shall the ruler of this world be cast out.
2) John 14:30....for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me.
3) John 16:11...because the ruler of this world is judged.
We are told in 1 Peter 5:8 that he walks around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.
So with suffering we have 2 choices.
#1 God is the author of suffering and He puts it in the world to hurt, to refine us, to test us. That God has absolute control and plans suffering as a tool....
#2 Satan has power too and he tries us with his powers. That it is Satan who wants us to suffer. That it is Satan who wants us to sin and suffer.
The only perfect place where there was no sin, sorrow, or suffering was the Garden of Eden. When man and woman made the choice to disobey God and eat the wrong food, they made the choice for all of us to have to live in the World.
God did not want to be worshiped by robots... He wants us to worship Him freely. He has a perfect will and a permissive will. He allowed the death of our child but he did not design it. He could have prevented it... but my son had the choice of running across the street or waiting for me as he should. Once the choice was made, we have to live with the circumstances that come from that choice.
When we were told that, "God must surely love you because of the suffering you are going thru." I was less than Christian in my attitude.
Of course, they got their idea from Hebrews 12:6 "For the Lord disciplines him whom He loves."
Discipline and Love may go together but the God of discipline and love does not cause suffering just so one can grow from it.
It comes down to would you rather believe that God made suffering and plans it for us or that we live in a world that is not longer perfect and Satan has powers too.