Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Disasters, Pain, Suffering...God is good?

I hope this week is going well for you and your loved ones, but if it's not, this devotion may be for you...

Most days reading and watching the news is a lot like getting on the scales to check your weight-kinda depressing!--but still a reflection of the reality we'd like to deny. However, I was actually uplifted this week as I read an article in this past "USA Weekend." (You can click here for the full article.)

The summation of the article is summed up best by its sub-title which reads,

"Mother Nature can be devastating. But natural disasters serve wild purposes, scientists say. Without them our Earth wouldn't resemble its current state, and we'd lose some of our most precious resources."

I'm not suggesting anyone derive any of their beliefs and theology from "USA Weekend" and/or scientists, but this article does paint a picture of how God (and our perceptions) sometimes works. What seems like disaster in the short run may be a blessing in the long run. The pain in the here and now, may be ultimate joy and happiness in the near future.

Attending a debate a couple of weeks ago, I listened to an atheist friend of mine accuse God of being immoral. He stated, "...even if God were real, I still would not want to follow Him." He based his rejection of this "immoral God" on the Biblical accounts of mass murders (of women and children), genocide, slavery, etc. According to him, any "good God" would not allow such atrocities to happen.

I will save you the innumerable responses I have to this argument for another day, but suffice it to say it's a very narrow view of the world, God, life, and the Bible. It is a view, though, that most of us adopt when we're faced with "disasters" in our life. When the "storms" of financial crises, divorce, or death come our way, we almost always wonder "why?"

Even as Christ-followers, we doubt Him and think, " could a "good God" permit such pain, suffering, and destruction?"
kugle and kathryn.jpg
For us to judge God is comparable to our pet Dachshund, Kugle, judging Kathryn and me. A few weeks ago I took him to the vet. I had to hold our little wiener dog while this vet took his temperature and a stool sample. Friends, let me say, there is no way that could have felt good for him!

In addition he had to receive multiple shots. We're such mean pet owners aren't we? If I were Kugle, I would reject me. I would think why should I trust and obey my "master" if he is going to allow this kind of treatment to me. Do you see where I'm going?

The point is, God knows what's best and He can work any situation for good. Paul says it this way in Romans 8:28,

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose..." (NASB)

depressed and worried.jpgDo you feel pain right now? Are you struggling with something? Has some "disaster" happened in your life? Give it, and your life, to Him. Trust Him. Allow Him to work it for good. God loves you, and can/will use all things to grow you closer to Him, so you may glorify Him.

On the Journey Together,

Justin Winstead


  1. Not bad, for a Baptist (shhhh, don't tell anyone). Seriously, I like it. I'm going to let Jan read it now. If she knows how to make comments, she will do so, but don't count on it.

  2. awesome article! jan dasher