I find this question posed on YET ANOTHER blog again today.
As usual, the answer on offer is that there is no easy answer. This followed by exploration of a doctrine of sin and Free Will … yada, yada, yada….
In philosophy class, they call this THE PROBLEM OF EVIL. How can a truly good God, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present allow evil to exist? The best selling book rack calls it: Why Do Good People Suffer? Why Does God Let Good People Suffer? One of my more favorite answers to that question is: Maybe God would ask you the same!
But what I never find in this nagging question that seems to never be settled (and maybe I just have not read enough blogs or deep enough into the books) is the idea of bearing God’s image. We are created to bear the image of God in the world (See Gen. 1:26-27). And of course we Christians believe that Jesus expresses God’s image supremely (Col. 1:15). But he bears God’s image supremely on his cross! (Mark 15:39).
So, if we turn the question around, just a bit, we might come quickly to the conclusion that when good people – especially godly people – suffer, it is a sign that God suffers! And when you think about it carefully, suffering is the main yardstick for measuring LOVE.
Think about it.
Now, when you drive past that beggar, bum, or prophet on the street corner or in the back alley, the stranger you could invite in, think of him as Jesus himself (Matt. 25:40). And when he knocks at your church house door, think of him as Jesus himself (Rev. 3:20). And if you want to do something about the suffering in the world today, celebrate the suffering God whose image you find in these lowly people.