Pain, Part I: The Tsunami Effect
"And I [John] heard a loud voice from the throne [heaven] saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'"1
Daily the news media continues to report more and more tragedies such as earthquakes (think of the recent Japanese massive earthquake and the warning of tsunamis that could affect 50 countries; devastating fires; floods; despicable acts of terrorism; child abuse; the murder and rape of Christians by religious fanatics who despise Christianity.
Over and over we hear tragic stories about thousands of families being torn apartógrieving children losing parents; heartbroken parents losing children; homes totally destroyed; and despicable evil including criminals kidnapping orphaned children for their loathsome sex trade business.
Where is God at times like this? If we say God has nothing to do with these events, we will be seen as people who believe in a sadistic God who doesn't care. If we say that God causes or even allows such tragedies, again we will be criticized as believing in a God who doesn't care.
The fact is that God created mankind with a free will to choose whichever way he wanted to go. Tragically man chose to disregard God and go his own sinful way. Subsequently, we now live in a world that has been broken by sin and that by sinful mankind. Thus a more realistic question to ask is not, "Where is God," but "Where is man?" When mankind sinned, he left and separated us from God and in so doing divorced mankind from God's protection. When we leave God and go our own way (believing that we know better than God), we suffer the natural consequences. This happens at an individual level, a national level, and a world-wide level.
For just one example, the more that God's Word and Christian beliefs have been attacked and abandoned in the U.S.A., the greater has been the moral decline and the increase of national problems. This, too, has happened and will continue to happen worldwide as long as we are living in a world that is plagued by evil. In fact, according to God's Word, tragedies will continue and intensify until Jesus Christ returns and rules and reigns on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.1
However, because of God's love he has made a way of escape by giving his Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and offer us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life to be with him forever where "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."1 But this is not going to happen until Jesus returns to earth as he promised he would.2
The good news is that Jesus is coming again and will clean up the mess this world is in and in time will create a new heaven and a new earth. The critical issue for every individual is, "Are you ready for Jesus Christ's return?" While we may never fully understand the circumstances of life until Christ returns, whatever you do be sure to accept God's forgiveness and his invitation to eternal life. For help to do this click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have made a way of deliverance from this world of evil and evil's consequences by giving your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins and making forgiveness and eternal life to be with you and your protection forever. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Revelation 21:3-5 (NIV).
2. John 14:1-3.