Why Is There Suffering In A World Created By A Loving God?
The Way To Righteousness
God, The Creator
Making Sense Of Suffering
How do we make sense of a world created by a powerful and loving God be filled with so much pain and suffering? Why do so many bad things happen to good and innocent people while evil people seem to prosper?
The Perfect World Does Not Exist: We live in a world constantly torn by wars, terrorism, famine and injustice. We face natural disasters with their devastating effects of despair and destruction. And, every human being at some time in life experiences grief and misery either through sickness, disease, tragedy and death.
People throughout the world from all walks of life question the love and goodness of a God who would allow such things to happen. Many have turned away from their faith. Some don't know what to believe while others refuse to believe in the existence of God.
These are questions that cannot be fully answered. Perhaps the answers may lie in the following:
How Great Thou Art-Elvis Presley
Wonderful Words Of Life-Gaither
A Child's Bedtime Prayer
The Kingdom Of God
In The Beginning:
God created the universe with all its galaxies, planets and stars through natural laws that remain consistent for their orderly existence.
Earth: Created as a physical world to sustain plant, animal and human life in all kinds of environments.
God endowed it with the most beautiful and breathtaking natural wonders and contrasting scenes and colors of the seasons.
Human Life: God created man as a physical being but, with a spiritual soul that has an eternal destiny.
He gave man the capacity to maximize his potential through a unique and independent identity, personality and feelings. He gave him the ability to think, reason, make decisions, acquire knowledge and, to make plans for the future.
God also gave man a conscience to give him a sense of right and wrong.
The Kingdom Of God
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness". (Matthew 6:33)
When Jesus Christ said, "My Kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36) He is referring to the Heavenly Kingdom, the eternal Home of God's people.
*God is Eternal and His Kingdom is Everlasting
*The Heavenly Kingdom of God is a Spiritual World
*God is the Creator and Designer of everything
God's Kingdom is based on righteousness, truth, peace and love
*God revealed Himself through Creation, through His Word (the Holy Bible) and, through His Son, Jesus Christ
Eternal Life In God's Heavenly Kingdom Require The Two Great Commandments:
1. The first and greatest commandment:"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
2. The second Great Commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself".
Christianity: Defines the Kingdom of God, His Creations and His higher purpose and plan for mankind.
It satisfies the need for meaning and a reason to life based on the Word of God to achieve spiritual fulfillment.
God's Laws: The Holy Bible is the Word of God and is the sacred Book of Judaism and Christianity.
Many of the great questions of life are answered in the Holy Bible providing guidance, knowledge and faith so that we can find real meaning and satisfaction in our lives.
We go to church to hear the Word of God through Liturgy and the Sacraments and, to find Jesus the Good Shepherd Who guides His sheep to greener pastures.
Prayer brings us closer to God. Through prayer we seek His guidance to gain peace of mind and to find the light of hope.
"Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever".
Jesus The Good Shepherd
His Hand In Mine Elvis Presley
Help Me-Elvis Presley
What A Lovely Name-Vestal Goodman
Seeking Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ Our Savior: "God loved the world so much, that He gave His One and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost but have eternal life". (John 3:16).
The Good Shepherd: He came to shepherd God's people to greener pastures so we can inherit the Kingdom of God.
The Son Of God: He came to prepare us for the life to come in God's Heavenly Kingdom through the forgiveness of our sins. His Crucifixion and Resurrection means our own salvation to everlasting life.
The Light Of The World: "He who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12RSV).
Jesus brings God's Way of righteousness to live a wholesome and balanced existence, in harmony with our fellow human being. And, He offers people salvation and, deliverance from their sins through repentance, putting their trust in Him and, being baptized into His Church.
Jesus Christ's Ministry: His Ministry began with His Baptism in the River Jordan when He was about 30 years of Age (Luke 3:23), and ended in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with His Disciples culminating in His Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension to Heaven.
Jesus taught people to love God and, to love their neighbor. He healed the sick in body and mind, ministered to the poor, the oppressed and, sinners, teaching them that repentance and faith brought salvation that opened the Door to God's Heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus Suffered In Every Way: He was to be the Sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world. "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".
The Passion Of Christ: On the night before Jesus was crucified He said: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am". (John 14:1-3)
The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate handed Jesus over to be Crucified. The Roman soldiers placed a Crown Of Thorns on His Head, He was beaten, spat upon and mocked, "Hail, king of the Jews!"
The Cross Of Christ: Carrying His own Cross He struggled up the hillside of Golgotha where He was nailed to the Cross and placed between two criminals. Jesus cried out, "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing".
One of the criminals spoke to Jesus saying, "Remember me when you come into your Kingdom". Jesus replied, "Truly, I tell you today, you will be with Me in Paradise". He then cried out, "Father into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit".
The Resurrection: The Miraculous Resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred on the Sunday following the Friday on which He was Crucified.
Early Christians: Many early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified.
The Apostles: Even the Apostles suffered violent deaths. For example, Peter was crucified upside down, Matthew was bludgeoned to death, Andrew was nailed upside down to an X-shaped Cross, Paul was beheaded, Luke was hanged, while Mark was dragged to death.
"And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time".
Free Will And Choice
God Gave Man Dominion Over His World: God gave man the power of free will to choose to do as he wishes and to become a creator himself.
Sin: Man's eagerness to sin violated God's Laws when he chose to conquer his world.
Dangerous And Destructive Behaviors
Vanity, greed, envy, dishonesty, immorality, crime, corruption and hatred.
Pollution, global warming, extinction of plant and animal species, deforestation, soil erosion, atmospheric ozone depletion, and over-population are major problems threatening earth.
World domination through war and violence has been the goal of ruthless and ambitious dictators and tyrants.
Lust, pride in possessions, egotism and greed reflect selfish values of mankind living outside the Will of God.
Rootlessness, loose standards and other self-destructive behaviors distort what is wholesome and good and what is right and what is wrong.
Unhealthy habits of the body and mind eventually have consequences that take their toll over time.
Natural disasters are the result of natural laws and are often called “acts of God” because they cannot be controlled. People who cross their path suffer the consequences.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved".
What A Wonderful World-Louis Armstrong
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8,)
Gifts From The Heart: God created man to reflect His Love And Goodness through a way of life that is spiritually enriched through good works and good deeds.
Serving others comes in many forms and provides the opportunity to help others without expecting anything in return. Never is life more noble than when we do things unto God.
It is an individual's expression of worship and love for God and, it is what the humble Jesus did and preached.
"Righteousness is richer than riches. It sets my feet firmly on the path that takes me nearer to thee".
Faith Produces Hope
Footprints In The Sand
In Times Of Need
Jesus Christ experienced the hard times of earthly life. He knew the feelings of pain, hatred and rejection that ultimately led to His Crucifixion, Death and ultimate Resurrection to everlasting Life and Glory.
Had Jesus not endured the trials of this life mankind would not have a Savior today.
The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ has become the heart of Christian faith.
His Message of love, repentance and forgiveness is a guide and a comfort for all people.
Like Jesus, we will go through periods of difficulties, pain, and suffering in this life. During these difficult trials and challenges we can find comfort and peace of mind being nearer to God and our dear Lord Jesus Christ.
Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor And Are Heavy Laden...
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light".
King James Version (KJV)
The Lord Is My Shepherd
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His Name".
Footprints In The Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
Mary Stevenson, 1936
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of those depths.
Crying In The Chapel-Mahalia Jackson
Satisfying The Deeper Longings Of The Soul
Christian Faith: A supernatural belief based on the mysteries and miracles of Jesus Christ and upon an all-powerful and loving God.
Faith In God And Jesus Christ: Reaps a rich harvest of spiritual blessings that fill the body, mind and soul with grace and an indescribable peace of mind.
Faith helps us to endure all things in tough times and to grow even closer to the beauty that can be found only in God and His Heavenly Kingdom
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:1-12; Romans 8:18-19).