Why?

The question on many people’s minds today runs something like this:
“Why has God allowed this to happen to us? Is He mad at us? Are we being punished?”
 
It is an age old question. The Old Testament Book of Job spends a lot of time exploring this. In a nutshell, everyone thinks Job suffered because he personally sinned against God. In fact, it turns out everyone was wrong, and Job was vindicated in the end.
 
Jesus deals with the very same question in Luke 13. Luke writes, “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no!”
 
We tend to think in terms of cause and effect. Sometimes there are cause-and-effect relationships. In these cases, however, Jesus was saying no such connection existed. Is it possible that what we are currently experiencing with the Coronavirus is actually a judgment of God? Maybe — but maybe not. Truly, no one knows and it would be presumptuous for them to say that they do. I think the better way to look at it is that we live in a fallen world and we are fallen, imperfect creatures. In such a world we will experience pain and suffering, trials and tribulations from time to time.
 
Jesus Himself experienced unfathomable pain and suffering even though He was sinless. He is not unfamiliar with our condition. He can completely relate. And, He was forthright when He taught that “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33,NIV) He sugarcoats nothing.
 
Thankfully, He doesn’t leave us without hope or peace. Immediately, He goes onto assure us, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Why take heart? Since He has been victorious over the world and all the troubles it contains, you and I are also victorious. What I find fascinating about this statement that Jesus makes about being victorious is that He spoke in the present tense yet the cross still stood before Him. He announced His victory before the third day! He had a lot to go through before that glorious day. What confidence and power though!  Is it possible that same confidence and power is available to you and me as we bear our crosses? To this a confident Jesus would say, “Yes!”

 

In Him, Pastor Paul