This week I’ve talked to Christians who… Have a husband and children that aren’t believers; Have just found out that their cancer has returned… for the third time; Lost a dear grandchild in a tragic accident; At one time was financially extremely well off, but now is virtually penniless.  And I’m sure you could add story upon story to that list…

QuestionWhy does God allow the righteous to suffer?  Why does a Christian mother get cancer at a young age and die while her children are small?  Why is there so much tragedy and suffering and hardship in so many Christian’s lives?

Honestly… I don’t think the “Why?!” question is hard to answer.  First I’ll give the Scripture, then afterward five statements from these passages.

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (Endurance). 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…

1 Peter 2:12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

2 Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  12  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Reason #1: God builds our faith and spiritual strength through difficulty.

Reason #2: God conforms Christians to the image of Christ through difficulty.

Reason #3: Through His people’s hardship, God is glorified.

Reason #4: In difficulty, God’s all sustaining power is on display for the world.

Reason #5: God increases Christian’s reward through suffering!

The axis of the universe does not go through our forehead.  The most important person in existence is God, not us.  God’s glory is more important than our comfort… ease… or security.  God is more important than we are, so whatever brings Him the most glory is what is best.

THOSE are the answers to the “Why God?!” question….